Art Style Magazine: Ottica In Barberia's exclusive eyewear

Art Style Magazine: Ottica In Barberia's exclusive eyewear


They like to define themselves as artisans. And that is precisely what they are. Just as they are also true artists. In this case the art – the word behind both definitions – is that of Marco Andreoni and Antonio Battaglia, the owners of In Barberia bottega ottica, in the historic centre of Treviso and Venice, technical laboratories and shops specializing in custom-made eyewear.

The company was born a little over two years ago, but it is rooted in a solid family tradition which is more than fifty years old. In Barberia (named after Via Barberia, the street in Treviso where the shop is located) has made quality the essence of its business. That is no small feat, in a world and an age dominated by standardization and mass production.

“We started out a couple of years ago, deciding to focus completely on a niche market: what you can find in our shop in Via Barberia is rare eyewear, unique pieces which are the product of our research and of the requests we receive from the entire Northern Italian area” Andreoni and Battaglia tell us.

“We have also set up a laboratory that is the heart of a production process designed and crafted with each individual client in mind, a custom production, entirely made by hand. The lab is also our shop window and showcase: every day, passersby can admire Antonio’s work as he cuts, files, shines the different pieces, with no help from any kind of machine. His process is reminiscent of the way artisans worked seventy, eighty years ago”.

"Our instagram account enables the customer to see how the eyewear is created and shaped. The customer also is a participant in the development of their purchase."

"We offer our own sample collection of historical models and timeless shapes. But we also make eyewear on specific customer request," Antonio continues. "All glasses are custom-made, calibrated to the customer's face. The making takes about 30 hours of work and involves careful study: from the morphology of the face to the client's personality, while considering the message a person wants to convey by wearing the eyewear. Then comes the choice of materials. The ones we use the most are high-quality cellulose acetate and Indian buffalo horn, which we buy and import directly. Next we choose the color and to the finishes. At the end we do the checks and any corrections, to the customization. We make laser engravings that may be initials but also a motto, a phrase, a dedication.” It is therefore an additional element of exclusivity. So does the case, which is handcrafted from leather.

"We work in many areas," Marco says  "We were approached by a museum, for example, about making an eyeglass featuring silk inside the structure. We just made an eyeglass dedicated to Venice in partnership with a great Parisian artist: it will be displayed in two exclusive hotels in the city next spring. Collaboration with artists is one of the directions in which we are going."

Also unique is the choice not to have a sales network. "We want customers to come here, to Treviso and Venice. The visit to our workshop becomes an opportunity to discover our beautiful cities. The dream is to land in the United States. We already have several customers in the USA who appreciate our products, and we would like to open an atelier in order to make our presence even more incisive."