Walk us through the start of the company. What made you want to make performance glasses?
Alba Optics is a duo, composed by two enthusiastic cyclists, Luca Gentile and Piergiorgio Catalano, friends of a lifetime and both involved professionally in design and communication. After spending a lot of years working as consultants for other Companies, we thought: why not using our skills to create our own project? This is a question that a lot of people from our generation ask themselves, the dream of becoming self-employed and starting our very own business. We very quickly put words into action and the choice of the sunglasses is not random.
Related to that, what do you think Alba brings to the market that was missing?
Alba brings into the market a high quality product, totally made in Italy and a product that is at the same time good looking and functional. On the market there are big brands with a long history that we have always admired and worn, therefore we sometimes feel like David and Goliath. On the other hand we don’t want to stand in the way of anyone, playing dirty. People who wear our sunglasses, very often also own and use other famous brands too and that’s ok, sunglasses are accessories we choose to wear according to our mood.
Does the name Alba mean anything?
Alba means sunrise, we liked the idea of having a short name, easy to remember. Alba means new life. Gone is the time when athletes used to wake up and begin working hard to achieve a goal. Alba is a natural phenomenon that leads the way, the light after dark.
The style of the Delta is iconic, will you be continuing this classic theme?
At the moment we think so, even if we are working on other models currently being tested, we like the idea of creating classical shapes and models with new and state of the art materials. Our collection is always mainly aimed at athletes therefore it is very important to maintain a very high level of performance.
Are you working on creating other models?
Yes, two new models are going to be launched in 2018 and we can’t wait to see all our followers wearing them.
Where are the glasses and lenses manufactured?
All is made in Italy. The production is based in North of Italy, a stone’s throw from our Milan office. We have a lot of suppliers that support us in order to always achieve and maintain the same high quality product.
How did you get involved sponsoring a team for Red Hook?
It is usually the team asking us to sponsor them, then if we think that they share our philosophy and if we feel we like them, we’ll accept the sponsorship. We are trying to have a good contingent of team types. At the moment we are with the Australian girls from Sidney Uni, the fixed team NVYRK and the pro team Gazprom-Rusvelo.
You have seemingly come out of nowhere and people really relate and love the product. What are the next steps for Alba?
To reach as many cyclists as possible to make them wear our sunglasses.
What would your perfect day on the bike be?
It would be a bike ride with the same old group of friends leaving early in the morning and coming back at night.
More than competition we prefer to relax and enjoy the ride.
Top 3 cyclists of all time?
I’ll tell you three Italians of three different generations: Fausto Coppi, Felice Gimondi, Marco Pantani.
You may be riding it now, you might not, but what is your dream bike?
We like going fast on flat roads and riding hills without wearing us off, therefore at the moment our dream bike is a Titici full black with Dur-Ace groupset and Enve wheels, medium profile. Confortable, fast, excellent finish quality, made in Italy frame.