WMido - Milano Eyewear Show - February 3-5 - 2024

How Covid-19 has influenced eyewear design.

June 26 2020

Thanks to decades-long technological know-how acquired over the years in technical/sports products, having great affinity with protective devices, Franco Sordelli set up a division dedicated to eye and face protection.

The Italian company has been able to apply its innovative vision also to eyewear, rethinking them from a post Covid-19 aspect.

We talked about this with Dino Sordelli, Commercial Director of Franco Sordelli, and Tommaso Bossetti, planner and designer for the brand Snob Milano.

How did Franco Sordelli respond to the difficult situation of recent months?

Dino Sordelli. At the start of the pandemic we tried to fulfil pending shipments in order to guarantee efficient and punctual service. In fact, when our country was hit, there were many areas that had not yet been overwhelmed by the virus.

At the same time, we took immediate action to convert our manufacturing process to the area of protective equipment. With the creation of a new division, called Sordelli Safety, we were able to open up a new market for the company.

Was it difficult to convert the production lines to manufacture protective eyewear?

Dino Sordelli. No, we relied on the technological know-how acquired over the years on technical/sports products, having great affinity with protective devices.

What PPEs did you make?

Dino Sordelli. Eyeglasses, shields and protective masks.

Which distribution channels did you use and in which markets?

Dino Sordelli. In the optics sector our entire salesforce - distributors, agents, etc. - was active at international level. We also directly delivered products to companies that had immediate needs in order to continue manufacturing during the lockdown.

How did the project proceed?

Tommaso Bossetti. We based our thinking on our proprietary brands and decided that the world of protection and our eyewear could be combined. We explored a different world which became a real source of inspiration!

I believe that the upcoming summer season will be affected by this change and our mission is to ensure that products with a protective function are aesthetically pleasing. After years of flat lenses, wraparound models will return to the sunglasses market.

As far as the Snob brand is concerned, we immediately contacted ZEISS Sunlens and created a designer protective product of premium optical quality. We created this eyewear by taking into consideration the needs of a professional with strong economic potential who had to use high-quality lenses. The idea was to convey the value of our evolving brand combined with the optical quality of ZEISS Sunlens.

For Sun’s Good we took certified PPEs, gave them colour in shades of caramel and contextualised them within the collection. The line was born with side shields and it was fairly easy to update these products.

In general, Covid-19 provided us with a new inspiration for creativity and many companies have changed their strategies for 2021 and taken new directions.


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