Max Mara has linked with Technicolor painter Maya Hayuk on an original work that Hayuk has called “Optiprism.” The diptych painting — realized in Hayuk’s signature geometric, layered halogen brights — will be unveiled with an event at Max Mara’s Madison Avenue store in New York on Wednesday. It will later travel to Beijing and Milan.

Hayuk’s Max Mara commission has also been rendered on a limited-edition run of sunglasses. The brand’s fall “GEM” style has been retrofitted with the work and produced in a limited run of 200 by Max Mara eyewear licensee Safilo. Each pair is priced at $320.

Max Mara U.S. retail director Maria Giulia Maramotti, called the resulting eyewear product an “unexpected” design for a house whose laurels primarily rest on a color palette of earthy neutrals.

“We wanted to make something unexpected and playful,” Maramotti said. “It’s not the same price, obviously, as a $5,000 coat. The idea is to attract new clients, not necessarily Max Mara clients, and a younger client.”

Maramotti said that the glasses are meant to evoke the same type of cheerful insouciance as Peggy Guggenheim’s unconventional taste in eyewear.

Hayuk — whose large-scale work made a splash on the New York art scene two years ago when she electrified the Bowery mural wall in neon paint — called the sunglass design “pretty damn cool.”

The glasses concept arose after she had completed the “Optiprism” painting. Said Hayuk: “I was painting it large-scale, not thinking about it being wearable. If I had made it as something created for sunglasses, it wouldn’t look the way that they ended up.”


Maya Hayuk's “Optiprism” painting.

Maya Hayuk’s “Optiprism” painting.  Courtesy Photo

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