I came across SoYa sunglasses in a small shop in Venice in 2017 where I fell in love with the “Alma,” a SoYa marbleized frame that was surprisingly lightweight and comfortable. I started to research and follow the work of SoYa founder, Matteo Pontello and was determined for SoYa to be part of the Lesetta collection when it launched later that year.
The following Summer, I returned to Italy with my husband and we ventured to the Veneto town of Treviso to meet Matteo. At his studio, Matteo showed me all of his lovely styles, explained his design process and introduced me to his sister, Irene, who helps run his business. He took me through his rich history in the eyewear industry which gave him access to the highest quality materials and best producers in Italy.
Prior to SoYa, he helped launch ventures into sunglasses for both Kering Eyewear and Thèlios. He designed and grew lines for Marcolin and Safilo and also helped relaunch Cèline, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Kenzo, and Lowe eyewear. In 2015 he realized his dream of founding his own brand and SoYa Eyewear was born. SoYa is a summary of all of Matteo’s experience as a designer, culminating in an innovative and cutting-edge line.
Following the meeting, we ventured to dinner at a local fish restaurant, where we sat outside and discussed our shared values of small production and high quality accessories. There were three delicious courses, special bottles of wine and even a local elixir from “under the counter” courtesy of the owner. I left Treviso with a partnership and Lesetta was to be the first American E-Commerce boutique to sell SoYa in the US.
SoYa’s styles range from fashion forward to classic (with a little edge), and they are not only striking, but also sturdy. The unique use of the triangle and tapered end-tip are signatures of the brand. His striking color palette includes light and dark tortoise shell, marbleized acetate and matte black along with Rose Gold and Silver metal pairs that have garnered amazing attention.
Matteo’s understanding and appreciation of luxury is what made me set out in the first place, determined to include SoYa in the Lesetta founding collection. He is dedicated to the art of producing quality frames while always letting his bold sense of style shine bright in each perfect pair he makes. From that first pair of sunnies that I bought back before I knew anything about Matteo’s story (which still look amazingly new), right up through our regular email exchanges in which he writes in English and I reply in Italian to work on our skills, there is and will always be something quite daring and special about Matteo Pontello and his SoYa Eyewear.