The Making Of Volterre: In Search of the Perfect Fit

 

Ever seen a dope pair of shades that looked so amazing on display, but made you look like an alien when you tried them on? Same - it's such a shame. That's why we spent a lot of extra time and care in the early stages of prototyping to make sure our frames fit as many faces as possible. None of those ridiculous angles that make you look like you have perms-angry eyebrows.

The very first Volterre prototype began as a 3D print made from a 3D render just to test things out. Surprisingly, we had to break it down into 2D from here and focus on the dimensions of each piece individually rather than the whole. Comparing our drawing dimensions with tried-and-true frames on the market, we averaged the dimensions of different temple lengths, nose bridges, frame width, and more, and used this info to adjust the dimensions of our drawings. 

 The focus groups thought these were a little too crazy on when they tried on the prototype.

The focus groups thought these were a little too crazy on when they tried on the prototype.

 I spy: just 1 little change from the Uluwatu original drawing.

I spy: just 1 little change from the Uluwatu original drawing.

 Less is more - A lot of the decorative details were pared down over the development process.

Less is more - A lot of the decorative details were pared down over the development process.

 Lots of unnecessary measurement-taking here - but it helped to learn the average dimensions and get a better grasp of what fits a variety of sized heads.

Lots of unnecessary measurement-taking here - but it helped to learn the average dimensions and get a better grasp of what fits a variety of sized heads.

After getting the Volterre drawings off of a sketchpad and into AutoCAD, shapes for the front face designs were cut out of acetate from a CNC router and held to faces for approximate fit testing. This is when it became really visible how much a difference a millimeter makes.

 
 An attempt at an innovative temple tip that ended up looking like a turtleneck. Pivoting soon followed.  

An attempt at an innovative temple tip that ended up looking like a turtleneck. Pivoting soon followed.  

 

Finally, full structural prototypes were made - 4 rounds over the course of a year, to be exact (perfectionist? maybe - but we'd do it for you guys), although we happened to get one shape spot on from the beginning - the Uluwatu frame! It fit most guys and girls from the start and hasn't been changed from the original CNC cutout. We also worked out color issues, tried different structural techniques, and changed our temple design over this period. When second-round prototypes were made, focus groups told us which shapes fit them best. From there, we picked our top 3 shapes for our last 2 rounds of color sampling. Most manufacturers only allow for one round of samples, but we sought diligently for someone who would let us see as many custom colors as possible.

 The evolution of prototypes. The triangles were originally planned to be mirrors, but after testing several ways to "install" them, we finally tried acetate and liked it much more.

The evolution of prototypes. The triangles were originally planned to be mirrors, but after testing several ways to "install" them, we finally tried acetate and liked it much more.

 The result? Our first collection! We'd love to show you the runner-up styles someday soon once they're perfected -  and the new ideas we have in store!