On The Road

Going on Safari with a Luxury Accessories Designer

He slept in a literal tower and had breakfast with giraffes.

By: Laurel Pantin

You’d be forgiven for not having heard of L.G.R. The ultra high-end Italian eyewear brand is decidedly niche. The brand is helmed by Italian-born Luca Gnecchi Ruscone, who was originally inspired to launch it by a trip to Eritrea. Lucky for us, he continues to visit Eritrea and Kenya all the time.

Last month, Gnecchi Ruscone launched his second edition of the L.G.R X AMREF Flying Doctors collection, a collaboration to help support charity evacuations in Kenya. To kick it off, he sent us his photo diary from Hippo Point, a private wildlife conservancy in Kenya.

Click through for a mini virtual safari and to hear what it’s like to sleep at the top of a 120-foot tower, where wild animals roam free.


“I’m always inspired by the practical side of things. I’m motivated by how the pieces will be used and travel; exploration and adventure are my inspirational pillars. This could be a safari in the Savannah as well as an urban one, an afternoon spent reading books at the Muthaiga Club in Nairobi or passing the time under an Acacia tree. These visions of faraway places, of adventure, are then translated into the designs. My goal is to create objects that make our wearers escape their everyday reality.”

“Hippo Point is an exclusive private wildlife conservancy on Lake Naivasha. I come here at least twice a year to visit my father, who lives here, and take some down time. With over 350 species of birds and over 1,200 resident animals roaming the grounds, it never ceases to amaze me.”

“The 120-foot tower where we sleep has breathtaking views over Lake Naivasha and is the perfect place to watch hippos, giraffes, and zebras roaming freely. Sometimes you hear shouting monkeys, which means a predator is approaching, so I rush out into the balcony to see what it is.”

“We have breakfast by the lake surrounded by wildlife, listening to the birds. It’s quite spectacular. Quite often, a giraffe will be having his breakfast just a few meters away from you.”

“I love staying at the 1932 Manor House; it feels like it’s frozen in time. I spend a lot of time reading in the study. I’m a big fan of biographies. There are books everywhere, so you never run of out reading.”

“We take the Land Rover out for a drive around the grounds. I always take my L.G.R safari bag, along with binoculars, sunglasses, diary and Nikon FM2 analog camera. This harsh environment and desert tones are the pillars of my inspiration; my lenses must be able to hold up to this climate.”

“The colors and attention to detail here always fascinate me. The way the table is set and the decorations, to the matching flowers and sorbet. The sorbet is made from local seasonal fruit.”

“Photography is a passion of mine, and I love photographing my friends and family in spontaneous moments. Hippo Point is the perfect place for me to practice and get lost with my camera. I always come back with hundreds of images to sort through; some I keep for myself, and many we use for L.G.R.”

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On The Road