Maison Lacroix is more than a name, it’s a whole universe! One team develops all products, from haute couture and accessories through to home furnishings – ensuring consistency across all lines. When, for example, concepts are developed for a new collection of eyewear, so too are concepts for jewellery. The result is a true synergy and a story that runs between the ranges.
Being a perfect accessory, eyewear has always been part of the Christian Lacroix Haute Couture runway presentations. Imagined in the sunny south of France, designed in Europe, and manufactured in Asia, the signature prints, colours and details for which Maison Lacroix are renowned, find their natural expression in both optical frames and sunglasses, with an almost even split across the two.
Mondottica has distributed Christian Lacroix eyewear worldwide since 2010. mivision recently caught up with Sandra Battistel (SB), Mondottica’s Design Director and Nicolas Topiol (NT), Chief Executive Officer of Christian Lacroix, to find out more.
Q. What makes Christian Lacroix one of the world’s most sought after luxury brands?
(NT) The Lacroix style is unique: exuberant, colourful and with a mix and match essence. It is recognised for its colourful identity and its flamboyance throughout the world. Who hasn’t heard the expression, “It’s Lacroix, sweety!”
Q. Is there an iconic Christian Lacroix style?
(NT) Definitely. The Lacroix style has an identity of folklore, history and theatre, fused with elegance, sophistication and craftsmanship. When black became the standard, Lacroix opted for the vibrancy of blood red, fuchsia pink and bright yellow.
You can never go wrong with the marriage of colours and prints, and this is also what makes the brand’s strength, allowing it to remain contemporary.
You can never go wrong with the marriage of colours and prints, and this is also what makes the brand’s strength, allowing it to remain contemporary
Q. How would you describe a Christian Lacroix eyewear customer?
(NT) On one hand there are those who know the name and history of the brand; on the other are clients who want to stand out with an elegant and sophisticated style.
Customers who wear Christian Lacroix eyewear also buy the brand’s other products.
Q. What inspired you to design Christian Lacroix eyewear?
(SB) For me, the opportunity to design eyewear presented an irresistible choice – eyewear is such a personal object with the power to define a wearer’s personality.
The opportunity to design for Christian Lacroix was truly exciting – the history of the Maison, the vibrancy and storytelling of the prints, and the use of colour, are an endless source of inspiration. We can have fun with so many elements of the brand!
Q. How involved is the Maison in designing each new eyewear collection?
(SB) Trends, inputs and inspirational sketches are created in-house by a designer, while the prints used on the frames are drawn by the Lacroix graphic design studio. As Mondottica’s Design Director, I then work with my team to translate the concepts into stunning eyewear collections.
Q. What are the dominant characteristics of the current collections?
(SB) The 2021 collection draws on details from the jewellery of the House’s haute couture collections. We looked at the irregular shapes that come from crafting jewellery by hand, and interpreted them with techniques available today. This enabled us to reflect the brand’s heritage.
Our current collection pays homage to the iconic prints of the Maison, with rounded shapes and lines, and bold, wide temples. Alongside the vivid colour palette, we looked to achieve a play of materials and shapes that balance baroque and contemporary styles for a chic yet lively result.
Q. How do these characteristics reflect the brand’s DNA?
(SB) The use of exclusive acetates, together with signature prints, striking shapes and strong colours, gives the wearer the Christian Lacroix look of extravagance.
We also pay great attention to details, with the Maison’s identity codes signing off each frame: the butterfly on the temple tips, the chevron encrusted on the temples and the highly recognisable logo on the lenses. And finally, as with all Christian Lacroix design, we are careful to create surprises with hidden gems. Every detail counts!
Q. What challenges do you face when transferring the brand’s DNA into eyewear?
(SB) The challenge for Mondottica is to transfer all the ideas of the House onto pieces of eyewear… It is not always easy to translate those exuberant prints and hues on such a small everyday accessory, while ensuring the finished piece is comfortable to wear.
Behind the fun and flamboyant look, a lot of research goes into materials and frame construction. We like to use prints in innovative ways and often we develop rich acetate textures, that are unique to Christian Lacroix.
In the end, only the designs that meet a high standard of craftsmanship make the final collection – but that’s so we are able to share our universe with a large number of consumers!
Q. What will we see from Christian Lacroix in 2022?
(SB) The new season’s collection is currently being developed. However, we can reveal that it will reflect the heritage of the House, with design signatures recently developed for the main collection.
In this new collection, the spotlight will be on colours – even in the lenses. The aim is to emphasise the joy that has always been conveyed throughout the brand’s collections.
Christian Lacroix is distributed by Mondottica (AUS) 02 8436 6666