LOMBARDY, Italy—Sergio Luigi Cereda, influential eyewear designer and industry visionary, passed away on April 18, 2024, following a long illness, his family announced yesterday. Cereda was 88 years old and surrounded by family at his home in Castiglione Olona, Lombardy, Italy, when he passed. He is survived by his wife Ivana, daughters Caterina and Stefania and grandchildren Edoardo, Jordan Nicolo’ and Giada Grazia. Born on June 21, 1935, in Lombardy, Cereda’s career in the eyewear industry began at Mazzucchelli 1849 and soon grew.

From his design studio in Varese, he collaborated extensively with numerous eyewear companies and international fashion houses, infusing each project with a unique creativity and professionalism, soon earning him a global reputation as an influential eyewear designer. Family and friends remember his devotion to his family, his role as a mentor to many within the industry, and his professionalism, elegant demeanor, strong will and gracious courtesy.

“It is with profound sadness that we mark the passing of Sergio Luigi Cereda, a true pioneer in the eyewear industry and my dearly beloved friend,” said longtime business partner and friend Harvey Ross, CEO of the Optyx New York and former owner of Viva International. “Sergio’s boundless creativity and dedication to craftsmanship set him apart as a leader whose legacy will undoubtedly inspire generations. Working alongside him was not just an honor; it was a privilege to know him as a friend and as a brother.”

In mourning his passing, family, friends, and colleagues across social media recalled a man who was a “talented, and sweet, kind person,” as well as “a true genius” and “one of a kind,” who lived “with a remarkable spirit of dedication and love of life.” In his honor, the Sergio Cereda Eyewear Design Awards, each in the amount of $10,000, were recently established by Ross to foster new talent in the industry he loved so dearly. These awards, supported by the Ross Family Viva Foundation and in collaboration with The Mido Exhibition and 20/20 magazine, will continue his legacy of excellence and innovation. The awards were first announced at Mido 2024 in February and at Vision Expo East in March.

“My last trip to Italy, this year, I went to see him,” Ross said. “In our last moments together, I told Sergio about the award created in his honor. As sick as he was, Sergio’s mind was sharp and the strong squeeze of his hand in mine spoke volumes. I knew at that moment I had his blessing to continue his legacy through the newly established design awards. I will miss him terribly but his impact on me and his beautiful soul will be eternally in my memory."

Funeral services for Cereda were held yesterday, at the Parochial Church of Beata Vergine del Rosario in Castiglione Olona. For additional information, contact the Cereda family via the Ross Family Viva Foundation Press Office at Marketing@optyx.com or (516) 503-3971.