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Example of a thick titanium rim

            His first job at DITA turned out to have
            unanticipated social benefits: the  company
            was based in Hollywood and their high-end                                           Example of hex screws and rivets
            eyewear was  a  draw for celebrities.  DITA
            staff were invited to parties and got
            backstage passes to some of the biggest
            concerts of the day. Hardly a dull life for a
            guy in his 20’s!
            Jeff Solorio, one of DITA’s founders,
            discovered that Castillo could draw and
            began asking his input on design concepts.
            “One day he asked me if I wanted to try                                                                        PORTRAIT OF A DESIGNER
            designing a frame from scratch and I jumped
            at the opportunity. My first  project was
            coming up with an eyewear line for a clothing                                            / mod. Nightbird /
            company called  BEBE. That sparked my
            desire to design eyewear full time. I am
            grateful that Jeff and the other founders of   Castillo works with his design team of   All DITA frames are finished in
            DITA, John Juniper, and Troy Schmidt, liked   Han Roh and Louis Lee, who hail from   Japan. “The quality from Japan
            my work and my work ethic. They are my   the automotive industry. “I am so lucky   is simply superb and the level of
            brothers and I owe them everything.”  to  have  these  genius  designers  working   detail in our frames demands
                                                                                  this,” notes Castillo. “And we have
            For  Castillo,  inspiration  can  come  from     with me. They come up with unique ideas   our own factory, which allows
            anywhere. “Thankfully, there are no    and I find creative ways to apply them.     us  to  invest  in the  research  and
            boundaries to inspiration. Case in point:   This is vital to staying relevant and    development that keeps us at the
            we were working on a detail for a women’s   forward-thinking in this saturated market.  top of our game.”
            sunglass and wanted a metal rim to hold the   DITA was the first company to use
            lens without using the traditional groove. I   super-wide  titanium  rim  wire  to  draw    Father of three daughters and an
            remembered a board game that my children   attention to the frame’s decorative    infant son, Castillo is no doubt
            play called Connect Four, where you drop   elements. They started using hex screws   making his father and uncles
            these round chips between two vertical walls,   and slotted nuts to mount hinges when     proud as he maintains the family
            and this was the inspiration for construction     other companies were still using    tradition of problem-solving in
            of  the  DITA  NIGHTBIRD.  It  achieved    traditional rivets. “We brought back the   design. In his downtime, Castillo
            out-of-the-box thinking that speaks to how   use of 0-base lenses. Now everyone uses   loves fly fishing and camping with
            we want our frames constructed. Not only   them,” says Castillo. Winning the Silmo   his family. “But my wife, Vivian,
            that, it challenged our manufacturer to come                          is the brains behind our family
            up with a totally new way to apply tension to a   d’Or for best frame at the 2013 edition   life. I’m simply the guy who
            lens. We like to challenge our manufacturers     of the Silmo trade show in Paris was a     designs eyewear. Thankfully, I
            to find new ways to achieve the ordinary.    major milestone and further confirmation    just happen to be really good at
            This is what keeps DITA’s designs original.”  of Castillo’s talent.   what I do.”.            l

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