‘Cognac expresses avant-garde and boldness’ says Julien Couture, co-founder and creative director of the emerging label Lunetterie Générale from Canada. The frame, pictured above in Tortoise with a gold clip and mustard lenses, is an example of the quality focus in the collection which is produced in Fukui, Japan, well-known as a centre of traditional expertise and precision in eyewear production. Each frame undergoes 48 stages of manufacture from start to finish, coordinated by several specialist craftsmen.
Stuttgart is a central oasis – a welcoming nucleus of palaces; parks; Porsche and Mercedes-Benz Museums; galleries and theatre. The city has its own unique identity, as does the yearly eyewear event that takes place at Motorworld – an expansive venue for unique frame display, and an opportunity to ogle luxurious vintage cars. Die Brillenmesse creates the stage for a two-day event with independent opticians presenting their latest collections. Co-organisers Nathanaël Wenger and Steffen Keil (above image) have long championed independent creators. Photo for Eyestylist by Patrick Müller/Die Brillenmesse All Rights Reserved
As Nath observes: “Independent designers and opticians belong together like the lid on the pot. They also need each other. I can see a clear division between the mass-market with mass-produced products, and niche opticians with beautiful handcrafted frames. You can see this division in fashion, food and many other domains. The positive thing about the Internet is that it also helps our customers to make mature decisions. The level of information is high, and the consumer IS king.
Nath adds: “Consumers want to know more about a brand; it is all about emotion, connection and good feelings. This is why story telling is a key element in the buying process. Being an optician means working with people, and people love entertainment. Craftsmanship and individuality are also becoming more important than it used to be. It takes courage for an optician to focus only on independent eyewear designs, but the results are often positive, and definitely make working more fun.
“It has always been our aim to strengthen independent eyewear designers, and to create a platform where independent opticians can meet them in a relaxed environment. We have to work together, and build awareness for artisan eyewear, and show the world how exciting eyewear can be. In Stuttgart we have interesting newcomers like Carin Eyewear, Düsseldorf Eyewear, Yuichi Toyama, and well established brands with new innovative lines including Andy Wolf, Götti and Orgreen. The Motorworld location is added value, and has proven itself over the past years.”
The variety of independent creators provides selections that are unique and innovative: Blackfin from Italy will unveil their luxurious titanium designs; Adrian Marwitz and his glamorous sunglass and optical frames; minimalist concepts by Andy Wolf Eyewear; the contemporary charms of eyewear by Miamai München; sculptural beauties by Didier Voirol; meticulously crafted designs by Von Arkel in Switzerland; vintage treasures from Lesca; and more! Note the date in your diary – Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart 28th and 29th October at Motorworld. www.diebrillenmesse.dewww.motorworld.deJG
Influential and progressive designs permeate the latest collection at KBL Eyewear with timeless elegance, graceful silhouettes, and trendy layering. The designs for men and women highlight the frames – crafted in Japan – in beautiful quality materials, and subtle, sophisticated colourations. Echoing modernity and detailing, the newest collection campaign was photographed at the Philharmonie de Paris – the innovative concert hall designed by Jean Nouvel. The unique basket weave design of the building reflects the KBL concept – eyewear with originality and flair. Eiffel – the sleek sun style (top image worn by the male model) unites titanium and acetate in a contemporary shape, with slender temples. Champs-Elysées (on the woman) is luxuriously enhanced with layered acetate on titanium.
Optical designs by KBL flourish with minimalist concepts in titanium and stylish spirit. The Lancaster (above left) is a full titanium frame with a double bridge – both discreet and distinctive. The Grant (above right) also in titanium – sports a Windsor rim, in the tradition of fine heritage eyewear. Discover the entire KBL collection 6th-9th October at SILMO Paris! JG
Photos: Elisa Teichtmeister; Styling: Pur Styl – Jasmin Teichtmeister; Photographed at Philharmonie de Paris
Versatility with materials is creatively expressed in Scott by Face à Face Paris. Advanced technical developments enable eyewear designers to experiment in innovative ways. Metal and aluminium combine in Scott with a voluminous shape and distinctive details – a bright splash of sunny yellow on the nose bar and temples, juxtaposed with black. Face à Face will present their collection of optical frames and sunglasses at SILMO Paris in October. www.faceaface-paris.comJG
Eyestylist.com begins an engaging new series today – Designer Domiciles – which will feature delightful conversations with international creators about where they reside, and their passion and enchantment for their neighbourhood and region. And what a great way to kick-off this series than with Claire Goldsmith – Director Oliver Goldsmith – London!
City where you were born: I’m a proud Londoner born and bred.
If you could live elsewhere…it would be: I would have to say, somewhere with better weather! Somewhere warmer! The weather is literally the only thing I would change about London if I could. If only it could be 9 months of summer and 3 months of winter. So I think I might want to live in New Zealand as the climate there is just about perfect for me.
What intrigues you most about London: I love London for its layers that have come about through hundreds of years of history. I love the idea that 200-400 years ago the streets I walk everyday were so different. I love the grime and the “secret London” that lies behind the frontage. London is a fascinating city with an incredible history wherever you go in it.
A fascinating London street you love: So…a little known fact – London has some amazing hidden alleyways often housing some of the most traditional and lovely little drinking establishments. These tiny old pubs literally transport you back in time. If you are lucky enough to stumble across one of these alleyways, you will never forget it. Here are a couple not to miss if you come here: – Newman Passage, Fitzrovia – is one of my favourites! – Bull Inn Court, Covent Garden – Lamb’s Conduit Passage, Holborn – Ely Court, Farringdon – Wine Office Court, City of London – Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden.
Your favourite London restaurant – and why? There are so many good restaurants it’s almost impossible to choose one! But I would have to say if I have to choose just one, it would be The River Cafe – a West London classic where you can sit outside on the river. It has a super casual vibe to it, but it’s a Michelin star restaurant. It’s so relaxed and comfortable and always without fail, you eat phenomenal food. It’s a total favourite.
Another city that holds a fascination for you…and why: I think I would have to say Tokyo. I went a couple of times for work but never for pleasure. I would really love to spend some time there just exploring it a bit more. That goes for cities in Japan generally.
Music that inspires you: I used to listen to albums of artists I liked. Now I listen to music I like. Spotify has changed the way we listen to music. I tend to play Spotify playlists on radio and listen to music I would not normally listen to, or even know about. As result I now like quite a broad spectrum of music. Spotify has opened up my music tastes a lot!
A book that influenced you: The Handmaid’s Tale – a story of a future I hope to never see. I studied it at A-Level (18) and never forgot it. And have just finished watching the TV adaptation of it and it was incredible! Dare I say it – possibly even better than the book itself. When does that ever happen…
Your personal style – describe in three items: Trainers. Black tapered trousers. Coats.
The most photogenic location in London: London is photogenic. It’s hard to take a bad picture of her!
Three objects that mean the most to you: The watch my dad gave me on my 21st birthday, but sadly never quite got to give it to me himself. The bracelet my grandmother left to me that I always loved, because she literally never took it off in all the time I knew her. My “Grisly box” where I keep the teeth that have fallen out of my kid’s mouths, because I am a gross mum who loves their grisly little milk teeth!
Who really inspires you: Usually it’s other women running businesses and managing their families effectively!
Claire will be presenting the new collection of Oliver Goldsmith and Claire Goldsmith at SILMO Paris in October. www.olivergoldsmith.com JG
Jono Hennessy’s latest creations include a graceful, contemporary style in pretty floral hues of crystal. The shimmering see-through design – Model 8414 – is accented with a distinctive bamboo acetate temple with a matt finish. Pale pink, tender green, soft lavender and clear crystal tones are beautiful additions to the Jono Hennessy collection. See all the newest Jono Hennessy releases at SILMO! www.jonohennessy.comJG
Eyewear creatives owe much to the international trade fair, SILMO, which takes place every year in Paris. Founded in the Jura, the traditional spectacle-making region of France, today the French show has grown into an international platform for designers and creators in eyewear, with fairs in Sydney, Istanbul and (shortly) Bangkok as well as Paris where the fair also boasts a strong alliance with the fashion industry via Premiere Classe, the Parisian fashion accessories fair.
Taking place in early October, the 50th edition of SILMO promises a large selection of exhibitors as well as celebrations, special events and what promises to be a memorable SILMO d’Or awards ceremony. As the climate of expansion in the independent sector continues, a significant number of newcomers are listed as exhibiting. They include Komorebi (Belgium), Stealer (Korea) and optician, Joseph Haver (Israel) who launches a brilliant eponymous sunglasses edition (image: above, new campaign by Joseph Haver).
Independent eyewear leaders returning to the annual event include: Ørgreen Optics. The Danish brand will showcase seven bold, yet elegant male and female titanium styles – photographed in a campaign by Philip Messmann. The shapes range from round vintage looking styles to contemporary square college inspired silhouettes. The colour combinations include timeless black, varying shades of brown, and stylish tones of blue and red.
Claire Goldsmith (UK) brings the iconic OG Sunglasses collection with new colour proposals and new lens details. “The Introduction of 2-base lenses into the Icons collection is giving some of these classics a completely fresh look. Combined with some luscious new acetate from Mazzuchelli some OG icons got a facelift!” Also showing is the new CG Optical Collection. www.olivergoldsmith.com / www.clairegoldsmith.com
US eyewear producers Kenmark return annually to Paris with their designer eyewear collections, Vera Wang and Zac Posen. Vera Wang’s fashionista sunglasses line will be available to view with the new ophthalmics, designed with superb references to directional trends and bold shapes in captivating acetate colours. www.kenmarkeyewear.com
Designer Ti Kwa of Rigards always delivers innovation and expertise in his exceptional artisan eyewear: the Sterling Silver Collection will be one of the highlights at the Rigards stand at SILMO, an expression of precise, luxurious design that is rare, exotic and always surprising. View more details about Rigards at www.rigards.com
SILMO Paris 2017 takes place from 6th to 9th October at Paris Nord Villepinte. For more information visit: www.silmoparis.comFurther Previews will be available on Eyestylist in the comingweeks.CN
Our friends at independent luxury eyewear destination, Eyespot, are launching a new series of in-store events, dedicated to emerging designers. EYESPOT X COLLECTION will be run as a Pop Up shop featuring exceptional designer ranges, selected from around the world for a limited engagement. Some of the exciting new labels with be making their first appearance in the US, allowing customers to get a very special taste of the most creative and innovative small labels and, in many cases, to meet the designers behind the brand at the opening events.
Appearing for the first boutique exhibition is Mondelliani Glasses from Rome, whose collection will be launched in store on September 15th and 16th from 10am until 5pm (open to everyone). Flying in from Italy, founder of the brand, Federico Mondello and family member and designer Roberta will be available through the weekend at Eyespot, to talk about the creation of the collection and their background in optics in Rome, where the Mondello family whose first optical store opened in 1975, now own several optical boutiques themselves.
Typical of the eye-catching handmade collection is the Eolie Collection, comprising glamorous sunglasses inspired by the beautiful, vivid colours of the Mediterranean and the Aeolian Islands off the coast of Sicily. These super sunglass styles have uniquely flattering shapes and fresh toned, matching high-quality lenses produced by world leader Zeiss for an “exceptional visual experience”.
Also exhibiting is the Birds Collection, inspired by the play of colours of the feathers of birds, and the brand’s avantgarde Rigadritto range, a tribute to great icons of international cinema. Minimalist lines and exciting lens shapes come together in this exclusive artisan series. The label will also show a super collaborative limited edition line with US textile designer, John Robshaw.
EYESPOT is the only retailer in New England carrying this prestigious collection from Italy. The collection will be available at the store following the Event this coming weekend and through to end of December 2017. The EYESPOT event takes place at One Boylston Street, The Street, Chestnut Hill, MA. For further information, visit https://eyespot.com/ – www.mondelliani.itEyestylist.com isdelighted to support the new EYESPOT x COLLECTION events. CN
Visitors to the autumn edition of Hall of Frames Zurich have the opportunity to explore new, expressive and exciting visual horizons. The two-day event – 15th and 16th October – will showcase independent designers and brands, with exceptional collections of beautiful frames. (Top image: Dante-S by Götti Switzerland)
Among the designers exhibiting are Götti Switzerland, Adrian Marwitz; Blackfin: Face à Face Paris; Miamai Eyewear; Neubau Eyewear; L.G.R; Didier Voirol; Johann von Coisern, Orgreen, and more! Over fifty brands will introduce their latest styles in a new, remarkable and architecturally impressive location.
The Umweltarena (Environmental Centre) in Spreitenbach – less than thirty minutes from central Zurich, is a fascinating ecological centre – an ideal location when sustainability has become a global challenge. The optics sector is aware of the need to care for resources, and increasingly, frames are being crafted in sustainable materials.
In addition to fabulous frames, visitors are invited to participate in the “Think Tank” sessions, given by experienced professionals, and include short talks on topics relevant to optician’s needs and interests.
Save the dates! 15th and 16th October – and discover innovative eyewear that exudes style and statement design, plus enjoy visiting the fascinating, dynamic Umweltarena ecological centre.
A great fit and avantgarde style: Sandra Kaufmann and Monica Fink, the founders of award-winning Sol Sol Ito, who come from outside the eyewear sector, told Clodagh Norton about their approach to design, as their new styles launch for the coming season.
“As designers we need to be aware of our role in creating personality”
How did you come to set up Sol Sol Ito? We both wear glasses – me for distance (Sandra) and Monika for better close-up vision. We happened to be searching for a perfect frame which would fit correctly and then we started to create our own ideas. With our different optical prescriptions we felt this was a good starting point. The name of the brand came from Sausalito, the seaside town north of San Francisco.
What are your backgrounds as you are both from outside eyewear? Monika studied sculptural art in Barcelona and Geneva after an apprenticeship in design engineering. I am an industrial designer with years of experience in the Swiss watch industry. As a student, Sandra wanted to work at the Philippe Starck studio and ended up, by chance, working for Alain Mikli, a close friend of Starck and the eyewear partner of the Starck collection, where she learnt a lot about glasses.
You are keen on craftsmanship and quality – how did this come about and tell us a little about the frames – where are they made and what materials do you prefer? Traditionally, Swiss design is quite minimal, smart, adhering to a high quality standard. We are both innovation driven in our fields, and that’s why we started to work on a special hinge as a USP. For weeks, we were bending and cutting wire in Monika’s art studio. In the Swiss watch industry, we found a small manufacturer who was able to produce our metal parts. It’s difficult to produce our temples, although they look so simple. The acetate comes from Italy, and we put everything together in our studio in the centre of Zurich. We can check every detail of each frame ourselves, and that’s important to us.
Can you talk about the “open” design of the temple – the origin of this and how it has evolved since you started the collection? A strong, unique brand recognition is helpful for a newcomer in the market. We searched for an eye-catching design element that would be functional and aesthetically interesting. As we use the same temple shape for the different fronts, opticians can easily exchange the temple colours. Logistically this is interesting for a start-up: it’s the concept of an ‘eyewear kit’. Our first collection had very thick temples and was quite extreme; subsequently, we made the frames lighter and thinner and easier to adjust. Swiss people do not tend to wear heavy frames.
How does your use of colour represent the brand – you use some daring citrus and very bright tones, what inspires this mood? We don’t have a particular source of inspiration for the colour palette. We are inspired by many things, throughout the day – even with closed eyes you get wonderful inspiration. Monika is working on the colours, it’s her passion. The combination of a functional, technically inspired frame concept and an extreme, often elaborate colour range is our speciality. It’s a ‘feeling’, and something that’s in the air.
What is coming up in the collection? Cool new feminine pilot sunglasses in flashy colours. That’s what we will be wearing next season! Sol Sol Ito will exhibit at #SILMO50 in October. For more details visit www.solsolito.comCN Still life images by Hans Hansen.
Explorers and their adventurous spirit inspire Orgreen’s expressive frames that celebrate great navigators. Among those honoured is Vasco da Gama, the first European to reach India by sea. The Vasco frame combines modern and vintage elements with square lenses and a low nose bridge. The colours are luxurious – deep blue matte (above), pale green and warm tortoise – all echoing textures and colours of foreign forests and seas – plus exotic spices like pepper and cinnamon. Explore more visual horizons by Orgreen at www.orgreenoptics.comJG
Striking new creations with design inspiration infused with the contemporary, technical excellence of IC! Berlin, will be presented at SILMO Paris in October. Experience and capture the imagination of individualistic and passionate frame wearers with minimalistic styling; durability; comfort; and special characteristics. The beauty of durable, stainless steel – in which the frames are crafted – is further enhanced with a patented, screwless spring hinge. Top image: Left Mona sun; right Leon sun
Family history plays an important role in the creation of SEEOO. Gerald Lasnik, founder and CEO, discovered hidden treasures in his Austrian grandfather’s attic, including a pair of reading glasses. Lasnik was so delighted with this vintage find, he wanted to bring this eyewear back to life…with a modern, reinterpretation of a distinctly unique – and legendary classic.
The result is SEEOO MONALEON – a progressive and harmonising concept – complimented by traditional and evocative styling. Expressed with modern flair and avant-garde high tech innovation, the collaboration with Ic! Berlin and the sleek SEEOO MONALEON designs will be treasured by many creative and enthusiastic eyewear consumers. www.seeoo.atJG