Designers / Fashion / Industry

Francis de Lara x Gemfields Takes Luxury Eyewear Over-the-Top


As a designer, John-Paul Francis de Lara Pietrus is drawn to contrasts, taking a functional accessory like eyewear and reimagining it through his own lens of history, popular culture, and luxurious materials, including Gemfields emeralds and rubies.

Pietrus is the founder of what he calls the world’s first fine jewelry eyewear house, Francis de Lara. In his latest collaboration with Gemfields, Pietrus interprets the rose-colored glasses trope—which happens to be on trend with fashionistas this season—in high-fashion eyewear that’s intricately crafted with precious gemstones. He says he is delighted with how the combination of his eyewear design and Gemfields’ jewels turned out.

A trio of styles with pink-washed lenses constitutes the newest Francis de Lara x Gemfields collection. Each pair features a Gemfields emerald on the frame that sits elegantly against the cheekbone. The glasses are made from gold-plated aerospace-grade titanium, which is strong, lightweight, and hypoallergenic.

Gemfields Francis de Lara
Francis de Lara x Gemfields sunglasses come in heart-shape, aviator and Pentagon styles, all with rose-colored lenses and an emerald teardrop.

“It’s a delicious color combination…verdant, responsibly sourced emerald tears contrasted by rose-tinted lenses in a gold-plated titanium frame with Florentine jewelry textures,” as Pietrus describes the glasses in an email interview with JCK.

He says he chose eyewear as his medium because it was such a staid, ignored part of fashion and accessories. “For decades, we have usually seen the same eyewear styles and trends, despite clothing fashion changing more evidently,” Pietrus says. “Modern eyewear is dominated by a couple of mega-conglomerates, so I wanted to present an artisanal view on eyewear, which nods to jewelry, particularly to jewelry of the Renaissance.

“I think of my Francis de Lara eyewear pieces as jewelry for the face,” Pietrus says. “Eyewear wasn’t really around during the Renaissance, so I try to I imagine Gossip Girl meets the Medicis or a ‘Lucrezia in Firenze’ precursor to Emily in Paris. There is a strong history behind the elegance and the cool I hope my eyewear embodies.”

Francis de Lara x Gemfields Pentagon

Francis de Lara’s Pentagon glasses ($3,095) are made with gold-plated titanium and a 1.6 ct. Gemfields emerald. 

Florence (Firenze) is a major influence on Pietrus because it’s where he studied jewelry design. While he was attending the international jewelry school Metallo Nobile, he often visited the Tuscan city’s beautiful palazzos and historic museums, such as the Uffizi, and he’d notice the clothing and jewelry portrayed in paintings and statues.

The idea for eyewear that included gemstones came from those moments when Pietrus says he’d wonder: “What kind of sunglasses would [Renaissance royalty or clergy] have worn if they had had them?”

Every Francis de Lara pair is handmade and takes between 250 and 750 hours to create, Pietrus says. His unique approach to eyewear can suit everyone, he says.

“I love seeing a chic woman wearing my eyewear in a tuxedo strutting effortlessly or a man with a rock T-shirt and suit trousers,” Pietrus says. “Really, they fit almost every face, style, and age.”

Top: Francis de Lara recently debuted its latest collaboration with Gemfields: eyewear with rose-colored lens and emeralds. (Photos courtesy of Francis de Lara)

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter


Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine
Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

Log Out

Are you sure you want to log out?

CancelLog out