To gain an instant understanding of eyewear brand Pacifico Optical, look no further than company co-founders Alain Guglielmino and Nick Guzowski. Alain hails from Italy and carries with him a bold European perspective on everything from design to marketing. Nick is a Bondi Beach native with a flair for detail and a deep love for the ocean (naturally), classic cars and the finest gear. Together these two men and their company represent the full spectrum of methodology as it pertains to function and form, bringing individual design, superior European craftsmanship and the Australian thirst for adventure to every single one of their products. Top that all off with some affordable pricing and Pacifico Optical is quite simply a powerhouse brand making exceptional sunglasses for those who love style and travel.
In spite of the natural chemistry between Nick and Alain, the company didn’t spring to life overnight. Pacifico sunglasses were in fact the result of a painstaking search for quality materials from industry leaders. Like the familiar and enviable tale of two young men quitting their day jobs to travel the world, Pacifico eyewear entails a conceptual awakening on the majestic coast of Bondi Beach and then a vision brought to life using time-honoured European components.
Nothing encapsulates Pacifico’s commitment to tried and true craftsmanship better than its 2016 FLIGHT Collection, which was created after a physical and spiritual journey to the small Italian city of Castiglione Olona. Located about 30km north west of Milan, Castiglione Olona is home to longstanding lens supplier Carl Zeiss Vision, as well as Mazzucchelli 1849, an equally seasoned manufacturer of the acetates that give Pacifico Optical frames their designer edge.
“Italy…is the birthplace of eyewear in Europe,” states Alain.
Nick adds, “Both Carl Zeiss Vision and Mazzucchelli 1849 have been making materials for the industry for over 160 years. They are the benchmark in premium quality.”
With these two (rather synchronous) statements in mind, Nick and Alain embarked on their trip to Castiglione Olona in September 2015. While there the designers were given a peak behind the curtain at Mazzucchelli 1849, able to see firsthand the kind of precision that went into manufacturing the acetates that make up some of Pacifico Optical’s premium frames.
Acetate is a type of plastic that’s carefully created through the use of cotton fibres. While at the plant, Nick and Alain watched as sheets of cellulose acetate were produced using century old practices. The acetates were then dyed and hand-infused before being shaped and coloured to form the frames. Because of the completely artisanal process that goes into making any given acetate, no two frames manufactured at the plant are exactly the same.
After having their minds blown at Mazzucchelli 1849, Nick and Alain traveled to Carl Zeiss Vision to see exactly how the Pacifico lenses were produced. Like Mazzucchelli 1849, Carl Zeiss Vision has been in the game for a very long time with a tremendous reputation to show for it, making lenses for everything from specs to medical equipment. In order to maintain such a reputation, every lens at Carl Zeiss Vision undergoes a meticulous inspection process by technicians who are basically the Michael Jordans of their respective arenas. Once again, Nick and Alain were able to witness the magic that allowed their products to exist, like glimpsing into the womb to watch a designer baby get its organs before popping out.
For Pacifico Optical, an extra a layer of hard coating is added to the raw lens to enhance the level of scratch resistance, and then anti-reflective coating is added to the inside of the lens to reduce glare. In other words these lenses take the best of old tradition and pair it with the best of new tradition, which in many ways is what Pacifico Optical is all about.
“Since the inspiration for the product design came from iconic European designs, we thought it was fitting that we sourced parts from European suppliers with long histories and experience in manufacturing optics materials,” says Nick.
In case it’s not somehow abundantly clear, Nick and Alain take extreme pride in their products and do pretty much everything necessary to ensure each pair of specs is durable, stylish and unique. The story of their new FLIGHT collection is the story of reliable European tradition combined with the natural beauty of the Australian coastline. Elevating the brand is affordability and the perennial drive to explore new terrain while learning something priceless along the way.