Are Italian handmade sunglasses really handmade in Italy?

By oblyk,

Italian handmade sunglasses. Say no more!

Here’s the scenario: browsing away sunglasses in a eyewear store looking for something not only cool, but valuable at the same time that justifies the spillage of your hard earned money.

After trying a few pairs you come across another one similar in style, though slightly pricier.

You flip a temple trying to make out the miniature characters printed in the inner side, whilst hoping to discover something that makes you wow.

Then to your delight you come across exactly what you are after. That magic little stamp that says ‘Handmade in Italy sunglasses’.

Suddenly, you pause and look at it with a satisfied stare, almost like you have found a treasure. That’s it, done! Convinced!

Even though this pair is similar as the other ones you tried earlier, that little stamp “handmade in Italy” says it all and that’s enough to make your mind up and go ahead swiping your card.

The hype about Italian handmade sunglasses

Well as that old say goes “Italians do it better”.

Since the age of the Roman Empire, the Italians have built arguably the highest reputation for creating anything that is associated with great beauty and taste.

From any form of art to food, cars, sunglasses and the list goes on…we almost blindly trust anything that is made in Italy as a guarantee of quality.

For more than a century Italian handmade sunglasses have been synonymous with best of the best in eyewear.

Originally the mark “Handmade in Italy” was used to denote a piece of eyewear entirely handcrafted in Italy only by expert artisans using the finest materials.

No shortcuts were taken in order to stay true to its reputation and genuinely create sunglasses of unique quality, beauty and comfort.

Misuse of the mark Handmade in Italy sunglasses

Things have changed a bit lately as more often than usual we come across terminology such ‘Handmade in Italy’ sunglasses and Italian handmade sunglasses.

Why is this becoming so popular? Do most eyewear brands really have their sunglasses handmade in Italy these days? Is this all true?

The answer is not always. Some are true while some are not.

In the last four decades consumers demand and obsession for sunglasses has increased exponentially to the point that the eyewear market has become inundated with myriads of new italian sunglasses brands springing out like mushrooms.

For many years low prices and strong marketing slogans were the main tools used by eyewear brands to lure customers and sell their sunglasses.

Though as the vast majority of brands used the same strategy it became difficult to stand out. Hence a different way to promote sunglasses needed to be introduced.

Brands know how much people love Italian handmade sunglasses.

Though these are simply too pricey to produce and as result the retail price cannot be cheap.

So to stay ahead of the game and be competitive a few smart***** started using the stamp Handmade in Italy for sunglasses which were almost entirely made in China and only a little bit made in Italy.

Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of this. So let’s shade some light on the matter.

Reality is many of so-called Italian handmade sunglasses happen to be mass-produced in some Asian countries (mainly China) using both cheap materials and production methods.

What some brands basically do is having sunglasses parts fully manufactured in China using Chinese materials to benefit of low costs and superfast timelines.

Once made these parts are then shipped to Italy where the Italians merely hand-assemble them by simply placing the final screws in each hinge and grinding the lenses.

Sadly as misleading and wrong this method really is, some of the biggest names in the industry have adopted it for quite a number of years and this trend doesn’t seem to stop.

What’s even worse is the fact that all this has been deemed legal by the Italian law, as apparently there are no limits on how much of a product must be made in Italy to earn the mark.

Pretty shocking, isn’t it?

Of course the large misuse of such terminology is leading to consumer mistrust and numbness to say the least.

Above all the unblemished reputation of the once golden mark “Handmade in Italy” is slowly losing its prestige and rather becoming a cliché.

italian handmade sunglasses

How to distinguish AUTHENTIC Italian handmade sunglasses from fake ones?

This is even more depressing. In fact, it’s not very easy to tell the difference between the authentic made in Italy sunglasses and the Chinese/Italian ones.

Chinese manufacturing has improved so much in the last few years that some productions are as good as the Italian ones.

Though while engineered production lines can be improved by implementation of sophisticated machines and systems, on the other hand artisanship cannot be thought that easily to people.

As a benchmark, Italian heritage and attention to detail are far superior to the Chinese one.

Generally, you can tell if an eyewear piece is authentically handmade in Italy by the quality of its materials and details as minuscule as they can be.

There are of course different levels of artisanship: excellent, good and mediocre.

Though, good quality Italian handmade sunglasses are easier to recognise when compared with the Chinese/Italian alternatives.

The price is also a good indication.

Since the cost to produce in Italy is much higher than the cost of mass-produced Chinese/Italian sunglasses just as well the real price of the first ones would be logically higher.

Despite all this, there’re still some brands out there that remain true to the real meaning of the mark and produce outstanding quality Italian handmade sunglasses.

For this OBLYK is proud to be one of them.

As tradition goes, OBLYK eyewear pieces are entirely crafted, shaped, finished and assembled by hand from start to finish in Italy by skilled Italian artisans.

Due to their nature all pieces are different from one another and characterised by graceful imperfections that make them truly unique.

Everything is made in a small family-run eyewear factory located in Val Cadore, at the heart of the Italian Dolomites Mountains. Check out the full range.

italian handmade sunglasses


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