New-Zealand born Jesse Stevens, the designer behind Finest Seven, says he is dedicated to excellence. So much so that he is producing some of the styles in his new sunglass collection in the UK where he can oversee every stage of the process and ensure the use of the very best artisan techniques whilst embracing new technologies. His intention is to keep the brand small and very exclusive, with a handful of retail outlets that understand the quality and unique handcrafting of the pieces he has made in a limited number – once sold, these will not be remade.
After 5 years working as an eyewear designer for a number of prestigious internationally renowned eyewear labels, Stevens has created a brand that is quality-driven and, he says, very distinctive. Trained in sculpture, he explains his interest in other design disciplines. He has experience of techniques such as fine metal casting and polishing from this period of his career, skills that are influencing his work in eyewear and choice of luxury metals.
The name Finest Seven refers to the 7 key aspects of eyewear production which the designer strives to incorporate in each Finest Seven design: components, lenses, materials, colour/finish, design, comfort/fit, manufacture. Each area is carefully considered so that the details resonate luxury – from the Carl Zeiss lenses to the handmade cases, produced in Spain by a small artisan company sourced by the designer.
How did the launch go? Jesse explains that he is very happy to have the collection out in the market, and to begin the processes for the creation of the next season’s designs, which he says will include some limited colours especially developed for the snow. “It is a great chance to use some very high quality sports lenses with the usual Finest Seven flare for colour.”
“I am also proud to announce the launch of our Full Bespoke Service. ‘Limit your edition’ is a one to one service for fitting and design. I have been fortunate to track down a craftsman in the Italian Alps. He is a real master with eyewear. I am very excited about this service and we look forward to providing an exceptional level of design and exclusivity.”
And are there new additions to the current luxury line? Jesse says he will add two styles in 2012 using some classy vintage hinges he has unearthed; and there is another Limited Edition also underway.
Finest Seven was launched in the UK in May and is now available in Harvey Nichols, The Eye Company and Hostem. New retailers include Bloomingdales, Dubai, Optical Tailor Cradle, Tokyo, and Harvey Nichols, Hong Kong, planned for later this year. CN