See Through Steel

Let us take you to Segusino. Where? It’s a mountainous place just east of Vicenza, Palladio’s birthplace and architectural playground. And it’s north-west of the region’s capital, Venice. (Venezia, if you’re Italian.) We love this part of the world for its modest ingenuity and relentlessly inventive spirit.

This is Veneto, the DOC home of Prosecco. Our favourite fizz is made using the Metodo Martinotti, which happens in stainless steel. We’ve got a thing about steel. Metodo Martinotti is not to be confused with Martino Marcello. He’s one of our brilliant eyewear designers. He’s got a thing about steel.

Stainless steel is beautifully cool and industrial. It takes modest ingenuity and relentless inventiveness to make such a metal beautifully warm and comfortable too. And it takes time. After designing, and refining the designing, KITE eyewear concepts go to Italy. To Segusino. Where a slow steel symphony is performed. It lasts 37 days from start to finish.

Symphony in steel

Sheets of 0.8mm surgical steel are sliced into strips. These are water-cut with millimetric precision into our unique frame shapes.

High-impact machinery adds exacting design details, such as nose bridge and base curvature. (Did Palladio dream of such cutting edges?)

The frames are then tumble-polished in ceramic beads and oil for 10 long slow not-impatient days. The artefact that emerges is smooth as silk.

Venetian artisans hand-solder lens bars to the frames. These are to hold the optical or sunglass lenses, while minimising the frame weight.

Then comes colour. Galvanic colour. (Another Italian note: Luigi Galvani, who discovered bioelectricity, now known as electrophysiology, inspired Alessandro Volta to invent the first ever electric battery.) Back to KITE: the Galvanic colour treatment enables us to create exquisite colour effects. Precisely.

Then more work by hand. Testing, detailing, finishing. Our 10-step quality-control takes more time. Tick tock. (Or tic-tac in Italiano.)

Then our beautiful frames fly back to London, where they were first conceived. It’s like coming home.

Play the symphony

We got so excited about all this steely beauty that we commissioned a cinematographer to make a mini movie. See behind the scenes.

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