A passion for innovative design
Creative director at the Liò Factory, Adriano Lio, speaks to OT about the company’s mission to create unique designs that are unlike anything else on the market
What is the inspiration behind Liò Factory's designs?
All of our collections are designed by Adriano Lio, founder and owner of Liò Factory. His natural attitude and creativity is inspired by several themes, especially from the influence of the territory where he lives in Italy, which has a blend of eccentric Venetian style and the majestic sturdiness of the Dolomites. It is this magic blend of architecture and inspiration from natural unrefined materials that has generated collections featuring unconventional frame designs.
How are these designs brought to life?
The idea behind each frame is brought to life by the professionalism of our experienced craftsmen who have refined their technique in creating high quality designs. Recent collections, including Fil de Ferro ‘Iron wire,’ Juta ‘Burlap,’ Buccia d’Arancia ‘Orange skin’ and Roe ‘Bramble,’ are all unique in their own right. Our Skeleton collection has launched a top trend in the eyewear industry due to its bizarre and minimal design, with each frame weighing, on average, 60 grams.
Beyond this, the designs have been recognised for their quality and innovation, winning many awards worldwide, including the Silmo d’Or Best Design Optical Frame award. We were also a finalist in the AOP Awards 2018 Frame of The Year category.
"In our opinion, the UK represents one of the most interesting markets for trendsetting as people who live there are at the cutting edge of fashion"
What makes the designs stand out?
Liò also means passion, which is expressed in a thousand facets. In particular, the predominant passion within Liò is for people embracing their uniqueness and asking, “Who am I?” Sometimes an individual has to go against the mainstream and carve out a niche for his or herself away from what is considered to be standard. Going against mainstream trends is Liò’s mission in life, a personal battle that we have been carrying on for almost 30 years. This mission is reflected in our collections, through their design and quality. This is what makes our frames unique.
What makes the materials used different?
We manufacture our frames mainly using two materials: stainless steel and plastic. The difference between us and most of our competitors is in the way we handle these materials. In our area, the Veneto region, the eyewear industry not only means tradition, but also excellence and innovation.
Liò Factory was born in 1989 as a small artisanal laboratory where we humbly realised production phases such as the hand polishing that nobody else wanted to do. Over the years, the company has gradually grown, overcoming the Italian economic crisis. Thanks to our experience we have maintained the personal touch of handcrafted care in all our production steps.
Where do you see design trends heading over the next year?
In our opinion, the UK represents one of the most interesting markets for trendsetting as people who live there are at the cutting edge of fashion. They really care about being innovative and setting style trends for others to follow. In the world of fashion, the eyewear industry has been slightly overlooked in the past, however we see glasses becoming a more prominent fixture as time goes on and it will play an increasingly relevant role in the future.
Have you worked on any campaigns recently to promote the collections?
All of our campaigns are aimed to capture the customers’ attention and stimulate their feelings. Our last advertising campaign Why make it in Italy? features normal people and the ethical choices they are faced with every day as businessmen, consumers and parents.
The aspiration is for the ‘Made in Italy’ brand to become synonymous with quality throughout the whole production process, and not just with design and creativity. This campaign, launched at MIDO 2018, shows normal people wearing normal clothes to contrast with our ‘XXI Secolo sunglasses’ which have a really unconventional design (the lenses are cross-shaped and the case is a coffin).
How do you connect with your customers?
Nowadays social media is the best way to stay in touch with our customers and wearers of our frames as we can share our latest models, news and appointments with them. It also enables us to respond to enquiries, advice and complaints. Another fundamental tool is our website, which is easy to use and well designed. The younger generations are always on the internet and therefore our website has to be easy to access on a mobile phone or tablet.
If you could pick any style icon to wear your glasses, who would it be and why?
We would be really proud to see Elton John wearing our frames. He is first of all a gentleman, a worldwide star, a music icon and a person who is not scared to express his opinions. His style and personal values would perfectly fit our unconventional design.