This matchup is perfect. In fact, we’d have bet the world that Ferrari and Oakley had been in a partnership forever. But, it turns out, Oakley is a new stable mate in the efforts of Ferrari as a Formula One racing team.
The word “scuderia” means stable in Italian, and it has long been part of the name of the Ferrari Grand Prix team in denoting everything from its drivers to the cars to the designers and the auxiliary sponsorship support needed to field the most famous Formula One team in existence.
And Oakley is the newest Scuderia member as it debuts the Scuderia Ferrari Carbon Blade, likely the jewel in the crown of the new Oakley Scuderia Ferrari collection. This new special edition is the first product created to celebrate the alliance between these two leaders of innovation.
As worn by Scuderia Ferrari Kimi Räikkönen, the collection was launched at an immersive event in central Barcelona that brought together the expert engineering minds from Oakley and Scuderia Ferrari.
Oakley design engineers Ryan Calilung and Ryan Saylor joined Scuderia Ferrari’s Alessandra Cenicola, the engineer responsible for the production of the front and rear wing of the new F1 racing car in making the introduction of this team effort. Oakley’s “mad scientists” incorporated design and mechanical cues from motorsport and automotive engineering, from chassis shape and clean lines inspiring frame design to the correlation of F1 suspension mechanics and Oakley hinge mechanisms.
“The biggest inspiration behind the Scuderia Ferrari Carbon Blade can be seen in the materials used to create it,” notes Calilung. “Carbon fiber is central to the engineering process at Scuderia Ferrari, and we wanted to reflect that passion for excellence and cutting-edge innovation. Carbon fiber has been used before in eyewear, but never in this way. Rather than shaping pieces from flat rigid plates, we molded the carbon layers into a flexible frame structure.”
Ferrari Brand CEO Andrea Perrone says: “When we sign an agreement with a new partner, we look for leaders in their industry who share our vision and values. Innovation, passion and commitment to results underpin everything Scuderia Ferrari does. Oakley represents all those things in the eyewear field and is a company that makes innovation a driver for its success.”
The limited edition Carbon Blade is the “grand prix” of the Scuderia Ferrari collection. Each style carries color highlights in Scuderia Ferrari red and is laser-etched with the Scuderia Ferrari emblem in the corner of the lens.
Although facing some giant challenges in this 2014 GP season, the team’s racers, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Räikkönen, Pedro de la Rosa and Marc Gené, will carry the Oakley logo on their F1 helmets throughout 2014 and wear the Oakley Scuderia Ferrari eyewear on and off the track. And that “O” logo is always a winner.
—James J. Spina