by Stephen Garner

Luca Gnecchi Ruscone has opened a new flagship store in Rome for his handmade eyewear brand L.G.R.

The new L.G.R store is the first mono-brand store in Rome for the brand and the second one in Italy after Milan. It is located in the heart of the city, in Via della Fontanella di Borghese, an elegant street in the prestigious Roman district of luxury shopping and niche boutiques.

The new store is based on the same concept as the brand’s first store in Milan. Both stores have been inspired by the atmosphere and beauty of Ottica Bini, the store which Luca’s grandfather, Raffaello Bini, ran in Asmara (Eritrea, Africa) between the Thirties and the Seventies. It was in that store that, in 2005, Luca discovered some old and elegant frames dating back to the Forties. He then decided to take them to Italy to embark on a new business venture.

This combination of Italy and Africa, which represents the brand DNA, is perceivable in every detail of the store. The wooden furniture and coconut elements have been carefully and elegantly manufactured by Italian craftsmen, while the fabrics and the chandelier designed by L.G.R have been made in Morocco. The wooden display niches in Venetian Neo-Gothic style have been inspired by the windows of the old Ottica Bini. Sand, green and turquoise are the dominant colors, just like in the Eritrean store. On the walls, the evocative illustrations by Giampiero Celani Piendlbach embellish the environment. Africa is present in all its facets, from Maghreb to Kenya and Eritrea. The timeless, classic and contemporary style of the store is the same as the brand’s collections, whose names are inspired by African locations – a tribute to the continent that defines the brand’s heritage.

The store will showcase the spring/summer 2019 collection. Among the highlights of the collection are the new models Lalibela, women’s sunglasses with round, wraparound lenses in the style of the Seventies, Pilot, a contemporary version of classic aviator frames, and the optical frame Reunion Metal, the new version of an iconic L.G.R model, available for the first time in metal.

In addition to the new models, there is also the permanent collection, with Orchid, the best-selling cat- eye model, also available in the Skin version featuring an original leather insert, the Explorer line with the Reunion and Asmara models, and many others. Also on display in the store will be the exclusive limited edition RAW #2. This series of 4 sunglasses are characterized by the rough texture of the frames (which have not been tumbled) and by the high-performance wraparound lenses in midnight blue tones.

“After Milan, opening a store in Rome was my priority, not only for commercial purposes but also for personal reasons,” said Ruscone. “I grew up in Rome, it is my home, this is where our company has its headquarters. We are determined to grow and in the future, we plan to open other mono-brand stores in Italy – Florence may be the next one – and abroad.”