Nicola del Din, Blackfin

The CEO of Italy’s fast-growing independent titanium brand Blackfin, Nicola del Din, talked to Eyestylist about eyewear heritage and his passion for life outside optics. 

Tell us about you as a “creative”. Your training, biggest influences in terms of aesthetics/details/colours and your interests such as photography. I have a deep interest in technology, graphics and imagery. I have had this interest since I was at school. At that time, we didn’t have anything like the technological opportunities of today. But I was still very much into computers and I remember my first pcs…a Commodor 16, then the 64 and the Commodor Amiga which I used with a camera to make videos at school! I also love digital photography and the opportunities we have now to modify imagery via apps and special programs.

Music is also one of my great interests, particularly with the multimedia aspects: video represents the perfect synthesis of all my passions: IT, graphics and music, all in one! My work is to produce excellent eyewear and my passions can therefore become a function of my work. I couldn’t ask for more. I am very lucky for that – my job has become a life focus which I can develop and grow thanks to the contributions of many people around me.

Gold Beach by Blackfin

Blackfin is a young fast-growing company. What is the ingredient that been most important in allowing it to develop so successfully? Incredibly, the crisis. At the time and through the 1990s we were reflecting on our future, and what we were wanting to achieve. We realised that technical capabilities were not enough and that is was essential to have a strong communications strategy for the brand. So we started again. We are like a start-up but we are 47 years old! It’s a contradiction in terms but that’s what has happened: we combined our experience in production with a new fresh enthusiasm to start out on a new adventure.

Blackfin has its own design team, but you are clearly a creative “driving force” when it comes to campaigns and marketing? Blackfin today is the ideal realisation of the potential I could see 10 years ago. And this vision is not just about the product, but rather a precise image and method of communication. The amazing thing is it just keeps running: my head is firmly looking forward into the future.

Oyster Bay by Blackfin

Tell us about your collaborations which are far from ordinary? Our collaborations can be out of the ordinary and unexpected. This is because we go beyond the product to find shared social, geographic, moral and cultural values. This is the case with Cipriani: what we have in common is the constant research dedicated to offering excellence in Italian products. Excellence understood as authentic luxury which, as Arrigo Cipriani reminds us, is the expression of a complex simplicity.

We found a similar synergy with Andrea Bocelli. Andrea is a great artist, and an Italian man of great integrity. Our collaboration with him and his Foundation represents sharing a vision towards Italian excellence and authenticity. Continue reading “Nicola del Din, Blackfin”

Roland-Garros x Lafont Paris

Roland-Garros – the prestigious Parisian tennis tournament – celebrates its 30th anniversary in collaboration with Lafont Paris – with two Limited Edition sunglass designs. Lafont’s Parisian eyewear chic captures the heritage and performance of Roland-Garros with striking designs, inspired by two tennis legends – Suzanne Lenglen and Marcel Bernard. Lenglen dominated women’s tennis from 1914 to 1926 – winning The French Open (Roland-Garros) twice – and Wimbledon six times.

Tennis legend Suzanne Lenglen in action on the tennis court

The Suzanne frame (top image) expresses retro-chic spirit in dark tortoiseshell, a softly sculptured shape in high tech materials, beautifully crafted in the Jura region of France.

 

Marcel – Limited Edition by Roland-Garros x Lafont Paris

Marcel Bernard brought glory to France when he won the French Championships in 1946; later he was President of the French Tennis Federation. The sunglasses that bear his name are distinguished with their contemporary shape and a “Mousquetaires stripe” inside layer displaying the tournament’s colours.

Marcel Bernard – French Open Champion 1946

Suzanne and Marcel feature anti-reflective brown lenses, and a laser engraved Roland-Garros logo. The Limited Edition of 150 models are numbered and certified “French Origin Guaranteed.” The sunglasses are available in Lafont’s Paris boutiques – visit www.lafont.com for details – and also at Roland-Garros stadium when play commences 22nd May. Designs that are a perfect “ace!” JG

Gogosha Pop-Up 2.0

An intriguing journey is underway at Gogosha Boutique, one of the most highly regarded optical boutiques in America. Founder/owner Julia Gogosha has left her long standing store in Silver Lake, and is heading to a new location in Echo Park, via several pop-ups at some creative, alternative spaces.

“Rents have doubled and building conditions deminished. We needed to find a place that felt like home for the future of Gogosha Optique. We are building a permanent new location in Echo Park, which will be complete in the Fall. In the meantime we have been nomadic to be able to continue our services to our loyal clientele base as well as expose ourselves to new customers.”

The first pop-up was tucked away upstairs in what the Gogosha team called the treehouse, above Go get em Tiger, McConnell’s ice cream shop and next to the coveted 5 room Hotel Covel. Just recently they have moved across the street from the original location, next to a transformative dance studio and close to the addictive Night + Market Song Thai restaurant. “We’re even featuring a Garrett Leight Shop-in-Shop,” Julia explains. “It’s one of our most accessible brands and it’s a great service to have a greater selection for our clientele to show a harmonious collaboration between a vendor and a multi brand store who operate only a few miles from each other.”

Current location of the Gogosha pop-up – 3325 Sunset Blvd

These locations have been the result of relationships with clients and advocates, she explains. “Without them we would’ve operated solely from our West Third Street location for nine month greatly hindering the convenience for many of our East side clientele.”

“We’ve created each new environment on a shoe string budget with a skeleton crew – but with the highest visual impact. It’s as challenging as it is rewarding.  We’re excited to learn and evolve with each move, continuing our love of eyewear and community. Then ultimately creating an environment that will help elevate a curated eyewear experience.” More information coming soon! www.gogosha.com CN

Sunglasses!

There is nothing like beautiful, luxuriously crafted sunglasses to enhance your mood, perk up fashion attire, and make the wearer feel wonderful! This season the selection of sun specs is more alluring than ever, with frames in gorgeous colours and materials, plus striking details. Discover enticing sunglass creations by artistic designers – contemporary to eclectic interpretations of a fashion accessory brimming with style. Top image: Streamlined sophistication in LINDBERG n.o.w.8305.  www.lindberg.com

Billion Dollar Babes by Anna-Karin Karlsson

Glamorous Cat-eye Dazzle: Swarovski crystals glitter on Anna-Karin Karlsson’s Billion Dollar Babes in acetate, with 24 caret gold accents. www.annakarinkarlsson.com

CM11 by Christian Mascré Vue DC

Nautical inspiration: CM11 Christian Mascré’s sleek acetate sunglasses in perennially loved sea-faring colours. www.vuedc.fr

Lucy by Tom Herrington / RockOptika

Timeless Class: Tom Herrington’s fabulous sunglass designs include Lucy, inspired by a photo of his mother taken in 1983…reminiscent of Lady Diana Spencer, Isabelle Rossellini, and simpler times…www.rockoptika.com

Lou from Fiction by l.a. Eyeworks Collection

Glamour with wit: Lou in striking colourations  – called Sno Cone – of lustrous acetate with voluminous shaping from Fiction by l.a. Eyeworks Collection. www.laeyeworks.com

Nia by SALT. Optics

Subtle luxury and nature’s effortless beauty merge harmoniously in SALT. Optics Nia, with uncluttered lines and pure aesthetics. www.saltoptics.com

Zero 13 by Finest Seven

Charm and featherweight chic is characteristic of stunning sunglasses – Zero 13 –  by Finest Seven, in platinum with soft pink mirror lenses. www.finestseven.com

Toni and Mia by Neubau Eyewear

City and seaside – distinctive shapes and materials highlight the trendy, sun wear looks at Neubau Eyewear with Toni (left) and Mia. www.neubau-eyewear.com JG

 

Reprise by RockOptika

A British brand with a love of the artisan, RockOptika has come up with a new collection of acetate specs that balances their unique take on vintage with perfectly worked detailing and a sensitivity towards subtle acetate colourations.

Model Reprise, a round shape with a distinctive double bridge,  has the highly polished finish of a RockOptika frame and rich tones that stand out in a crowd.

Colourways available include blue turtle, tortoise/gold (above) and the deliciously named and very British ‘greengage crumble’. Available at The Eye Place, London and RockOptika HQ, 45a London Road, St Leonards on Sea. For further details: www.rockoptika.com CN

Tradition & Trends at Die Brillenmesse Köln

Opticians and visitors from Germany, Belgium, and France viewed eyewear from independent creators in the historic surroundings of Dock One at last weekend’s show. The two-day event, situated in a restored factory on the Rhine, provided an ideal setting with spaciousness and a pleasant ambience. Established brands and newcomers presented their latest collections of optical and sunglass designs.

Visitors review eyewear designs at Die Brillenmesse Köln

Among the highlights were Götti’s Dimension collection; the innovative magnetic hinge from French brand Baars; Powder & Heat with their award winning 3D printed frames; Orgreen’s elegant Danish designs; and the introduction of sunglasses by Swiss brand Von Arkel; plus distinctive designs by Adrian Marwitz; Kerl; Coblens; Blackfin and more!

Steffen Keil and Nicole Mantovani Co-Directors Die Brillenmesse Köln

“We had a good show in Köln,” said Co-Director Nathanaël Wenger, “however, we are thinking of making some changes. Perhaps we will alter the date, and have fewer exhibitors – so the show is very exclusive. The “Think Tank” seminars are growing – we want to offer opticians the opportunity to discover more about marketing, technology and other aspects of today’s optics.”

Vintage Eyewear Collectors Alexander Dosiehn and Christian Metzler

A trip down memory lane was enjoyed by opticians and visitors with the fabulous vintage eyewear collections of Alexander Dosiehn and Christian Metzler. Both are passionate about retro eyewear  – Alexander with a special love for Cazal, and Christian is always on the lookout for frames from the 1970’s to the early 1990’s.

Die Brillenmesse Köln presented eyewear collections with a strong focus on artisan designs, innovative materials, beautiful colours, personalisation, and superior production. Watch this space for further Die Brillenmesse news! www.diebrillenmesse.de JG

Top image: Nicholas Dimroci, Gyada Lanaro from Pride Eyewear, and Steffen Keil, co-director Die Brillenmesse Köln

All Images for Eyestylist by Patrick Müller/Die Brillenmesse Köln All Rights Reserved

Kirk & Kirk at Wolf & Badger NYC

Independent eyewear and high fashion collide at Wolf & Badger NYC, with the introduction of Kirk & Kirk sunglasses for men and women. The colourful British brand’s Kaleidoscope collection is part of the curated edit of independent designer brands available at the store, which include many European brands being introduced to the US market for the first time. The shop will also present new exciting brands from the US market, providing it says “a platform to showcase their products, to share the inspiring stories behind their collections, and to connect with a design-focused and socially conscious audience.”

Kirk & Kirk display, Wolf & Badger NYC

Since Kirk & Kirk launched in 2014, the brand has quickly expanded its international presence through optical boutiques and a few handpicked fashion retailers including Wolf & Badger in London. The availability of the line through the award-winning fashion retailer in NYC is yet another development for founders Jason and Karen Kirk, at a time when their US success – from East to West – is building steadily.

WOLF & BADGER, Soho, NYC, 95 Grand St, New York, NY 10013 www.wolfandbadger.com / www.kirkandkirk.com CN

Brand New 1 by Woow Eyewear

The Brand New 1 frame by Woow Eyewear offers a glamorous take on the classic round in a selection of sweet acetate colours ranging from vibrant transparent green to a traditional subtle patterned tortoise – with matching or contrasting temple tones. True to the origin of the French label Woow, the frame offers an imaginative off-beat shape, playful details such as the little messages on the temple tips – designed to “cheer you up!” and a nice way to re-invigorate a wardrobe for Spring. Best of all the lovely quality feel and finishing (the frame is made in Italy), comes at a sensible price. Find the full collection of Woow sunglass styles and ophthalmic frames at www.wooweyewear.com CN

Line Art Charmant: Eyewear Harmony

Music is a powerful influence for artists, painters, and eyewear designers. The beauty, elegance and refinement of music inspire Charmant’s lyrical collection of eyewear (above XL2068). Line Art Charmant is a rare synergy of technological achievement and aesthetic perfection. Each exquisite handmade frame is crafted in Excellence Titan – a material that combines lightness and strength, durability, flexibility, with superb memory function, and is hypoallergenic.

View the video to see close up the perfect combination of contemporary luxury, impeccable design and sophistication in the new Line Art Charmant collection.

 

XL2093 Duo

The latest designs include streamlined sensuality evident in XL2093 from The Duo Collection, with Swarovski Crystals in subtle monochromatic colourations. Visit www.charmant.com for more exclusive feminine eyewear designs by Line Art Charmant. JG

Mercurio by Res/Rei

Traveller protection, financial gain and luck are all attributed to the Roman god Mercurio, and are inspiration for expressive sunglasses at Res/Rei. Oliviero Zanon mimics the god aesthetics with side “wings” that feature cut-out slits. The frame is a harmonious blend of vintage, modernity, and the avant-gard in lustrous Mazzucchelli acetate, and sophisticated colourations. Visit www.resrei.com for the latest vibrant designs handcrafted in Italy. JG

Die Brillenmesse Köln highlights artisan eyewear

The twin-spired Cathedral, Museum Ludwig and the Wallraf-Richartz Museum are among the many treasures to be found in the two thousand year old city of Cologne, Germany. Located on the historic Rhine River, the city is a major centre for the Rhineland, with numerous cultural landmarks. This weekend – May 6-7 – Cologne is the landmark destination for creative eyewear by independent designers. The 2017 edition of Die Brillenmesse will be held at Dock One on the banks of the Rhine.

A superb line up of new and established eyewear creators will present their latest optical and sunglass collections. Participants include Götti Switzerland; Lafont Paris; Adrian Marwitz; Orgreen; Andy Wolf Eyewear; Miamai; Von Arkel; Pride Eyewear; Anne et Valentin; and Blackfin among many others. Vintage eyewear specialists Alexander Dosiehn and Christian Metzler will be on hand with items from their fabulous retro collections. In addition, both Saturday and Sunday, there will be Think Tank seminars with informative presentations on marketing, social media, technology and other topics. Die Brillenmesse Köln is the perfect opportunity to view Blackfin’s glamorous summer sunglasses (top image: Oyster Bay), along with their chic optical designs with evocative shapes, and inspiring technology. www.blackfin.eu

 

Lynn by Götti Switzerland

Götti Switzerland is presenting several exciting collections with optical and sunglass selections: elegant rimless designs from Götti Perspective, the superbly crafted Götti Dimension –  3D printed eyewear, and lightweight beauties in ultrathin titanium, including Lynn (above). www.gotti.ch

Cazal Vintage Eyewear Alexander Dosiehn Collection

A passion for Cazal eyewear led Alexander Dosiehn to become an avid collector of the German made frames. Doshien recalled: “The more I was into Cazal, the more models I discovered that I couldn’t miss. I guess it’s the same principle for everyone collecting something; the more you dive into it, the more you get addicted. Most of the time it’s the hunt, not the treasure!” www.dosiehn.com

Pride Eyewear

Pride Eyewear launched in 2015 and the Italian brand has already garnered a prestigious Silmo d’Or award. Their latest collection will be presented in Cologne – frames with distinctive shapes, a  unique blend of technologies and materials, and fabulous colours. Crafting eyewear is truly an Italian art form, and all Pride eyewear is handmade in Italy. www.prideeyewear.it

Sunglasses by Barberini Eyewear

Provocative shapes, materials, and fabulous lenses highlight the Venice based Barberini Eyewear collections. Specialist glass lenses are a Barberini heritage, including the trademark Platinum Glass, available in fantastic colours. www.barberinieyewear.it

Discover for yourself inspirational, glamorous and unusual fashion forward eyewear at Die Brillenmesse Köln May 6-7 at Dock One. More details at www.diebrillenmesse.de JG