In 1917 photographer and owner of Berry Opticians, Giuseppe Ratti, started making technically advanced glasses specifically designed to satisfy the demands of pilots and sports drivers. Because of the nature of these specific jobs, it’s extremely important to have eyewear that is comfortable, protecting and allows for optimum vision.
After creating Protector glasses that became a favorite among the Armed Forces and by pilots in the Italian Military Aviation as well as several air forces around the world, including the United States. In the 1920s, designer Eugenio Colmo designed advertising campaigns for Ratti’s products for 50 years, including the Persol line. In 1924, Protector gained the first of 14 international patents. They were also adopted by the Swiss Military Department in 1927.
The Protector model were revolutionary sunglasses that led to the creation of the trademark Persol. The name Persol is derived from “per il sole” meaning for the sun, which highlights their function of protection against the sun’s rays. The key attributes of these sunglasses are the neat design, crystal lenses, the Silver Arrow and the Meflecto patent.
In the 1960s, Persol was a source of true pride for the Italian industry. The 1961 legendary movie Divorce Italian Style made Persol sunglasses the item to have when worn by actor Marcello Mastroianni. Holding over 35 international patents, Persol quickly climbed to the top of the world’s eyewear industry. In 1962, Persol conquered the United States market, although they had previously been supplying NASA with the “four lens” model.
1991 marks the year of the first Persol boutique opened in Los Angeles on prestigious Rodeo Drive in Beverley Hills. As of 1994, Persol was available in 40 countries worldwide and sold in 3,500 points of sale in Italy and over 12,000 in the rest of the world. Persol sunglasses can be seen in advertising campaigns of prominent fashion brands.