The Story Of Carrera
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When it comes to designer eyewear, Carrera is among the most popular sunglasses in the world. The brand is located in Padua, Italy and is owned and manufactured by Safilo, an Italian fashion house. Wilhelm Anger Werker, an Austrian eyewear specialist, first launched the brand in 1956. The name Carrera came from Wilhelm’s love for the Pan-American road race that took place in Mexico and South America in the 1950s.
At first, Carrera specialized in designing and manufacturing sunglasses for athletes, especially those who competed in winter sports and automobile racing. They made specialty sunglasses for skiing and ski jumping, as well as goggles and sunglasses for motorsports.
The 1960s and 1970s
In 1964, an innovative plastic called Optyl was patented. It was lighter weight (weighing 20% less than acetate and other thermoplastic materials), more durable, and had the ability to adapt to your face. Carrera began making ski helmets and goggles in the 1970s, introducing the first ski goggles with interchangeable lenses.
In 1974, the company’s name was changed to Carrera International, and they moved their headquarters to Traun in Austria, which is where their partnership began with Ferdinand Porsche. Together they developed the Carrera Porsche Design sunglasses collection.
The 1980s and 1990s
As the brand awareness and popularity began to grow, Carrera International became a force in the market, sponsoring international sporting events, such as the 1988 Winter Olympics, The Americas Cup, and Formula 1 Racing. The company also made many advances in eyewear as they focused on research. The company officially marketed their prescription glasses in 1981.
Then in 1996, Safilo, the world’s largest sunglasses supplier in the world, bought Carrera. Safilo brands included Armani, Dior, Gucci, Hugo Boss, and Valentino, which gave the Carrera brand exposure to the stores that sold these popular brands. The Carrera brand ended up being split into two separate divisions within Safilo—sports and lifestyle sunglasses. The sports division continued on the path that the brand had already taken in the past; however, the lifestyle division began to grow greatly in popularity.
Also known as the Carrera Vintage Sunglasses, the lifestyle division line got its inspiration from the 1960s through the 1980s. The lifestyle brand is a force in the international market and can be seen on celebrities like Usher, David Beckham, and Paolo Maldini, and Italian athlete.
Carrera sponsored popular riders in the motorcycle circuit in 2002, including Max Biaggi, Loris Capirossi, Roberto Locatelli, and Marco Melandri. Carrera developed the fiber helmet in the 2000s, a game changer in innovation technology.
Carrera re-launched some of its most famous vintage models in 2007, including the Champion, Champion Endurance, and Safari models that featured the company’s iconic style.
Carrera revolutionized the biking world in 2013 with its “foldable” helmet and their Carrera 6008 sunglasses, which were inspired by the company’s unique history—it’s almost exactly like the iconic Carrera 80 aviator sunglasses. The frame is very light and has a standard double bridge and a cover that has the Victory C logo.
An exclusive capsule men’s collection was announced by Carrera and Jimmy Choo in 2014 after the previous year brought much success to the Carrera by Jimmy Choo women’s collection. The brand celebrated their 60th birthday in 2016 by launching their Maverick collection, which features their classic styles with an unusual twist. Jared Leto is the ambassador for unique collection, which is no surprise given his laid-back personality and rocker background. He fits the trendy culture and bold image the collection represents.
Check out our Carrera collection here.