Annette Esto – FLEYE Copenhagen

Timeless Danish design characterises the individualistic creations by FLEYE Copenhagen. Annette Esto shares with Eyestylist the heritage of the design driven collections.

Please tell us about the history of Fleye Copenhagen. “FLEYE was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2002 by my two partners, Hanne Anderson and Lars Halstroem, and I. All three of us worked together in another company where we also designed eyewear: we did a lot of export and attended the same fairs as now. All the experience that we had, good and bad, was fundamental when we made our business plan for FLEYE. From day one, we asked ourselves: why should people buy frames from us? What can we offer that is different from what is already on the market? At the time other brands made very thin and invisible frames, so we decided to go in another direction, to be more expressive, more colourful and different, and customers loved if from the beginning. We wanted to have a red thread in all that we did: corporate colours, designed shipping boxes and a very high service level. We tried to do our very best, just like we do today.”

 

Larry by FLEYE Copenhagen

FLEYE designs are eco-friendly – could you please share with us the background on this concept? “All of our eyewear frames are allergy-friendly and made from nickel-free materials. As an optician I have seen many customers suffer from nickel, especially 25 years ago before the CE marking was mandatory. It makes sense to invest in the best material that does not contain any nickel.”

The frame colours are gorgeous – are you inspired by nature? fashion? travel? art? “Thank you. After I started to design frames, I looked at the world in a different way. My eyes always (without even focusing on it) search for details, patterns, colours, structure, and materials that I can use or be inspired by. When I travelled in India I visited the Taj Mahal early morning to study how the Marble Palace changed colours from sunrise to sunset. The patterns are not noticeable at first, but when light is striking them magic happens. I used the colours in its combination in our collection. The same happened in Marrakesh with all their grids in the buildings, and the lovely colours of the earth in the mountains outside the city. Shanghai by night at The Bund inspired me to use bright coloured temples together with black carbon fibre (the black Yangse River against the colourful skyscrapers). I am also inspired by trends in everything from subcultures, art and architecture to interior design and fashion.”

 

Optical chic: Lennox by FLEYE Copenhagen

What materials are your favourite in which to create frames? “A tough question because it all appeals to me, especially when I can combine carbon with natural wood, and the flexibility in beta-titanium temples. I love warm and exciting colours and acetate patterns. I was wondering how to achieve that in a carbon frame, so we coloured our wooden surfaces in the most beautiful shades of Indigo Blue, Majestic Purple and Velvet Black.”

Aneka by FLEYE Copenhagen

What is the customer profile of the FLEYE frame wearer? “FLEYE is for the urban, modern day consumer with a strong sense of design aesthetics, and a confident attitude of individual expression who appreciates wearing a frame that is light, comfortable and eco friendly. Style has nothing to do with age.”

This year marks the 15th anniversary of FLEYE. What are the most defining changes in eyewear that you have experienced during this time? “I see a shift from eyewear being a medical product to being an accessory. If you could not see, then you needed glasses. But now glasses are no longer focused primarily on function, but on fashion too. Eyewear is now seen as an expression of style, and just as important a statement as shoes, bags and jewellery.”

Forup by FLEYE Copenhagen

As a brand that sells globally, how do you foresee the market unfolding in the next two-three years? “In the future we will see much more competition of the low price segment vs. the high-end segment including innovation, brand concept and corporate identity. Design wise I think shapes will be more edgy in a geometric way.There will be space for niche and independent designs – it may be slim and simple styles, or bold and demanding.” www.fleye.dk JG

Ørgreen Optics 20 years: a tribute to the future

2017 represents an invigorating moment of achievement at Ørgreen Optics, the Danish eyewear design company that has become synonymous with cutting-edge minimal titanium frames, produced in Japan. The mood this year is all about eyewear excellence and the driving force of the label, innovation, experimentation and design expertise as they celebrate 20 years.

Eyestylist met Henrik Ørgreen for a taste of what’s coming over cocktails at Brønnum, a favourite haunt of the Danish entrepreneur who lives just round the corner. “We are seen as a pioneering design company, and that is what we are celebrating again. We have started this year with several new Limited Editions, and there is a lot more to show including a huge focus on our company’s proven technical capabilities through a new concept we will launch at Silmo and a reexploration of our roots and the materials we first came to market with. 2018 is going to represent another key phase for us as we must keep improving what we do through exploration and pushing our capabilities that little bit further once again. There are very many collections out there today and I always benchmark with that and challenge it.”

HT1110/ HT1011 – Ørgreen Limited Edition

“Already the year has shown the dynamic attitude of the team with the launch of new Limited Editions and more to come.” High End High Tech is one of those new releases (above). Two round panto styles complementing each other in colour and in shape, and focused on technology with digitally inspired colours and the titanium material, known as a Nasa favourite for spacecraft construction.

Rook – Limited Edition – Out of Orbit

The square style Rook (above) and more rounded Taurus are part of the Out of Orbit Capsule. Rook is named after Montes Rook, the ring-shaped mountain range on the far side of the moon that’s only visible from the edge from Earth. The exciting colour options include allusions to lunar rock formations and stone-effect surface patterns – a first in titanium, and perfectly in keeping with the mood of experimentation seen at Opti Munich where the On Fire collection – featuring “out-there” frames with a “burnt surface” – were first on display. For more details on the new Collections launching at Ørgreen Optics keep your eye on www.orgreenoptics.com CN

Martinique by Blackfin

Whether your destination is Martinique or Miami, Capri or Cannes – don’t leave home without Blackfin’s striking Martinique sunglasses. The stunning vintage aura, with a voluminous round shape, features a contemporary double-layered eyebrow line in two different colours, reflecting the colouring of the temples. Pure titanium enhances the unison of design and technology. More info on Blackfin’s glamorous sunglasses at www.blackfin.eu JG

Frame Chain at Cutler & Gross, Spitalfields

Frame Chain, the British label by Annie Kearney and Vanessa Harrington have launched their latest collection of glasses chains at the Spitalfields branch of British brand Cutler & Gross, in their first pop-up collaboration with a glasses company. Above: Co-Founders, Vanessa and Annie of Frame Chain

Drop Pearl by Frame Chain, matched with tortoise frame by Cutler & Gross

Founded in 2013, the brand, which is already available at leading fashion retailers including Liberty and Fenwick in London has quickly gained recognition for their striking, innovative chains which double up as a chic necklace.

Close-up: glasses on chain – yellow gold plated

The chains come in a variety of colours and designs, making an ideal match for all eyewear designs and, essentially, are suited to all tastes and age groups. New additions include several bespoke pieces where vintage jewellery details have been integrated into the 18 carat white or yellow gold designs. Current bestsellers include chains adorned with pretty natural pearls in varying sizes – a key trend for 2017 and an ideal way to work it into a summer wardrobe. Find more details on the range of styles and an online store at www.framechain.co.uk CN

Red Dot Design Award: MONOCEROS

Elegance, beauty and technology convene in ARA – the natural buffalo horn frame by MONOCEROS that was honoured with the Red Dot Design Award in the fashion design category for exceptional design concept. For over sixty years, Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany has presented the prestigious award for design innovation. The Austrian brand MONOCEROS won for their unique eyewear made from a single piece of eco-friendly buffalo horn.

ARA by MONOCEROS Red Dot Design Award

Specific horn processing technologies developed by a small group of creators at MONOCEROS have enabled this noble material to be transformed into stunning eyewear. ARA’s contemporary silhouette is stylish, sophisticated and durable. Congratulations to MONOCEROS on the receipt of the Red Dot Award. www.monoceros.cc JG

Clarette by Vera Wang

Vera Wang has introduced stunning, romantic sun styles in glorious colours. An Eyestylist favourite is Clarette with its voluminous silhouette in beautiful Sky Blue and glamorous adornment: four Swarovski crystals arranged in an alternating pattern on the temple. An elegant sun statement from the fashion designer inspired by sophisticated fluidity and contemporary creativity. www.kenmarkeyewear.com JG

Glori.us x Lunetterie Générale

Glori.us, a high quality fashion store located in Sherbrooke, Canada, is a specialist in luxury brands and custom made fashion and tailoring with individuality and flair. Created by Jean-François Bédard and Tanya Cloutier, the shop has opened its doors to like-minded fashion brands for men and women – including Surmesur (www.surmesur.com), specialists in made-to-measure menswear.

Eyewear is available in the store exclusively from Lunetterie Générale, Canada, a young, fresh brand by entrepreneurial co-founders, Julien Couture and Alexis Martel.

“We’re the first eyewear brand to build a shop-in-shop style concept store inside a fashion boutique in North America,” says Julien Couture. “Inspired by the museum and architectural grandeur of the Beaux Arts movement, the eyewear area, designed by Samuel Barker, is dedicated to Lunetterie Générale – and our new and growing collection, produced in Japan.”

LG – sunglass style from Debut collection

The frames, produced with carefully finished details and a sobre, vintage-inspired colour palette are created in titanium, Japanese acetate and natural materials including wood, which the co-founders have researched to be able to include locally sourced varieties. “Our first collection was the result of a unique collaboration with Tommy O’Gara, renowned Art Director behind successful avant-garde eyewear brands. We’ve been able to create styles that know no limits and that will be at the forefront of the affordable luxury market.”

Shop-in-shop concept

Asked about their interest in fashion concept stores, the team told us they will continue to work with optical stores, as well as developing a network of concept stores similar to Glori.us, where it has been possible to create a special relationship between the label and the store’s clientele. 90, Rue Wellington N, Sherbrooke, QC J1H 5B7. A second Glori.us store opened in March at 434, Avenue Victoria, Saint-Lambert. www.glorius.ca

For further information about Lunetterie Générale, visit https://lunetteriegenerale.com CN

Clément Louis illustrations for Alfred Kerbs

Illustrator and photographer Clément Louis is a newcomer to the eyewear scene. In a experimental liaison with the Barcelona brand Alfred Kerbs, the Parisian multidisciplinary artist has defined the complete SS17 series of sunglasses by Kerbs in a powerful portrait collection evocative of the style of Egon Schiele.

Above: Art + eyewear – model Billy by Alfred Kerbs illustrated by Clément Louis. Part of a series for the Barcelona eyewear label.

Billy in coffee by Alfred Kerbs

Model Billy by Alfred Kerbs is new in the acetate collection for SS17. Colour is underlined in fresh combinations and a play on tonal contrasts while the square 70s shape has intellectual overtones. Available in black, coffee (as seen in the illustration, top, and above), striped havana and the very chic tones of “toasty” or “cheetah”. More information about the artist and the new sunglasses at www.alfredkerbs.com CN

Lafont Paris US Special Edition : Thirty

Lafont Paris is celebrating its 30th Anniversary in North America with an exceptional frame creation produced in a limited edition of 400 pieces and one unique colour scheme. The design recognises the extraordinary successes of the Parisian design house in the USA, where Laurence and Philippe Lafont first began selling their frames in 1987 in some of the finest American eyewear boutiques of the time. The frame follows other special releases such as model Twenty, the 2007 metal edition for the US market that was famously worn by Lady Gaga.

Certified with the Origin France Guarantee, model Thirty represents an iconic design with an exciting decorative concept. The asymmetrical black and ivory carved acetate sunglass style is embellished with cut outs of the Statue of Liberty on one temple and the Eiffel Tower on the other.

THIRTY – Lafont Paris

Lafont first started making luxurious eyewear in 1923. By the 80s when the family brought their frames to the States, their unique decorative style and luxurious shapes and colours were among a handful of collections focusing exclusively on traditional handcrafting techniques and fine quality materials.  The family business has helped shape the innovations and developments we see today in the design and decoration of luxury eyewear.  For more information on Thirty, visit www.lafont.comCN

Ida by Fan Festival – Limited Edition

The new Ida from Fan Festival – a collection by Guillaume Furminger of Fan Optics – is a graceful acetate with a round eye shape, a perfect fit for the SS17 season. The distinctive material, produced by the Italian makers, Mazzucchelli is M49, a biodegradable acetate made from wood pulp and cotton; one of the colour choices features a shiny and textured surface creating a subtle contrast between the top and bottom of the front. Fitted with Zeiss sun lenses, the overall result is a very high-quality, flattering yet simple proposal for those who love the round eye style, made with respect for eyewear traditions and a desire to experiment in design.

Fan Optics is an independent eyewear brand designing in Amsterdam and producing its frames and all of its elegant packaging in Italy. Founded in London in 2012, the FAN team is committed to quality, craftsmanship and design led products with a fashion feel. More details at www.fan-festival.com CN

theo trio

Stimulating, creative fresh ideas permeate the latest designs from theo. The Belgium brand orchestrates eyewear with innovation in silhouette and construction, plus unique colour combinations in a range of materials. Inspiration abounds in theo collections, and Kamasutra set creative genes in action with frame “positions” based on the ancient sex manual. Lotus Blossom and Sideways Samba (above)  – unite in two pieces that then click the frame together. No screws or other fixtures…oh! so theo!

Patatas from the Potatoes Acetate collection by theo

Potatoes acetate are fun frames named after a much-loved food – the potato. Six different shapes (Patatas shown above) range from bold and brash to elegant and feminine, very stylish and contemporary. Super theo colour combinations too – really a delicious feast for the eyes!

mille+47 from the MILLE quarante Collection by theo

The theo mille quarante collection introduces four new models in eight different colour combinations. The timeless designs and streamlined contours are further enhanced with unexpected textures, as expressed in mille+47 (above) For more information on theo’s exciting new releases, visit www.theo.be JG

 

 

Bonnie by a-morir

A beautiful new release by “New York designer, artist, costumier and professional bedazzler” Kerin Rose Gold, who we have followed through every season since we first launched Eyestylist.com.

a-morir’s A/W 2017 collection reexplores decorative arts with exclusive jewellery settings, dreamy floral flourishes, sparkling coloured Swarovski gems and intricate gold filigree – interpreted with love and the expertise of a young female designer who continues to produce her original, audacious designs with dedication to handcrafting and bespoke finishings inspired by vintage frames from the early 20th century.

Model Bonnie is one of several examples, striking for the asymmetrical flourish of gold detail with pearl settings that make a statement focal point on the classic tortoise front. Added to this, three little inset pearls at each side take the luxury story one step further. See more decorative eyewear from Kerin Rose Gold at www.a-morir.com CN

The Karmoie Culture – Kirsten & Lars Iverson

The Norwegian independent brand Karmoie derives its name from the Sanskrit word karma meaning “action” or “deed” and the French word joie for “joy”. With this stimulating philosophy, Kirsten and Lars created the company in 2013 with their concept of excellence, integrity and quality. Karmoie was awarded The Butterfly Mark by Positive Luxury, for the brand’s commitment to protect the planet’s resources. They share their perspective with Eyestylist.

Please tell us about how Karmoie was created. “We knew that we wanted to create a business that reflects our values and our personalities. Social commitment and creating a product that feels as good as it looks was at the core. The idea of doing that within the industry came to us as we were driving around in the South of France. It was one of those moments where everything just felt right. We knew we had a lot of research to do and an industry we knew nothing about to figure out, but we just had to go for it.”

Your designs are streamlined and pure – how do you develop your concepts? “We don’t really launch extensive new collections every season; rather we add on a couple of styles so our collection is always made up of both models from the first years and a few new releases. Whenever we develop a new model we make sure that it fits in with the rest of our frames, and that the colour palette remains cohesive.”

Karmoie Star in Black

What inspires you – nature, architecture, colours – when you are creating frames? “We are inspired by everything that surrounds us. Our friends and family, their style and requests give us ideas. While fashion is always inspiring, the pace of fast fashion is so stressful, so we seek more towards architecture and interior design, as that feels more built to last. When it comes to colours, we believe that nature is flattering on everyone, so our colour palette and patterns are based on soft, natural shades.”

Karmoie Nucleus in Kelp
Karmoie Nucleus in Kelp

How did your partnership with Eyejusters come about? “We had seen a segment on The Colbert Report about social innovation that featured adjustable glasses. Since we are not opticians or optometrists ourselves, the way Eyejusters work, allowing anyone to participate in distributing glasses, really resonated with us. With more than 700 million people worldwide without access to refractive care, it is great to be able to recruit anyone who wants to participate in helping. It also makes it possible to reach out to very remote areas that are hard to access with trained personnel and advanced equipment.”

Karmoie Rise in Twig

Karmoie is now entering its fifth year – what is the most rewarding aspect of your work? “We love hearing feedback from our customers and from our donation projects. Seeing people wear and enjoy our eyewear validates all the effort we put into creating them. Hearing from our donation partners and following the important work that they do in the field gives us hope and motivation.”

Any additional insights you would like to enumerate about Karmoie? “We believe that every positive action has a positive impact. We created a brand that is mindful of the importance in all the big and small choices we make on our way to the final product. For this we have been awarded the Positive Luxury Butterfly Mark. Awareness is spreading and we are proud to be part of it.” www.karmoie.com JG

Arthur Arbesser for Silhouette

Fashion designer Arthur Arbesser has created stunning sunglasses for Silhouette that stylishly compliment his relaxed, easy-going clothing collection. Crafted in Silhouette’s unique mix of SPX and high-tech titanium, the frames are extremely lightweight and minimalist. The sunglasses also feature lens-in-lens technology that enables the frames to be worn as both optical and sunglasses. Arbesser has a broad perspective on fashion – he was born and raised in Vienna; studied at Central Saint Martins College for Art and Design in London; and is now based in Milan, where he is acclaimed as one of fashion’s most up and coming young designers. www.silhouette. com www.arthurarbesser.com JG

Mondelliani flagship, Rome

Mondelliani glasses, selected independent brands (Hoet and Theo) and bijoux accessories. The curated collections by the Mondello family have a new design home in Via dei Prefetti, an historic street with an abundance of chic stores located in the Campo Marzio neighbourhood.

The minimal interior, balancing bright colour and elegant white displays was designed by Claudia Campone of Studio THiRTYONE in Rome. An area for eye tesing has also been included as part of the project – allowing the team to offer state-of-the-art eycare as well as beautiful accessories.

Accessory display, Mondelliani shop

Following the opening in December 2016, Rosaria Mondello commented: “Eyewear is the accessory that speaks about who we are, more than any other. If you wear black and choose a red frame, for me, you are all about “red”. If you wear a “statement” frame, such as a heavy rimmed black design, you need to be able to carry it off, with grit and a strong character, otherwise you will look like a member of the Beagle Boys. What gives us great satisfaction is finding the right frame for each person: this requires sensitivity, taste and attention to detail”.

Via dei Prefetti 11, Rome. Other stores are located in via del Bergamaschi and via dell’Oca, Rome. www.mondelliani.it CN

Die Brillenmesse Köln – input and new collections

May launches with a merry start as the Die Brillenmesse independent eyewear show takes place in Cologne. The Rhine City event is held in the spacious surroundings of Dock One, and features independent eyewear designer flair. Nathanaël Wenger Co-director of the show (above with co-director Steffen Keil) gives an exclusive interview to Eyestylist about the forthcoming show.

Elizabeth von Guttman – founder of System Magazine – wears elegant rimless from The Collection Götti Perspective

Could you please share with us the development of Die Brillenmesse Köln? “We are on track with Cologne with around 30 exhibitors so far, and quite a few more in the pipeline. With the business uncertainty, some smaller companies are reducing their marketing costs this year. Cologne is still new and we think and believe that Cologne is a perfect place for our show.”

Who are some of the exhibitors in Köln this year? “There is interesting brand variety that includes Adrian Marwitz; Andy Wolf; Götti Switzerland; Anne et Valentin; Baars Eyewear; Blackfin; Coblens; Götti Switzerland; Lunor; Orgreen Optics; Joel Lesca Optique; Kerl; Miamai; Masunaga, Markus T.; Martin & Martin; Robert la Roche and TD Tom Davis Ltd. to mention just a few.”

Universus 3 in Loving Grey by Adrian Marwitz

Die Brillenmesse is a great supporter of independent labels. Nowadays, as eyewear is evolving rapidly for both the industry and the consumer, what challenges do independent creators face? “First there is a great uncertainty in the market due to the global crisis (Trump, Turkey, Brexit etc.), the future of online, clients changing behaviour (higher demands, price sensitiveness, information level…) and big pressures on Retail in general. So it is not easy to find a clear direction in these turbulences. We try to give some direction by supporting independent labels, design and innovation, but also Newcomers. Nowadays, it is even more important to find new ways of doing business and being different from the mass-market. This is our mission, and we can see that it works with many independent opticians in Switzerland. I think it is important that opticians focus on their strengths – which is personal contact, artisanship, good advice, innovation and high-end quality.”

MIAMAI sunglasses in Ocean

Please tell us about the Think Tank sessions that are part of the Die Brillenmesse Programme.“The response to the Think Tank sessions was positive and we will feature similar subjects as in Stuttgart. This will include how to reach new clients, digital change, and technical innovations. Again, the aim is to give the independent opticians some input and inspiration on how they can keep direction in a rough sea. We are also delighted that two Vintage collectors – Christian Metzler and Alexander Dosiehn will show their Vintage Collections in Köln with amazing beauties!”

Orgreen’s Chromatic Ecstatic Collection will be featured at Die Brillenmesse Köln

Mark you calendars now! Saturday and Sunday 6th and 7th May at Dock One in Cologne for Die Brillenmesse Köln 2017. Further info at www.diebrillenmesse.de JG

 

 

Multiple choices: Opticals with flair

Prescription frame wearers can anticipate stylish selections with the new optical collections. Whether you are an avid fan of the cat-eye shape; round in all sizes; rectangular; square or aviator; choices abound in traditional and unconventional materials, plus fabulous colours and alluring neutrals. Anna-Karin Karlsson embraces optical designs with romantic charisma. Le Papillon (above) is gracefully feminine: 24caret gold plated, with elegant butterfly accents. Explore more of the Swedish creator’s luxurious designs at www.annakarinkarlsson.com

Lance by SALT. Optics

The latest collection from SALT. Optics includes timeless designs in beautiful nature-inspired colourations. Slim styling in Lance features a new colour for the California brand – Dried Herb. Discover more of the SALT. eyewear universe at www.saltoptics.com

Dixon from The Signature Collection by Fleye Copenhagen

Fleye Copenhagen has introduced their stunning new Signature Collection – beautifully crafted silhouettes with form and texture. The frames mix cool metals with warm natural materials – as in Dixon – and the results are designs with unique character and style. www.fleye.dk

Weber by l.a. Eyeworks

Green is a predominant tone in collections – with colour sensitivity that is a pleasure for the complexion. Weber in Kiwi Shimmer on Gunmetal Satin – acetate overlay on stainless steel – is a chic frame by l.a.Eyeworks. Superbly crafted in Italy, the shape is flattering for both men and women. www.laeyeworks.com

Ron by Vue dc

Red in a variety of jubilant, joyous tones is trend-setting this season. Ron by Chris Mascré and Yolande de Clercq at Vue dc in lustrous acetate combines retro panache with modern, artisan techniques. www.vuedc.fr JG

 

 

The Mimetic Collection by L.G.R

World War II history has a role in the latest L.G.R frames – The Mimetic Collection – by Luca Gnecchi Ruscone. Luca discovered material in his grandfather’s old warehouse that was used in uniforms worn by Italian soldiers during the war. Inspired by the original fabric, Luca then found an artisan workshop in Italy that could reproduce the material in 100% cotton, using a stone wash technique for a distinctive effect. The Mimetic Collection features the material used as flaps (above) or wrapped around the frames on the acetate and metal version. Explore the L.G.R eyewear universe at www.lgrworld.com JG

Design curiosities

Eyewear experiences continue to expand beyond the everyday. Innovative brands take new risks with clever techniques to bring new technological scope to new collections. 3D printed frames are a fast expanding eyewear choice, increasing the opportunity in personalisation as well as comfort and practicality. The Danish label MONOQOOL shows fast-paced innovation in this arena, with the launch of super thin frame structures in its new Slider Series. The frames, which weigh just 4 grams, have an ultra thin front design combined with cool horizontal temples and a clever hinge system. www.monoqool.com

Siens Eye Code: Eye Code 16 in shiny silver

Siens Eye Code from Milan presented their first Creatures collection in 2016 with a concept that boasts three patents for hinge, lens assembly and packaging “integrated to the glasses”. The idea is to unite art and technology, vision and science, to blend each element in one high-tech product produced using traditional expertise in the Veneto. The brand has exciting new entries coming for Autumn 2017 that we have been able to preview ahead of the Autumn fairs. More details at www.sienseyecode.com

Uranus by Bob Sdrunk

Italian lifestyle brand Bob Sdrunk is creating a buzz with its 100% made in Italy designs from a team of expert opticians – attentive to design, modern quality and the all important fit. The round model Uranus is typical of the unconventional shapes in the collection. The very narrow metal construction of the style (pictured in gold) with cross bar balanced over the classic round shape brings a chic contemporary look that is immediately appealing. www.bobsdrunk.com CN

In Memoriam – Philippe Lafont

Lafont Paris has sadly announced the recent passing of Philippe Lafont, president of Lafont Paris, and a passionate advocate of eyewear. Lafont was also president of SILMO, and contributed his outstanding talents and professional expertise to GIFO.

In additional to Lafont’s numerous roles in the optical community, he was enthusiastic about opera; always polite, kind and courteous. Thomas and Matthieu Lafont will continue to support their father’s dedication to the family legacy as a pioneer and innovator of luxury eyewear made in France, upholding the company’s core values of integrity, craftsmanship and elegance.

Eyestylist extends our deepest sympathy and condolences to Thomas, Matthieu, family, friends and the Lafont team. JG

Colour and design at Copenhagen Specs

Energetic colour and new chic designs with consistent attention to the small details: the mood at Copenhagen Specs this weekend was upbeat and friendly as designers from Scandinavia and further afield brought new ideas for 2017. The fair showed its commitment to independent labels, and attracted more than 80 companies and a wide range of frame styles from Scandinavian innovators through to small start-ups from Italy (Viveur), Poland (Love Belford), Spain (Paper & Paper) and France (Plein Les Mirettes /PLM).

The Italian titanium specialists Blackfin showed their new collection featured in the 2017 campaign: Sky’s The Limit. The brand currently offers an eclectic mix of titanium styles including trend-focused thicker rims such as model Montego Bay (above). Further details: www.blackfin.eu

Diva by Plein les Mirettes PLM

Plein Les Mirettes showed their colourful acetate range for women for the first time in Denmark. The uniquely crafted glamorous shapes have a bright energetic elegance and are made in Normandy in a prestigious traditional eyewear factory. Model Diva brings the camouflage trend into eyewear in a playful and elegant interpretation for the face. www.plein-les-mirettes.fr.

Brad by Viveur Sunglasses

Italian start-up Viveur Sunglasses by Carlo Opice showed a metal collection produced in the Veneto. The frames revisit vintage styling but bring a modern “street style” to the look, creating a line that is youthful and wearable. Very narrow proportions and the variety of nice classic lens colours in the metal sunglasses line are on trend for the SS17 season. More details at www.viveursunglasses.com

Nia by Salt. Optics

Alongside bright primary colours, neutral eyewear tones are evolving in new ways. Model Nia by Salt. Optics has a thin profiled shape, the narrowest of temples and custom detailing. Nia comes in a super Oyster Grey / Black Sand combination with “Lovers Soul” gradient lenses. More details on the new entries presented by Salt. Optics at www.saltoptics.com

Fuchs by Fleye Copenhagen

Lightness, technical know-how and an innovative take on materials are instantly noticeable in the Fleye collection, presented to us by co-founder Hanne Andersen at the show. Once again, the trend for extremely narrow proportions is beautifully played out in special ways with the addition of touches of colour and finely textured finishes in high-tech carbon fibre. www.fleye.dk

Copenhagen Specs returns to the same venue in 2018 from 3-4th March: for more details about the fair visit www.copenhagenspecs.dk CN

L.G.R Pop up boutique in Milan

Family, friends and devoted fans of gorgeous L.G.R. eyewear celebrated the opening of the charming boutique in Milan (top image – a jubilant Luca Gnecchi Ruscone). The pop-up store displays the wonderful variety of L.G.R designs, along with his latest collections – the elegant Capri; history inspired Mimetic frames; and the supremely luxurious L.G.R Gold Edition. Luca Gnecchi Ruscone’s dedication to artisan eyewear is evident in the exceptional craftsmanship and precise detailing in each frame.

Luca Gnecchi Ruscone with his mother Emma Bini, at L.G.R pop up boutique opening in Milan

Located on Milan’s trendy Corso Garibaldi, the cosy boutique features both optical and sunglass designs created by the Rome-based designer. The boutique is open through 25th April. www.lgrworld.com JG

Roadster by JF Rey

Roadster is a striking design from the JF Rey 1985 Collection that unites past, present and future with its stylish look. The frame is a reedit from a women’s design that Jean-François created in the 1980’s. Faithfully preserving the original concept, Roadster is re-crafted for the 21st century with high tech elements and materials. The vintage shape is highlighted with flat blue mirror lenses. Sophisticated and unique! www.jfrey.fr JG

Destination Denmark!

It can snow in Denmark in March but a chilly climate never changes the warm Danish welcome! The friendly, fast-growing Scandinavian eyewear fair Copenhagen Specs approaches this weekend and promises eclectic frame style from international brands setting an energetic outlook for Spring/Summer.

Exhibitors include Copenhagen’s very own Ørgreen Optics with their new collection dazzling in a SS17 campaign (above) about colour confidence…bolds, neons, and rich and vibrant tonal contrasts. www.orgreenoptics.com

Seymour by Claire Goldsmith – in bottle green

Ørgreen’s British partner Claire Goldsmith will have her team present to show both the eponymous collection of sun and optical frames as well as the renowned Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses collection. There are a few extra special colour surprises including a limited edition of the classy Manhattan in soft summery gelato tones. www.clairegoldsmith.com

Explorer by Silhouette Eyewear

The ‘Explorer’ model by Silhouette Eyewear will be among the new finds at the Austrian company’s stand during the fair. This minimal, chic design perfectly reflects the flair of the 1950s, with unusual colour gradients such as orange with blue and glossy purple. The lens-in-lens technology creates the perception of a rim while offering the advantage of being very light and comfortable. More information at www.silhouetteeyewear.com

Fine features at MONOQOOL

Monoqool’s 3D printed collection, produced in Denmark, will also be a highlight at the fair. The collection is on point with very fine profiles that are lightweight and aesthetically striking – look for the new Slider Series – described as “the thinnest 3D printed glasses in the world.”

Copenhagen Specs takes place from 4th-5th March 2017 at Lokomotivvaerkstedet. More details and a full list of exhibitors is available at www.copenhagenspecs.dk CN

Birgitte Falvin, Falvin Eyewear, Denmark

Our eyewear world is full of inspirational and passionate women. Designer Birgitte Falvin from Denmark is relatively new to, starting her career in jewellery. “Jewellery has been my playground from the early days, I have worked with many different aspects of the creative process in jewellery.  In the beginning, while I was still studying surface design, I was creating handmade pieces that were sold in independent fashion boutiques in Florence and Copenhagen. The collection had a couture feel, and the statement pieces were eco-friendly. I used a mix of materials, such as vintage pearls, gold wire and couture yarn. I was very interested in surface design and fashion jewellery, and was happy to discover that the department for surface design at the Designskolen Kolding (where I was studying) had a similar approach to the design process as the Institut for Ædelmetal – the design department for jewellery design in Copenhagen.”

Falvin bestseller in rose gold and aubergine

Birgitte launched her first eyewear collection in September 2015, and today she is working exclusively on luxurious titanium designs. “Titanium is a lightweight material making it the perfect choice for fashionable, oversized frames. Falvin´s frames often get compliments for their comfortable fit. I find the clean look of titanium interesting, and I like to soften the design with matte and shiny precious lines of rose gold, palladium and 24 carat gold.”

Classic luxury at Falvin Eyewear

Today, the collection makes a feature of luxury diamonds, beautiful hand cut lens details and unexpected colour mixes. The frames combine an aesthetic attitude with the edginess of Nordic architecture, optimizing the genius of Danish and Japanese craftsmanship. “As a designer, I always look forward to the development of new collections. There are so many possibilities and materials to explore. It is exciting to watch the the brand grow and expand.”

The Royal Black Diamond, Copenhagen

Architecture remains a source of design inspiration for every detail, as it did when the brand first launched. Birgitte explains: “At the beginning, my husband and I walked around Copenhagen, seeking a strong source of inspiration for an elegant eyewear concept. The Royal Danish Library, the iconic modern library building was the perfect inspiration for a collection that represented a blend of contemporary elegance and a cool aesthetic attitude, strongly infused with Nordic references.”
Copenhagen’s iconic Black Diamond houses the Royal Danish Library. “Its irregular angles fascinated me. When the light reflects off the building’s granite-clad surfaces, magic happens. The Falvin team visited the building many times at different hours to see the changing light and colours and to study the building inside and out. We took a lot of photographs, enjoying the asymmetrical design and the beautiful colour palette.”
Today, all Falvin´s frames are based on this concept, and the graphic references are paired with matte and shiny yellow gold, rose gold and palladium details. Frames can be customised with sparkling Wesselton diamonds that recall the glittering surface of the water that surrounds the Black Diamond. Falvin Eyewear will exhibit at Copenhagen Specs this weekend. More details: www.falvineyewear.com CN

Stunning Sunglasses

Fresh, innovative, and dramatic sunglass designs are plentiful in the latest collections. Summer and sunglasses are synonymous, but no longer only for warmer months. Sun specs are now worn on a year ’round basis to protect the wearer’s eyes, as well as make a superb style statement. Eyestylist highlights some of the enticing and enchanting creations from acclaimed global designers. Hoops (above) from Face à Face Paris captures the vintage spirit in two-tone acetate. www.faceaface-paris.com

Mayir by Vera Wang

Volume and sparkling Swarovski crystals define Vera Wang’s glamorous design Mayir in garnet acetate. www.kenmarkoptical.com

Zero 13 by Finest Seven

Dashing Zero 13 by Finest Seven combines luxury and style in yellow gold with vibrant violet mirror lenses. www.finestseven.com

Charming sunnies for youngsters by Zoobug

Children respond with enthusiasm to Zoobug’s delightful collection of sunglasses, specially crafted and sized to fit little faces. Featured above are a selection of super, fun styles for youngsters from the 2017 collection. Photo by Sarah Winborn www.zoobug.com

Penelope by Res/Rei

Italian eyewear craftsman Oliviero Zanon for Res/Rei endorses retro styling with Penelope, in Mazzucchelli marbled tortoiseshell acetate. www.resrei.com

Taylor by Walter & Herbert

Sumptuous curves and bold straight lines pair beautifully in Taylor by British brand Walter & Herbert, in shimmering crystal acetate. www.walterandherbert.com

Vivid Sea of Flames by Orgreen

Orgreen’s Limited Edition On Fire includes this stunning design Vivid Sea of Flames. A special burning process creates an intriguing iridescent finish to the frames. www.orgreenoptics.com JG

Zero 12 by Finest Seven

Dramatic, bold sunglasses by Finest Seven cut a stylish statement in eyewear. Zero 12 is among the dynamic new designs from the British brand. The graceful, sculptural silhouette is enhanced with a voluminous butterfly shape and blue lenses by Carl Zeiss. Elegantly crafted, Zero 12 expresses bespoke individuality and retro chic. www.finestseven.com JG

Round and Round

Eyewear in Round shapes has the distinction of being both traditional – and new. Round frames have been favoured from Benjamin Franklin to Ghandi, Iris Apfel, Elton John and Harry Potter. What is new, is the amazing diversity and the eyewear impact of dynamic Round shapes. Whether in wood, titanium, acetate, rimless, stainless steel, or mixed materials – the enthusiasm for the Round silhouette is a highlight of this season’s eyewear.

Children also love the Round shape, with Zoobug’s stylishly chic design ZB1030 certain to appeal to emerging fashion enthusiasts. The handmade acetate frame – with superb fit for young faces – is among the exciting new optical range from the award winning British brand. Fabulous colours too – including a fun, streaky mix of blue/purple/crystal, featured above. Photo by Sarah Winborn. www.zoobug.com

Perspective/Shape RR53 by Götti Switzerland

Putting rimless frames into Perspective: Sven Götti reinvents the sleekness, and minimalist aesthetics of the Round shape with his new designs from the Götti Perspective Collection. Masterfully engineered – which Götti researched and refined during several years – the frames have no soldering involved, no screws, and no glue. Perspective/Shape RR53 is a new dimension in streamlined eyewear. www.gotti.ch

Cutler BF794 Blackfin Lamina PLUS

Blackfin has launched a new chapter in their Collection – Blackfin Lamina PLUS. Superbly crafted in Italy, the frames unite titanium with cellulose acetate eye-rims. The Italian brand expresses style and innovation with Cutler BF794 in beautiful colourations. www.blackfin.eu

Topolino by ROLF Spectacles

ROLF Spectacles, the pioneers in fine wood frames, has won the renowned GOOD DESIGN Award – the prestigious recognition for cutting-edge products – with Topolino. The Round shape is reminiscent of the Italian classic car for which it is named. Handcrafted in the Tyrol, ROLF’s Topolino is available in luxurious wood combinations. www.rolf-spectacles.com

Carter Bond 9207

Bold colour accentuates Carter Bond 9207 in shimmering emerald acetate with colour-coordinating wood scratch temples. Discover more Round shapes in acetate and mixed materials from the Australian brand at www.carterbond.com

Rise by Karmoie

Norwegian designers Kirsten and Lars Iversen appreciate the timelessness of vintage frames, whilst bringing a fresh approach to their lightweight, contemporary designs. Rise in Twig acetate harmonises naturally with contrasting colour on the sides. www.karmoie.com

Iman by Spectacle Eyeworks

Canadian creator Mehran Baghaie interprets the Round shape with an intriguing design – Iman – in ultra-thin stainless steel. Colourations are linked to the various stages of the maple leaf. Explore more innovative styles at www.spec-eyeworks.com

Style 619 by Pollipo’

Pollipo’ favours the Round form in Tortoiseshell Amber acetate – style 619 – with handmade riveted hinges on the front and temples. The frames are crafted in Italy, and hand polished with the traditional tumbling process. www.pollipocchiali.it JG