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Come può l’arte promuovere la sostenibilità? Occhiali da ritratto

Art is not only the essence of the fashion industry but also the cornerstone of sustainability when it comes to tackling problems with creative solutions.

I grew up with art on my path and when I discovered Portrait Eyewear, I got astonished by the concept: sustainable glasses with unique designs inspired and created by artists.

Today we interview Valentina Hernandez, Co-Founder & CEO of Portrait Eyewear.

Portrait Eyewear

Portrait Eyewear are entirely handmade in Italy by genuine local craftsmen and are art-inpsired.

Where this name comes from?

That’s a good question because there’s surely a relation between the name and the idea itself. My brother Gabriel was an eyewear collector, he used to buy vintage and handmade glasses: that’s how the passion started. It was the moment for emerging brands, and we were both at a turning point in our designer careers, we felt it was the right time to do something on our own.

Gabriel is also a photographer and this influenced the choice of the brand’s name. Eyewear is of paramount importance, it is what “frames” your face. Therefore, it is the most significant accessory of our self “portrait”. That’s where the name comes from!”

portrait eywear_sustianble sunglasses
Gabriel and Valentina Hernandez

Portrait eyewear leverages on the art of Italian craftsmanship.

At the time of the foundation of the company I was living in the North of Italy, in Valdobbiadene.
Probably you know this district because of the Prosecco Wine, one the best in class Italian products but this is also where the best eyewear in the world are manufactured.

Destiny definitely played a role in choosing local artisanal production, but the truth is that I don’t see how it could have been different! When you strive for beauty, quality, and honest product “value”, the option of a sustainable supply chain is a natural outgrowth.

What are the sustainable pillars of Portrait Eyewear?

What sense would it have to undertake a new business if not to impact the world positively? This is our main purpose and to us there is no innovation without sustainability. So, for this reason assuring a sustainable and fair-trade supply chain is the key sustainable pillar.

The sustainable policies in Portrait rely on:

  1. LOCAL SUPPLIERS: manufactures with historical knowledge that otherwise would risk disappearing in time
  2. FAIR WAGES: people work with dignity and in happy environments (because you can choose!)
  3. RENEWABLE SOURCES: factories selected to have an approach to energy efficiency and recycle
  4. SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS: long-lasting materials that are meant to be collected is not discarded (in a vision of fewer but better). Like acetate, a resin that comes from cotton and is meant to last for generations
  5. SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING: it is made of FSC recycled cardboard and without the use of glue, it won the German Design Award

We naturally prefer quality over quantity, long-lasting over flash-fashion. The world is packed with products, many of which are neither beautiful nor of good quality. Why would you put something out there if not to reverse this over-consumption trend?

How Portrait Eyewear merges sustainability with art?

Other than sustainability, we believe in Social Responsibility.
All our narrative, the communication platform, and the art-soul of our brand enhance social inclusion and, like you said, the promotion of emerging artists as real models of society.

When brands “portray” people in their campaigns, they refer to them as “models”.

For us, a model is someone who’s able to “shape” and influence people’s vision. That’s what you find, in our opinion, in the archetype of the artist.


Free spirits who are ready to make sacrifices to stand for their beliefs. To experiment and innovate against general validation: that’s the type of awareness the world needs, and that’s the message we want to spread.

In general, we like to think of Portrait Eyewear as the art-inspired eyewear brand of the market.

That because the art component isn’t only embedded in the communication narrative, but also in the product itself, where shapes and colors are inspired by contemporary art movements. Not to mention, the naming of the collections is a means to pay tribute to art
figures of the past who are worth learning about.

Elena Xausa is an Italian artist who focuses on strong concepts with a POP look. Why her?

Elena Xausa is an Italian illustrator born in Verona in 1984 who travelled the world and worked in many different countries from Berlin to New York.

Her artwork has a POP look but focuses on the synthesis of strong concepts, addressing a controversial and profound meaning.

The current changes in habits due to technology, the new forms of “normality”, and the evolution of human society expressed without prejudice, but with an acute sense of observation, are some of the concepts represented.

Her collaborations include drawing for The New Yorker, known for its illustrations over the decades, as well as The New York Times, New York Mag, Reader’s Digest, and NBC, among many other international magazines –not to mention her work for top clients such as Apple, Nike SB, Adidas, and Yoox.

Once we knew she was back in town and also on the occasion of our new campaign, we contacted her. This year the campaign has been launched under the slogan “COME. HAVE A SEE” which invites the audience to go through the artist’s eyes. To look beyond their own reflection, up to their intimate world. Welcoming permission to “see” instead of to “seat”, inside. “

What would you like the gen Z to embrace for the future?

With our motto, “Come. Have a see”, we welcome people to the world of sustainability, where artists from all over the world are designing a better future through artworks in fashion, food, automotive, technology, design and many other sectors.

We invite you to take up the brush and draft your creative solution, drawing inspiration from the harmony of nature that surrounds us, full of colors, shapes and sounds, where nothing is created and nothing is destroyed.

You are the author of your life, paint your future!

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