Max Mara's "Neoprism" sunglasses designed by creative duo CoopDPS.

Max Mara continues to creatively experiment with contemporary artists.

In its latest collaboration for the brand’s sunglass collection, produced and distributed by Safilo, the Italian fashion label has tapped creative duo CoopDPS to create a new style dubbed MM DPS.

Called Neoprism, the project is part of Max Mara’s ongoing tie-ups with international designers called Prism.

Taking cue from the project’s logo, French painter Nathalie Du Pasquier and English industrial designer George Sowden created a quirky and fun style, which features a square frame with a rounded lower rim. Available in two different color variations, such as black with red temple tips and orange with yellow and red temple tips, the sunglasses were produced in only 500 pieces.

Available from October at Max Mara flagships as well as at the brand’s online shop in addition to select opticians, the sunglasses retails at 300 euros.

Du Pasquier and Sowden first met in 1979 in Milan and have worked together since then on different design projects, for example, participating as founding members in the first Memphis exhibition in the city in 1981. Until the mid-Eighties the creative duo kept working together before splitting to pursue individual projects. In 2014, the two artists reunited establishing the CoopDPS creative studio for their joint design projects.

“When Max Mara contacted us, I think they were interested in this double approach,” noted Du Pasquier. “When we visited Reggio Emilia and met with Mrs. Laura Lusuardi [Max Mara’s fashion coordinator] we discovered that the brand was born at the time of the reconstruction and the boom that followed, in the Fifties. It was a time of hope and it was important for women not only to look pretty but also to start entering a working and active life outside their homes. I liked that kind of classical image as in a way it corresponds to my own taste: quite simple, practical and elegant,” she said.

The couple also pointed to their visit to Safilo’s headquarters in Padova as a source of inspiration for the project. “This was an important and eye-opening day, a perfect stimulation to my curiosity — the variations, the details, the importance of quality,” explained Sowden. “This was our inspiration, the people we met, the ambiance, the story behind the client and their context within the exponential, ever-changing growth within the world of fashion,” he added.

The creative duo also worked on the packaging conceiving a printed metal box and a textile black case, which represent the project’s most “playful aspects,” according to Du Pasquier. “The prism being a combination of a circle and a square is quite a ‘modernist’ idea, which takes us back to the time women started participating to the working life,” she underscored.

The Neoprism collection marks the fourth collaborative effort between Max Mara, Safilo and contemporary artists, following previous iterations called Optiprism, Prism In Motion and most recently Lavaprisms, which was presented in 2018 at Milan Design Week.

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