Handmade eyewear chains add an extra enhancement to specialist frames, and new labels are popping up with innovative ideas balancing practicality and eye-catching design. VON-IKKE eyewear cords are handmade in Mainz, Germany by Elisa Biscotti and Mario von Wantoch-Rekowski. Discreet quality details such as nickel-free eyelets and loops coordinate with the colours of the cords, and all the designs are made in Germany in their entirety.
Colours include bold brights such as orange, violet or coral, and multicoloured versions of which our favourites are the two-tone blue with multicoloured patterning entwined in the cord.
Having caught on quickly with opticians in Germany in the year since they created the start-up, the label is also producing a new Hangar necklace, which acts both as a frame chain and elegant piece of wearable art. Stockists include Vogel Optik in St Moritz (www.vogel-optik.ch) and Coblens Augenoptik (www.coblens-augenoptik.de) and For more information about VON-IKKE chains and their unique Hangar necklace, visit http://vonikke.de/CN – Photography by Elisa Biscotti – www.elisabiscotti.de
Eyewear fashion and flair await visitors at 100% Optical on February 4-6 at Excel in London. The spacious venue is an ideal setting for premier eyewear brands to showcase their latest collections. The impressive line up of quality, visionary-thinking eyewear companies includes Götti Switzerland who will present their Ultrasmart and Minimalist concept. The new campaign was photographed in the National Museum Zurich, an architectural landmark built in 1889. The designs are worn by five different protagonists who love entities that are simple – yet beautiful. The frames designed by Sven Götti express an eyewear landmark as well; with designs that are beautifully constructed; extremely lightweight, plus they exude aesthetic value and technical perfection. Julie Richoz, porcelain and glass designer, wears ADAN (above) elegantly streamlined in pure Titanium. www.gotti.ch
The iconic round frame enjoys a chic revival, and Luca Gnecchi Ruscone creates a modern interpretation with George – the ultimate round frame. L.G.R designs are entirely handcrafted by artisans in Italy. George is sleekly silhouetted in cellulose acetate, and available in black matt with grey lenses (above), and three different shades of Havana Tortoiseshell. Explore more superb L.G.R eyewear creations at www.lgrworld.com
Beautiful colourations are a hallmark of Kirk and Kirk designs from England. The acrylic frames – totally handmade in France – are radiantly luminous, and include Carey (above) shown in Emerald. With a strong signature shape, Carey is also available in gorgeous tones of Ocean, Aqua, Coral and Sunset, among others. Discover more about Jason and Karen Kirk’s unique designs and fabulous colours at www.kirkandkirk.com
Blackfin has launched a beautiful new frame for women – Doran – with clean-cut square lines. The ample contour features a subtle cat-eye, and Blackfin’s patented Swordfish temple tips. A three-dimensional finish brings additional flourish to the design. Excellence is assured with the frames crafted in Italy by master craftsmen, seasoned with passion and an enriched heritage. www.blackfin.euJG
The optical fairs are about to get underway, and Eyestylist looks forward to exploring some of the leading European events highlighting independent brands and expertise in artisan collections. Denmark’s Copenhagen Specs, on 4th/5th March 2017, will take place at Lokomotivvaerkstedet just outside the city centre in a warm, welcoming venue with a relaxed atmosphere. A growing number of independent labels from across Europe attend including Danish brands LINDBERG, Falvin, Orgreen Optics, Fleye and Monoqool as well as specialists from further afield. Newcomers this year include Plein Les Mirettes (France), Kaleos (Barcelona) and Yuniku 3D tailored eyewear, by HOYA – produced in collaboration with Materialise and Hoet Design Studio. (www.yuniku.com).
Copenhagen Specs’ Founder/CEO Morten Gammelmark says: “We have expanded the exhibiting area a little so we can show more brands to our visitors. Look forward to a fantastic selection of established and emerging names.”
Newcomers at the Copenhagen event include Retrosuperfuture, the Italian label and their exotic new model Esther, characterised by an oversized round frame with an all-lens construction. www.retrosuperfuture.com
Returning to the show are some notable European artisan collections: Lucas de Stael (www.lucasdestael.com) handcrafted products combining stainless steel with wood, leather and stone, and young sustainable designer brand from Norway, Karmoie, by Kirsten and Lars Iversen who specialise in minimally styled acetate classics. (www.karmoie.com)
For the first time, Copenhagen Specs have created a guided sightseeing tour for visitors to the fair offering a mix of exclusive visits to leading optical shops and cultural sights in the Danish capital. More information about theCopenhagen Specs 2017 (trade visitors only) and brands attending is available at www.copenhagenspecs.dkCN
Fairground Messe München 28th-30th January is the destination for OPTI-Munich (www.opti.de) where global eyewear brands will be showing their latest collections. Optical and sunglass designs with immense variety, stylish flair and quality craftsmanship ensure an adventurous and fulfilling event for attendees.
Among the acclaimed labels participating is SALT. Optics with their stunning new frames that include Anela (above). The pure, minimalistic lines of the frame blend slim acetate with ultra light beta titanium, in a feminine, fluid silhouette. Ocean inspiration provides the gorgeous colour. www.saltoptics.com
Azalea by Oliviero Zanon is from The Flowers collection, elegantly connected to Nature. The subtle retro shape is accented with vintage acetate trims in various colours. Featured above is Azalea in red with marbled accents, and pink with black and white trim. Discover more at www.resrei.com
Danish brand FLEYE will unveil their latest cutting edge sunglasses in Munich. Elson (above) takes centre stage with its architectural form and sharp-edged nose bridge. The distinctive design is crafted in beta-titainium – shown in sleek semi-matt gold. www.fleye.dk
A subtle, lithe butterfly shape gracefully spreads its wings at the first ray of light in Sunbeam by Orgreen. The contemporary shape is sophisticated and feminine, with flattering wide-open lenses – ready to flutter! Explore more beautiful Orgreen designs at www.orgreenoptics.com
JF Rey celebrates thirty years of the designer brand with a reinterpretation of a frame from the 1980’s. Tracks 0065 is a unisex design characterised by its original shape, vintage style and unbridled spirit of the period. The unique frame is worked with striking modernity in new materials, modern technologies, plus chic flat lenses. Tracks – impeccably stylish! www.jfrey.frJG
Exhilaration! Freedom! Mountain magic! The ski season is a delightful moment to embrace the great outdoors, and enjoy the pleasure of winter sports – from skiing to snowboarding. For comfort and safety, select snow goggles that provide high quality eye protection – as well as super style.
Choices abound with dashing goggle designs that perform brilliantly in a variety of conditions. Bollé has a winner with Y6 (action shot top; close up above) that features photochromic Modulator lenses. For prescription glass wearers, Bollé has a special adaptor insert for their range of goggles. www.bolle.com
Glow in the snow with Götti Switzerland’s colourful goggle. Characteristics of the sleek goggles include an anti-fog system, superb ventilation, plus they are light, durable and comfortable. Crafted from polycarbonate, the goggles feature mirrored lenses in great colours – orange flash (above) and blue flash with a black band. www.gotti.ch
Orgreen’s Tamok goggles – named after Norway’s Tamok Valley, an adventure lover’s paradise near the Artic Circle – fuse functionality with minimalism. Technical advantages include construction in Thermoplastic Polyurethane, and lenses with 100% UV protection. Chic for après-ski too! www.orgreen optics.com
adidas Sport Eyewear have released new ski goggles with cutting edge design, and top notch technology. Progressor S is equipped with a larger spherical double-lens that offers enhanced peripheral vision. Fabulous colours too, that include yellow (above), plus Progressor Blue and Pink, and Backland Silver. More info at www.adidas.comJG
Barcelona is a centre of modern creativity, with a contemporary art, food, design and music scene that has become internationally renowned for its imaginative and consistently avant-garde direction. The appearance of a new young eyewear brand coming into the market at a high level of quality and innovation is therefore unsurprising, but nonetheless makes for an exciting entry given the level of research and design precision interwoven in a product that is functional, light, and technically precise. Startup Lool Eyewear is located in a warehouse studio just behind MACBA and the large open space which hums with skateboarders. Following a single trade fair (Silmo 2016), the label, created by talented product designer Aris Rubio and entrepreneur Alex Carrasco, is already looking at increasing the size of its workshop to accommodate fast-paced international demand since the Paris show. The frames have seen immediate popularity in Barcelona, stocked by leading optical retailers such as Les Lunettes, Bassol and DM Optics.
“Lool is a multidisciplinary studio”, Alex told Eyestylist when we visited the label earlier this month. “We manufacture in series from metal sheets of steel (11R51). They are worked by hand, one by one in a precise technical process, combining the industrial and manual, man and machine.”
Influenced by retrofuturism in the context of disciplines such as architecture and urbanism, Lool has already launched three specific sheet metal stainless steel collections, and a patented screwless hinge – The Hub – which features across their ranges and offers maximum durability and easy assembly. The frames themselves are built with an architectural precision where, for example, material is removed on the inside of the frame, reducing weight and changing the look and general feel when worn. Rubio’s methodology is to study the points of tension around the front of the frame and take away what is not required from the inside, creating excellent lightness and flexibility in the metal material.
Lool’s three impressive collections – Tectonic, Stereotomic and The Grid, offer a strong starting point for a young team and their position in central Barcelona, where other likeminded designers are working in innovative collaborations, is likely to inspire further success as innovators of the future. Lool Eyewear will show at Opti Munich in January 2017. More information at www.looleyewear.com CN
‘Tis is the season to celebrate; be with loved ones and good friends; and delight in fun-filled festivities. It’s also the perfect time to enhance your holiday fashions with glamorous frames that sparkle and glow. Allow your radiance to shine in LINDBERG’s style 2239 (top image) from the Precious Collection. Eighteen carat rose gold and yellow gold feature in this contemporary form with artisan handcrafting. www.lindberg.com
Unforgettable brilliance heralds Anna-Karin Karlsson’s gleaming design – Lil’ Tears of the Moon. The acetate frame flourishes with pearls and rhinestones – created to make a merry and memorable entrance! www.annakarinkarlsson.com
Birgitte Falvin’s creative skills as a jewellery designer are now embellishing distinctive eyewear. The elegant Subsolar features titanium customised with a smooth surface of matte aubergine and shiny rose gold. The luxurious diamond setting beautifully highlights the delicate cat-eye silhouette of the design. Discover more about the Danish brand at www.falvin.dk
Amarilla by Vera Wang is the ideal accessory for après ski on sunny chalet terraces, or on the sun-drenched sands of the Caribbean. Vera’s latest capsule fashion collection is the inspiration for these sleek sunglasses in luminous acetate, accented with Swarovski crystals at the hinge, and along the top of the temple. www.kenmarkoptical.comJG
The Eyestylist team extends warmest wishes for a Happy and Festive Holiday Season to all our readers and sponsors!
Establishing a foundation of healthy eye care early in life is rewarding – and beneficial – for both parents and their children. With fun and appealing frame designs for babies through to teenagers, prescription glasses offer children better eyesight, plus safety and creative designs – making it awe-inspiring to wear them. Design, comfort and quality unite in the stylish designs by JF Rey. Gabriel (above) is an eye-catching acetate frame with graphic elements abundant in shape, design and colouration. Discover more at www.jfrey.fr for info on the inventive new Kids & Teens collection.
Active youngsters require frames that are sturdy and durable, as well as distinguishing fashion characteristics. All elements are incorporated in the charming Red Kids Eyewear collection. Crafted in The Netherlands, the frames include replaceable flex systems to meet any over-enthusiastic childhood antics. Ghent in quality acetate is a sleek, uncluttered design appealing to young fashionistas. www.redoptical.com
Children will love this beautiful frame from LINDBERG with its grown up look superbly scaled for little faces. Marc features a tortoiseshell front and titanium sides, and distinctive detailing captures the essence of LINDBERG quality and style. www.lindberg.com
New silhouettes highlight Zoobug’s Acetate Fashion Collection and include this smart style ZB1003. The colourations are lovely – Tortoise and Lilac (above) plus radiant bright tones of orange and blue, and a gradient purple. An OBE Flex-Uno hinge ensures comfort and fine fit. www.zoobug.com
Just like adults – kids appreciate the Retro look, and Tobogan by Lafont is a cool little shape for children aged 4-7. The round shape, temple details, and circular end tips further enhance the classic, vintage look. www.lafont.comJG
An imaginative spectrum of colour invigorates eyewear designs with savvy, eye-opening results. Whether solid colours, bi-or tri-colourations, plus fun variations, ravishing colour in frame designs can become a wondrous, bold adventure. Vividly bright or elegantly muted, frame colours offer intriguing options. Oliviero Zanon’s collection for Res/Rei includes the striking Amalfi (above) in superb hues of Mazzucchelli acetate with a seductive retro shape. www.resrei.com
Vibrant colour highlights Showoff by WOOW – an oversized frame with a chic double bridge, and streamlined composition. www.wooweyewear.com
Victor by Kirk & Kirk is an engaging mix of dark forest green on a lighter lime base which results in a glorious shade of Emerald. The tones react differently in changing light, and give the illusion of dancing colours. www.kirkandkirk.com
The colour excitement extends to eyewear accessories too. Italian craftsmanship excels in Pollipo’s clutch case – Ronette – in an exclusive patchwork of gold and rose gold in a crocodile pattern on natural Tuscan leather. www.pollipocchiali.it
More extreme proportions lend a dynamic look to eyewear for women as 2017 approaches. The rise of the oversized metal aviator as a “statement” has boosted this direction, and style influencers are continuing to sport the design as the ultimate fashion accessory, whether they require prescription lenses or not. New quality aviator shapes are a staple at many of the small and medium sized independent eyewear labels specialising in metal. One such example, the German independent label Coblens, produces distinctive aviator designs in high grade titanium: pictured above, model 30066 from their Luna Park line. www.coblens.com
In the acetate collections too, a broad offering of more substantial shapes include deeper, generous sized cat eyes and cool retro “geek-chic-revival” designs.
Spectacle Eyeworks have created several new designs in this vein, including the elegant Sierra in the Pussy Galore Collection. In subtle acetate colours, pretty striated versions, the style works the fuller shape with fine lines and the characteristic pointed top corners of the cateye.
Christian Roth, the iconic American “designer” eyewear label, now partnered with Dita, proposes a similar femininity in a large round sixties-inspired design. The designer describes the frame as “a look that is straight out of a beatnik Greenwich Village coffee shop” when fitted with optical lenses. It’s one of several frames in the new line that bridge the old and the new, playing with modern colourways and materials with expertise and know-how. More information on Christian Roth’s new line at www.christianroth.com CN
The dictionary definition of “metal” doesn’t give the product sufficient credit for a material that has emerged with an adventurous, technological advantage. Industrial improvements and laser treatments in eyewear and specialised, handcrafted innovations, bring newfound elegance and diversification to visual perceptions. Titanium, stainless steel, aluminium, and precious metals like gold and sterling silver, enable eyewear designers to create amazing variants in frames. Danish brand LINDBERG is a specialist in beautiful metal designs, and Max (above) from the Air Titanium Rim Collection includes this sophisticated, streamlined frame for men. www.lindberg.com
Another superlative style for men is Mehran Baghie’s Hapton, a strong angular shape that signifies the angles of the face. The frame colour is inspired by the tones of the Maple Leaf through its life span. www.spec-eyeworks.com
Rousing red vibrates on l.a. Eyeworks Olly – crafted in Japan from surgical stainless steel. The thin purple pinstripe surrounding the lens is finely honed with a separate milled insert. Dashing! www.laeyeworks.com
Carter Bond celebrates metal with style 9167 – superbly crafted with a gold mirror front and nosepiece – a cool retro look – with tortoiseshell sides. www.carterbond.com
A special effect technique – which can either be optical or mechanical – reflects a bas-relief pattern carved by photoengraving titanium, and incorporates a luxury woven effect to Blackfin’s model Saint Martin. The sunglasses from the Italian label also highlight a smart double bridge, ample curved lines, and is particularly stunning in blue. www.blackfin.euJG
This year marks the centennial of a unique and historic event that unified hope, courage and passion – and a strengthened, shared commitment. In 1916, the United States had not yet officially entered World War I. Hence, a group of young American pilots wanted to show their allegiance and unity with the French, in defence of their respected values and spirit – that both countries held dear.
A squadron consisting entirely of American volunteers was organised to lend support to the French Army. The La Fayette squadron debuted in 1916, named after the Marquis de La Fayette, a French hero of the US War of Independence. La Lafayette was a prominent and heroic symbol of friendship between the two countries. The squadron’s insignia was the head of a Sioux Indian Chief, unifying strength and courage. The unit fought in every battle of the war, and notably the battle of Verdun. When the US entered the war, the pilots from the La Fayette Squadron were incorporated into the US Army, and served as the first fighter pilots of America that eventually became the US Air Force. By the end of the war, 267 American pilots had served in the La Fayette Flying Group…and the rest is history!
Fast forward to 2016, and to mark the occasion, Lafont Paris has created a commemorative Limited Edition sunglass design in collaboration with the French Air Force. Matthieu Lafont, who loves planes, commented what an honour it was to work on this exclusive, joint venture, and a thrill to visit the air base. The rich history of the squadron, along with the devotion and dedication of the pilots were all strong stimulus and inspirations for Lafont in creating these respected frames. To celebrate the milestone, a centennial logo was created based on the initial logo that represented the squadron in WWI, and is prominently used on a Mirage 200N, the aircraft currently used by the La Fayette Squadron.
In the design process, the Lafont Studio took into consideration the special needs of the pilots who sought an ergonomic sunglass suitable for daily use. The result recognises and pays tribute to the squadron’s insignia and traditions, featuring the Sioux head laser engraved on the lenses. A super sonic winner! www.lafont.comPlease note: Model Socrate is available in the Lafont collection, but without the collector colours and décor. JG