Our brand history began in 2011 with the finding of a mysterious box in our company archives. This box was filled with old projects and prototypes.
Ideas of a man we know very little about, far from us. We tried hard to reconstruct his story through the documents we just found. He was a strong, hard-working man, with a great personality and creativity: his name was Mr Hally.
London, late 1940s, a dark period, WWII scars were still visible and impressed upon people’s mind. Mr Hally was working as a craftsman in a small old workshop located in Cleveland Street, an area well-known of English eyewear craftmanship.
In 1959, Mr Hally created a limited edition collection consisting of 5 models: 3 eyeglasses and 2 sunglasses. At the moment of its launch, the collection was not very successful.
Mr Hally did not lose heart, he kept refining his projects with absolute dedication, his previous defeat only boosted his inspiration.
London and its economy was still badly injuried by the atrocities of WWII; Mr Hally, confident and conscious of his own potential, decided to move to Italy with his four-years- old son. In Italy he could have learned new design skills, discovered new materials and a broader (and perhaps different) conception of eyewear. Therefore, he decided to pack up his stuff, “pack light!” He used to tell his son. Just a brown, squared leather suitcase for his cloths, a small handbag full of projects and prototypes and a smaller suitcase for his son’s cloths and wooden toys. It was time to leave Great Britain, it was time to immerse themselves into Italy’s poetry and culture.
A long trip was ahead our two characters, inside carriage number 3 of a typical wooden train, with the classic layout: six seater cabins and aisle on the side. During the long journey, as trees, lakes and mountains pass by the cabin’s window during, Mr. Hally’s mind started to elaborate new ideas. His projects were taking a more definite shape. His will to improve his skills was huge as he wrote:
“I want my glasses to be a mean to see the rich and thrilling world through a craft product, created with experience and expertise”.
The child was silently observing his father taking notes in that creaky train carriage during that long journey.
“Beautiful things are unchangeable, therefore everlasting. My dream is to create timeless eywear whose beuty will shine thourgh generations. I believe that Italian culture could help me through my journey”.
Two days after departure, carriage number 3 stopped at Turin station, the train conductor blowed his whistle and annouced: “Turin… Turin, this is Turin Central Station!” It was a middle-November saturday night; the cold breeze from the Italian Prealpi immediately awoke Mr Hally’s mind. After a short stay in the Piemonte city, the two travelled through Italy, from Milan to Florence, from Rome to Naples and from Venice to Volta Mantovana. The people were very welcoming and hard-working. Many artists, musicians, politicans and intellectuals were living there. Mr Hally found himself at ease and made friends with various craftmen, locksmiths e small industrialists whom helped him in his personal and professional development.
The new Hally & Son collection was almost ready, the desire to realise his “Great Dream” was ever present. His determination and the positive circumstances turned the projects into a real, tangible collection, which was presented in April 1962.
“Like the beauties of the world attract me, my glasses will be considered as absolute beauties one day and therefore, pleasing people”.
The collection instantly had great success, moreover it was widely appreciated by those people who Mr Hally really wanted to please.
“Ther’s a soul in my collections, a soul that finally has been appreciated by those stylish intellectuals. The incredible emotions I have beent experiencing in these years are difficult to describe but they can be easily interpreted… I did it! My dream came true. My creations have been valued”.
The peace of that period allowed Mr Hally to experiment with new shapes and spend some time with his son, teaching him how to appreaciate the hard work, the everyday emotions, the beauty of things and everything he learned in the eyewear world.
Unfortunately we don’t know what happened next, Mr Hally’s notes end here. Some of his latter notes, dated 1973, refer to a no more calm life situation.
“I feel a psychophysical uneasiness that afflicts me and it doesn’t give me the peacefulness to design my glasses.”
Unfortunately, we don’t know where his eyewear and ideas have gone, we only know we had the luck to find, inside a box, some of his prototypes, lots of drawings, notes and one of his personal notebooks that allowed us to revive and tell, here today, a dream’s story born in England and came true in Italy. The details made us curious. A 3-point hinge and a 2-point one and fat last, the rounded button- like temples terminal.
For us, the box founded in the company archives, has a mission, to continue what Mr Hally started. We felt compelled to revive the Hally & Son dream and his incomplete designs. We found numerous projects, some of them of rare beauty. Therefore, we decided to re-interpretate some models, with a more modern and innovative approach.