Divine glances

Thélios new sponsor of Venice 79, CEO Alessandro Zanardo talks
by Mariachiara Marzari
  • wednesday, 31 August 2022

This is Thélios’s first time walking on the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival as a sponsor and the official eyewear purveyor of the VFF’s 79th edition.

The name “Thélios” is the synthesis of the names of the Greek gods Theia, goddess of light and sight, and Helios, god of the sun. Born from the will of LVMH Group, world leader in luxury, to establish itself in the eyewear sector, Thélios designs, produces and distributes sunglasses and optical frames for some of its most prestigious Maisons: Dior, Fendi, Celine, Givenchy, Loewe, Stella McCartney, Kenzo, Berluti and Fred. With its Manifattura, located in Longarone, Italy, Thélios blends the distinct identity of each Maison with Italian craftsmanship to create exceptional luxury eyewear. Thélios offers its own “enlightened look” on the sector, providing the highest level of quality and excellence both in its products and service. This is Thélios’s first time walking on the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival as a sponsor and the official eyewear purveyor of the VFF’s 79th edition.

How will the world’s oldest film festival and the best of international filmmaking be Thelios’ ideal ground?
Eyewear and cinema have always been a perfect match, and Venice Film Festival is the ideal field of expression for us: Both of us are deeply rooted in the Veneto region, but with a global reach. With our Manifattura in Longarone, we perpetuate the tradition of high-end eyewear manufacturing and bring exquisite sunglasses and optical frames to the World. La Biennale is undoubtedly an established authority in the world of cinema and represents Italian excellence.

Sunglasses and film star have long been an item. A great pair of glasses can amp up the charming factor of an already established actor – think Brad Pitt or Demi Moore. If we were to pair the philosophy of Thélios with one film genre, which one would that be?
Interesting question! I think Thélios would best identify with “Cinéma d’Auteur” – such as a film maker who expresses their artistic personality through their movie, we are following the same approach for our Maisons. Each piece of eyewear is the fruit of a tight collaboration with the Creative Directors of the Maison, incorporating their personal artistic vision. The aim of Thélios is to conceive, produce and distribute the most sublime products, in line with the universe of the fashion Houses we represent.

In this game of eyewear exegesis, which one is your favourite movie, and which ones the most unforgettable actors?
There are many! The most iconic for me is Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, everybody remembers her timeless elegance with her Givenchy dress and her oversized sunglasses. I’m also fond of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, as the different characters of Diane Keaton were perfectly illustrated by the eyewear she is wearing throughout the movie.

What corporate activities will you develop during the Venice Film Festival?
The heart of our activity is the Thélios Suite, located at the Hotel Excelsior with a gorgeous view on the Sea. It features an institutional showroom, presenting an exclusive selection of our Maisons’ Fall-Winter 2022 collections in an elegant set-up. We represent a total of nine LVMH Houses, including Dior, Fendi, Celine and Givenchy. The event space also hosts hospitality experiences for selected Thélios guests. We will also open the Suite for movie press junkets and other press and industry events.

Thélios is a new addition to the rich LVMH portfolio and already a well-established one, so much so that revenue and jobs offered keep rising. What are your strategies for the next few months?
We are indeed quite a young company, as we were born as a start-up only 5 years ago. Being part of LVMH, World leader in luxury, definitely speeds up the process: We are now an international leader in luxury eyewear, with over 1.200 employees, a solid distribution network and a direct commercial presence in all major markets. Over the past 18 months, we have integrated top-tiers Maisons to our portfolio: Dior, Fendi and Givenchy. In the next few months, our focus clearly lies on consolidation. Our ambition is to grow in quality rather than quantity, setting new standards for the luxury eyewear industry.

Development, design, craftsmanship, territory, internationalization are the pillars Thelios is built on. What relationship do you have with the Venetian territory and with the eyewear-making business district in Longarone?
We exist thanks to this territory and its peculiar manufacturing know how. The region of Veneto is globally recognized as the place where best eyewear is made. Whether in Venice, New York, Shanghai or Dubai, consumers recognize the excellence associated to ‘Made in Italy’ eyewear and we are proud to have been able to carry on this excellence. At the same time, a company needs to play an active on the territory where it is located and to valorise it even further. We do this by preserving the craftmanship and local culture. For instance, we recently incorporated a historical metal stamping workshop and are partnering with local cultural initiatives that keep the area alive.

* featured image: Alessandro Zanardo © Ben Dauchez


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