A conversation between Elena Orsi Mazzucchelli and 20/20 europe


Product Development Manager

Q: How has acetate evolved as a material over the years?

A: Acetate has evolved significantly in terms of aesthetics and technology, and responds very well to the changing needs of the market. Recently, major importance has been placed on ecology, leading to the creation of a new bio-based formulation: M49.

From the aesthetical viewpoint, the classic tortoiseshells, havanas and horn tones have been joined by more and more complex themes, structures and patterns, aligned with seasonal moods or with the image of a brand. On the technological side, several innovations have expanded the possibilities for the production of acetate - from the traditional craftsmanship and uniqueness of the block process, to the sophisticated mechanics of the extrusion technique, to the variety of laminated materials, and the development of digital printing.


Q: At Mazzucchelli, what have been the key developments in the last 20 years?

A: The key factor for development has been the concept of closeness to the customer. For this reason, we have opened Asian production plants, allowing faster service and a more constructive dialogue with local producers. We have also prioritised keeping apace with the increasing demand of new products produced in more limited quantities.
Mazzucchelli has succeeded, thanks to technological innovations, in reducing production timings and batches. In order to have a keener insight into the global market, Mazzucchelli has also reinforced one of its strong points – the world-renowned historic “Centro O” – employing a creative team dedicated to specific markets and customers.
Research is at the core of Mazzucchelli’s activity and it is assured in Italy by one laboratory working on technological processes, one on chemical issues and four others focused on aesthetic innovation and product development; in Asia we have two labs dedicated to product development.


Q: Does this increase creative opportunity for the eyewear producers – if so how?

A: The spirit that has been driving Mazzucchelli’s work for 167 years is to provide customers with modernization, advice and the opportunity to choose new creative solutions. Over the years, trends have remained the guiding principle. But, as we have seen, a new requirement has become more important, that of personalization.
Mazzucchelli has promoted this concept aiming to offer each customer the possibility to develop unique colours and pattern combinations that differentiate their products from those produced by competitors.


Q: Explain the use of Bio-Acetate M49 and how this material has been received? 

A: With the launch of M49, Mazzucchelli has been the forerunner of the market. M49 meets environmental needs and it is suitable for customers who are more sensitive to the importance of the use of materials deriving from renewable sources.
M49 is already used by global fashion brands and smaller independent labels alike.


Q: What are the most exciting trends in acetate colour and pattern coming up in 2017?

A: The trends of the season include:

LESS IS MORE  In our modern digital world, we look for purity, authentic craftsmanship and design, harmony in colour and sophisticated spontaneity.
Restrained colours: warm neutrals, winter white and grey with tan brown tones.

ENCHANTED ROMANCE A botanical dream world, with all kind of fantastical imagery from birds to butterflies and garlands of flowers and leaves. Colours are delicate and recall flower petals: rose, ivory, sable, ochre, silver.

BOHEMIAN CHARM  This bohemian, ethnic mix and match throws together different styles and periods with eccentric associations using gold to brighten the spicy autumn colour palette. A mysterious mix of materials weaves a dark and melancholy thread between punk, gothic and grunge.

TECHNO ILLUSION The virtual world enhanced with technology creating optical illusions, merging colours and patterned shapes. Shaded and ombrè effects in vibrant and glowing colours.


Q: How does Mazzucchelli stay ahead in terms of new trends and directions in fashion?

A: Product development has always been led by the Italian “Centro O” design office based in Castiglione Olona. This research centre works closely with brands, designers and customers from all over the world offering a wide range of products and design consultancy.
Inspiration comes from fashion trends, design trends, and from the suggestions collected whilst travelling, visiting fairs, and art exhibitions, as well as from stimulating conversations with customers, designers or artists. Besides the collections, Mazzucchelli develops about 6,000 new colours and unique products each year, specifically manufactured for individual customers, developed to satisfy the need for customization.


Q: As a traditional family-owned Italian company, what have been your key values and how are those maintained today?

A: Over three centuries entrepreneurial spirit, intuition, and vision have enabled Mazzucchelli to take a global view of the countless new challenges of the market and to converse with the fashion world which demands a particular sensibility to aesthetics and innovation. Quality, creativity, innovation and passion for the product have always been Mazzucchelli’s core values and advantages over its competitors. These principles, handed down from generation to generation, are shared by all those working in our team today.



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