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