AN INTERVIEW WITH CLAIRE DE LUCA & KRISTEN LINDESAY:
How was your passion for fashion born?
Our passion for fashion is an innate interest that is embedded in us both from childhood. Kristen dressed herself and her brother up from the get go, and I’ve always had a curiosity for the feeling and textures of fabrics since I was a little girl. It’s definitely something that just clicks with the two of us. It’s an unspoken word, a shared love, or a code as such that we uniquely share as a duo. Whether it’s designing, styling, or art directing for auór, it’s what we love and do best naturally.
How did you get into designing eyewear?
Kristen and I worked together in the textile industry together for several years before we started auór. We both started out at Art School in Sydney, Australia, which was a creative foundation that enabled us to move into design and design thinking. For us eyewear was a natural progression, as it’s something we both loved and collected and wanted to wear ourselves. We both ultimately design our eyewear for us, and we are lucky that our vision translates to many other women around the world. Nothing makes us happier than seeing an auór woman confident in her frames.
What is the process when you design a collection?
We begin with our own historical research, observations and creative practices to conceptualise our designs. Our vision is very much connected to honouring the past while provoking the future. Once our designs are created, they are sent to our production team in Italy who provide modified drawings we review, revise and refine. The production house then makes a prototype that we test for fit, size, shape and proportion with extensive road tests. We then undergo colour sampling with our updated designs before orders are checked off and quality controlled.
The process to create auór eyewear is very time and labor intensive. The acetate firstly arrives in sheets from Mazzucchelli to our production house. It is then cut, filed, sanded, tumbled, assembled and polished using a traditional hand crafting process. From start to finish there are 70 steps in total and it can take between 5-15 days to make a single pair of frames.
If you could use 3 words to describe your brand, what would they be?
Soft, Classic, Refined.
What was the inspiration behind the styles of the designs?
In such trying times, our latest SS20 Collection draws from our longing for connectivity, our close relationship to nature, and desire for the world to heal and rebound.
Rosetta – Meaning ‘Little Rose’, is of Italian origin. She is a soft take on the sharp, petite cat-eye eyewear designs of the 1950s. With a personality that makes no fuss, Rosetta leaves a lasting impression made for effortless summer chic. Available in five natural colours: Granite, Tort, Tort Green, Tea and Walnut.
Paloma – The classic 1990s frame is back. Paloma is our homage to the cherished European name meaning of ‘dove’ or ‘peace’, a positive lens that we could all afford to view the world through right now. Available in four new colours: Forest, Negroni, Sky and Tort Blue.
How and where do you source from?
It is important to us that the materials we use to produce our eyewear don’t have to travel far. We use Italian made Mazzucchelli acetate to handcraft our frames, which is a family owned company operating since 1849. The Mazzucchelli cellulose acetate is derived from cotton and wood pulp, making it a far more ethical choice of material.
Our lenses are made by Italian company Divel Italia, which is very close to our production house in Italy. Divel Italia is also an independent organisation, established in the mid 20th Century, and main global players in the high-end eyewear sector. Auór lenses are made from a technical plastic called CR39 which is the most commonly used plastic for lenses on the market because of its shatter resistant qualities, clear vision and reliability.
The arms of our frames are made with a strong fine wire which is inserted into the length of the arms acetate. This gives the frame immense stability, which also allows the arms to be fitted by an optometrist for ultimate comfort.
The hinges on our frames are the only component made outside of Italy. They are crafted in Germany with a triple barrel function for stability. The choice to use German hinges was made for quality reasons, as the triple barrel hinge was not available in Italy and allows for a far stronger overall frame.
Auór sunglasses are certified 100% Handmade in Italy. In order to obtain that certification, a high percentage of materials used to make our eyewear must come from Italy. The handcrafting and assembly must also meet Italian work safety standards and wages. This accreditation ensures that our eyewear is made using supreme handmade techniques and standards that ensure they stand the test of time.
How do you see the future of your brand?
We have recently just expanded Auór from Australia to New Zealand and London. So we are looking forward to building our brand in new countries and having a global focus. We always want our brand to remain with its feet on the ground. For us that means staying true to our community, continuing to produce ethical eyewear, and using our brand and fashion as a vehicle to push the important issues. Now more than ever we need to support our independent fashion labels, the slow fashion community and the environment globally.