It was a very different Italy in the 1960s, although something has remained the same. Even then there was an area famous for its eyewear and the care with which it was produced. Agordo is its name ad this is where, in 1971, Maria Pramaor opened up her very own frame-making workshop, after nine years as an employee in the industry. This was the first chapter of an exciting story, a tale of passion, skills and deep commitment. Because if you haven’t always had certain values, you will never have them.
In the 1980s the majority of frames were made of ordinary metal and acetate, and almost no one had thought of making titanium frames. In 1991 Maria Pramaor and her husband Primo Del Din, started working with titanium, to create something different from their competitors. They sent their technical experts off to Japan, set up a small department just for this material and began accumulating that know-how that is still the hallmark of every Blackfin titanium frame.
Our commitment and desire to learn have not changed since those early days. We still lavish the same care on our frames and we also care deeply about the place in which we make them. We were born in Agordo and we are still here today. We have made changes to our premises to give us more space and make our workers more comfortable but our Pramaor base is still where Blackfin frames are created. Our history and our affection for one another binds us together and it will carry us forward into the future.
We are lucky to live and work in a delightful, almost magical place. Mountain lakes, centuries-old woodland, Alpine streams, towering over us the glorious Dolomites, a mountain landscape in its purest form. We couldn’t stop at just gazing at these wonders of nature, rather we let them be our inspiration, making sure all the eyewear we produce embodies these wonders. It would be utterly pointless to live in such a magnificent place and then betray it by making something mediocre.
We are Italian and everything we create is conceived and produced in Italy. Even that’s not enough for us. A Blackfin model is unique because of how it is made, each one the fruit of the technical expertise and the creative vocation of generations of men and women dedicated to producing a work of art. People we are still meeting and whom we can thank with all our heart for everything they do but, above all, for the wonderful way they do it.
We have been working with this amazing metal for decades, making it difficult, if not downright impossible to find anyone who does it better than us or who simply knows it better than we do. This is why we go all the way to Japan to buy the best batches of raw titanium from certified producers, guaranteeing us the purest and most perfect raw material. It is this conscious choice that, better than anything else, demonstrates our desire to create top quality eyewear without letting ourselves be restrained by limits, obstacles or distance.
If you want to create a superb product there are no shortcuts, there is only one road to take. A Blackfin model starts life as a concept, which then becomes a sketch, eventually being transformed into a prototype. On the way there are technical tests, colour-matching experiments and endless adjustments until we arrive at an object that is both technically and aesthetically superb. We only stop when the result of this long journey lives up to the original idea, and we feel our efforts have been rewarded.
«You can’t think about architecture without thinking about people». These words of the architect Richard Rogers were our starting point for the design of our building. We believe there must be a certain emotional chemistry between the working environment and what we are creating. It may be almost imperceptible but to make it happen we need an environment that opens up to the natural world in an intimate, peaceful way. Our premises reflect who we are, a blend of that which is contemporary and international and a strong bond with our territory.
Blackfin is a product of all the people who are part of it, because it is they who have been keeping the dream alive for over forty years. They are the designers, the factory workers, the clerical staff, the technical experts and the people who keep our place clean every day. Without these people, with their artistic talents, unrivalled technical expertise and their willingness to roll up their sleeves, we would never have become what we are today. This is why we will never leave Italy, because it would be betraying them as well as our nation.