The fashion world was abuzz in October 2003 when Mario Cipollini was rumored to be parting ways with his longtime sunglass sponsor Briko. Round after round of espresso, macchiato and other assorted bar drinks were ordered in cafйs around Italy as poseurs, onlookers and fashionistas discussed, dialogued, and debated what Mario would wear next. Surely it must be cool – Super-Mario-Worthy – who would frame his million dollar face – Oakley, Adidas, Rudy Project…????
We North Americans can be oh-so provincial in our outlook – with our “if we can’t get it here who needs it” attitude… So if you need to get out and see more of the word, even if it’s just a peak over your neighbors fence – PEZ is here to do our part for your personal growth.
Drum Roll Please…
Enter zerorh+ – the Italian brand of optical wear from ZeroIndustry that has until now had little exposure amongst cyclists in North America, and not much more in Europe. Then sometime in early June, as we watched the Giro coverage, our collective light bulbs started to switch on – we got emails from PEZ-Fans asking about the new mystery glasses on Petacchi and the Fassa B’s.
PEZ was on it.
Unfortunately the trail turned cold as our emails to Fassa went unanswered.
Then… a lead –red hot and smokin’ even… Longtime PEZ-Pal Gianluca Caliari of cycling importer Albabici announced he was bringing the line to the USA! An email, a phone call, and a few days later, pair of both the Cipo and Petacchi shades were on enroute to PEZ-HQ from Canadian distributor Allison.
Without further ado, we present to you, the NEMO and VERTIGO from zerorh+. (Cipo also wears the GOTHA model, which is the same frame style as the NEMO, with different lens options. The NEMO, however, will float.)
Cipo’s fave is the NEMO.
Yes – that’s the name of the brand – they’re Italian 100%, as if you couldn’t already tell from the shapes of these frames. They’ve been around for a few years making active wear glasses for skiing, cycling, yachting and more. You may have seen them on the Swiss/Italian crew of “Alinghi” at the 2003 America’s cup – zerorh+ spent 8 months developing special lightweight, floatable eyewear the salty sea-mates.
A quick look at the website puts into words what we already guessed: “The principal source of inspiration is technical sporting apparel; “The aesthetic touches are inspired by the most sophisticated design found in the glamour of the latest fashions.” Of course they are!
How YOU doin… How you DOIN… HOWyoudoin… Seriously, you can “own” any room wearing these shades.
You want fashion – you’ve come to the right place. In addition to sponsoring Cipo, the company has made “friends” among some Ital-celebs with sexy -sounding names, and certain F1 drivers named Coulthard and Fisichella. You’ll have no trouble mixing and mingling with the glitterati from via Montenapoleone in Milan to via Veneto in Rome – what could be better?
So the fashion creds are undeniable, but what about something for the odd techno-weenie out there – and I know there’s a couple of ya – are these glasses made well – do they perform?
And Petacchi likes the VERTIGO.
The frame design features a shape called their “perfect circle” – the shape of the arms and bridge are curved to create a circular frame that grips your head without squeezing it in any one place.
See that perfect circle – designed to fit your perfect head.
The back of the arms and the nose bridge are made of a grippy rubber compound that is supposed to get stickier when you sweat. They stayed on fine for me, I never had trouble with then slipping or adjusting unexpectedly.
The rubber nose piece is channeled with a bunch of raised dots that allow sweat to escape while leaving the glasses in place on your nose.
The nosepiece itself is wider than other glasses I’ve tried, but a narrower fit would work better with my shnoz. This resulted in the glasses sitting closer to my brow than I prefer. They do make adjustable nosepieces on other models, and I’m told are considering this for future models.
There’s a gap between the lens top and the frame that channels air flow and keeps ‘em from fogging up.
The frames are made of a space-age material called Grilamid Titanium – which is basically plastic with titanium chips in it that make it strong and light.
They’re available with a variety of lens choices that suit for different light conditions, but you gotta buy the lenses separately. You can get a lens called See
They’re not widely available yet over here, but put some pressure on your local shop to get you some, cuz you can bet they’ll be hot sellers. Pricing is not on the cheap side, ranging from $195-240US (Vertigo) and $200 (Nemo) per pair, but can you really put a price on looking good?
See The Zerorh+ Website: Zerorh.com
- USA: Contact Albabici (805) 385-3179
- Canada: Contact Allison Canada (416) 631-0600