LECLAIREUR’s latest accessories collaboration, with Italian sunglass design house Hapter, has us mesmerised, and looking back through history with a post-modern — even Mad Max — lens. We had the opportunity to talk with Hapter about this new piece and learn more about the inspiration behind the designs:
Hapter is a young brand. How has it developed in the last couple of years?
Since the beginning we’ve pursued a continuous research of design that fits opposites together, blending them to create a coexistence of different industrial cultures and materials.
This vision could only be achieved starting from the deconstruction of the traditional eyewear product, and the re-design of it into a soft, malleable structure of steel and expressive material to exalt the “materic” feel.
We have a very specific and new approach to eyewear, so in the last years we have relentlessly pursued this vision and fine-tuned it, through radical product development, perfecting the manufacturing process we invented, setting up the small workshop in our hometown Belluno, a secluded village nestled with the Italian Dolomite Mountains.
What makes your work different than that of other eyewear designers?
HAPTER is a sort-of eyewear revolution, based on the concept of union.
The sunglasses feature a skeleton of industrial-grade stainless steel, fused with military-inspired cotton fabrics, specifically developed and manufactured by Lanificio F.lli Cerruti (Cerruti Woolen Mills), our product partner in this venture.
Hapterìa, our workshop, is in essence a laboratory of contemporary art, where handiwork and technology overlap and are combined with alchemy, formula and a meticulous processes.
This radical approach to functional design and totally unconventional execution make HAPTER a truly unique indie project.
Tell us about your relationship with LECLAIREUR, and in particular, about this new collaboration?
LECLAIREUR first understood the potential of our project since the very first collection back in 2013. At that time we were only at the very beginning of a steep learning curve, with a very basic & kind-of rough collection.
With the recent innovations and developments we introduced in the collection, we had a strong will to involve LECLAIREUR in the styling of a special collection: and we did it maximizing the special ageing treatment we invented, applied to the finished product using precise and determined brush strokes, which causes a deterioration of the precious material covering the frame.
This production allows us to take the sunglasses we manufacture with exclusive materials (military-inspired compact cotton fabrics and merino wool – both woven by Lanificio F.lli Cerruti), and bring them down to the weather-beaten military trench reality that has so strongly influenced the HAPTER project.
We were very impressed that an iconic retailer like LECLAIREUR understood the importance of keeping HAPTER creations consistent with the legacy of our territory, since it was born out of the true sense of the mountains, rugged and harsh, isolated and difficult.
Overall, we love to collaborate with LECLAREUR and we think we are a great match because, simply because, in our own perspectives, we are both progressive ventures, continuously pushing our competences forward and questioning our status quo.
The film HAPTER | THE ORIGIN is a poetic, rich and adventurous piece. How did it come to life?
HAPTER was inspired by an old pair of glacier military goggles from the First World War, discovered within the local Dolomite Mountains. And since then, we have interpreted the mind-set we have when we approach our mountains, replicating the sensorial connection between the visual and the material.
At some point we felt the need to share the atmosphere and visual grandeur of the mountains that inspire us, and how we relate to them and how they soak our minds and influence what we do.
So the idea of this video came along: the protagonist of the video is a romantic hero, who, while confronting the harshness of the ascent up the mountain walls, is actually digging into the abyss of his soul to find the strength and self-awareness that will accompany him forever.
At the centre is the relationship between man and nature, and lived as absolute immanence within the perceived world. Nature, in all her beauty, brings out contrasting emotions in man, which are able to both terrorize him and give him joy.
The protagonist is guided in part by an internal struggle between himself and an infinite search for perfection, and in part by his determination to reach high summits to satisfy his need for discovery and knowledge of the outdoors.
Needless to say, this is a metaphor of our experience.