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Eyewear in context | Safilo
Safilo's founder, Guglielmo Tabacchi, was born in 1900 in Solvay, New York. His family returned to Italy in 1910 to start a business in Cadore after a successful period in the US. He inherited his father Vittorio's determination and mechanical abilities and was given a job as a fitter at the age of 18. After the First World War, Guglielmo Tabacchi went to Poland, where he set up an ice cream business with a group of friends. At 34, he returned from Poland and set himself up in the eyewear business in Italy, a sector that at this stage, in the mid-1930s, was led by 17 factories in the Belluno district, making up 88% of national production.).
The Safilo name dates back to 1934, when Guglielmo Tabacchi bought Italy's first industrial complex producing lenses and frames, which had been founded in 1878 at Pieve di Cadore, giving the new company the name Safilo. In a period of autarchy and stagnating international trade, Safilo managed to safeguard sales and thus protect employment in an area of high emigration risk. Exports grew to many European countries, North Africa, the Middle East and South America.