Eyestylist visits Etnia Barcelona, flagship store

Etnia Barcelona released official images of its flagship store by Santa Maria del Mar (El Born, Barcelona) in April. Remodelled by Jordi Tió, the project also involved interior designers – Lázaro Rosa-Violán, the design studio behind some of Barcelona’s most fashionable hotels and restaurants, including Boca Grande, El Nacional and Soho House Barcelona. Eyestylist visited the building in August 2017.

Etnia’s flagship store extends the brand identity of the Barcelona label in a stylish design focused building with two shop floors, showrooms, workshops, a terrace and a bar/entertainment space at the rooftop, with beautiful views over the city. Owned by David Pellicer, and created over 17 years ago, the Spanish eyewear label has become a top-selling European brand across the world – after particular success in France, as well as further afield, in the US and S. America.

Glass dome displays – Etnia Barcelona

The remodelling of the building was led by Jordi Tió, a design expert related to the design world of Vinçon (a former retail company in the Catalan city) and architect of the Barcelona and Berlin Camper Hotels, amongst others. The work involved the demolition of several bearing walls to create diaphanous spaces in the old building, as well as the lift well, running from top to bottom, with views of the different floors of the store. The façade has been strictly preserved, right down to the colours, respecting the original appearance of the building.

Interior design details – Etnia Barcelona

The shop interior speaks for itself. As well as some ‘Catalan’ touches in the colourful details  – the elegant lift is based on a classic Barcelona ‘ascensor’, the individual spaces offer a pleasurable experience for browsing and trying on frames, with recurring themes: furniture and mirrors with the feel of an old-fashioned barber’s shop, and central “bar” areas with mirrors and vintage “objets”  – recovered from old optical stores -, flowers and glass dome displays.

The furnishings and lighting portray a 1940s style, referencing different trades and spaces. From old operating theatre lights to a jeweller’s work bench or theatre dressing table with its light mirror, to create a kind of backstage feeling. The store also stocks art monographs and photography books, to underline the brand’s relationship with the world of the arts, a focus for many of their limited edition sunglasses. www.etniabarcelona.com  Eyestylist.com wishes to thank Noemi at Etnia Barcelona for arranging a tour of the store. CN

Trends: Crystal clear (now and into Autumn)

While crystal colorations often get more attention in the warmer months in the sunglasses lines, next season, the transparent effect will linger on as a mood for the winter months. Some of the transparent frames have a tinge of pink or grey, while others offer an edgy see-through effect that can look very modern, even if the crystal tone first appeared decades ago.

The shapes of the crystal frames vary enormously with classic and unconventional proposals coexisting. Berenford, from Switzerland, has a nice square interpretation with a 1960s reference – Francoise (Absinthe) in their L’Avventura Edition – is made from vintage Mazzucchelli acetate. The frame is inspired by style icon Francoise Hardy, the French singer, and is fitted with Zeiss sun lenses for excellent UV protection. www.berenford.com

Kiani by SALT. Optics

SALT. Optics often features crystal with a very chic polished finish. For next season, their Kiani frame combines a shape with retro details such as a key hole bridge and a very clean, transparent acetate material with a gentle hint of grey. www.saltoptics.com

 

Arthur Arbesser for Silhouette

The lightweight simplicity of the Arbesser sunglasses, a collaboration with Silhouette Eyewear, is further enhanced in the crystal version, teamed with gold temples. The beautifully shaped lightweight frame and circular lens – pictured here in a graduated green – are the perfect finishing touch for the luxury looks in the new season collections. Find more sun styles at www.silhouette.com CN

 

Sol Sol Ito 032BF

Our love for eyewear design always leads us to the small yet creatively minded enterprises in the frame business: Sol Sol Ito is an independent label from Zurich, Switzerland, with a unique perspective on design and a fastidious passion for craftsmanship. Each frame style, including the elegant Sol Sol Ito 032BF (above), has signature exchangeable twin-steel arms – created in a huge choice of colours – a design feature which also offers a comfy, custom fit. 032BF, like all the styles by this Swiss label, is a limited edition – just 50 are produced of each one. The fluid curves of the front are reminiscent of details in the art deco design movement and reappear in different ways in several of the designs across the collections.

Available at selected boutique opticians including Fueter & Halder, (Baden), Parici, (Paris) and Bruce Eyewear, (Vancouver) – the award-winning Sol Sol Ito label was created by designer Sandra Kaufmann and artist Monika Fink. Photo credit: Hans Hansen. More details at www.solsolito.com CN

Restyling at Monocle, Rome

Eyestylist wrote about Monocle, the optical ‘eyewear gallery’ in Rome, in June 2013 – http://www.eyestylist.com/2013/06/monocle-romes-eyewear-gallery/.

Four years on, the shop owned by Gabriele Vergerio, and managed by creative eyewear expert Carmen Cox, has been restyled – by architect Andrea Eusebi. The new interior highlights the individuality of the frame collections on display in a chic understated neutral setting that exudes finesse and attention to detail, typical of the store which is one of the leading eyewear boutiques in Europe.

The restyled interior is adorned with elegant details including materials such as Palisander and brushed iron, in a design that was commissioned exclusively for the store “to reflect the image of the owner Gabriele Vergerio” –  and realized in its entirety by skilled Italian artisans.
For 2017, Monocle highlights Jacques Marie Mage, Ahlem, Linda Farrow (newly selected), Matsuda, Dita, Thom Browne, Mykita, Hoffmann, Kuboraum, 8000 and the boutique’s own label, Monocle Eyewear. The store prides itself on providing an exquisite choice in hard-to-find designs, created to exacting standards of craftsmanship in luxurious, often unusual materials.

Monocle Eyeglasses gallery/Eyewear/Accessories, Via di Campo Marzio 13, 00186, Roma, Italy – www.monocle.it CN

All white

The statement appeal of white vintage-style sunglasses make them a recurring trend in fashion. Popularised many times, and in the 90s by Kurt Cobain (he wore a Christian Roth shape, now re-released), the white oval or squaew designs have been a hit with celebrities, even back in the 1950s and 60s, thanks to iconic designers such as Oliver Goldsmith, who made the statement white frame with dark “mysterious” lens look his very own.

Above: Sheila Scott, the English aviator, wearing Oliver Goldsmith “sunspectacles” in 1966 – featured in ‘The Optician’, May 27th 1966

Ogle by OG (Oliver Goldsmith); the original 1960s white sunglasses

One example that has helped shape this trend is now in the prestigious V&A accessories collection in London. The OG Icon Ogle dates back to 1966, and its curvaceous, stylised shape with upward curve at the front, was featured in the national press, along with many other white iconic styles. “This frame defines the look of that time,” says Claire Goldsmith, eyewear designer and great granddaughter of the eponymous celebrity sunglass designer. “Today the frame is handmade to order; it is an OG masterpiece, and one of many that have a classic and timeless place in our wardrobes.”

Oliver Goldsmith – early press coverage from 1968 – white sunnies with “pull-down sun-blinds” – a quirky idea by the charismatic designer
Manhattan in white by Oliver Goldsmith – the all-time favourite

Other OG styles bear the influence of those earlier decades, even the most eccentric with their striking shapes or stylish details. The famous Manhattan (pictured above), typically featured in dark tortoise or black, has made a 2017 comeback in matt white with trendy clear temples. “Who would have thought she would look so pretty in white!” says Goldsmith with delight at the result of the re-edition, part of a series which explores pale gelato pastels, giving the classic frame a new and elegant focus for the summer. www.olivergoldsmith.com CN

Luxurious elegance

Exquisite jewels and precious materials are celebrated in eyewear, with iconic style and superb crafting – jewels for the eyes. Lovely stones distinguish watches, rings, necklaces and earrings – and the results are even more stunning in eyewear. The LINDBERG Precious collection  features distinctive designs in the finest materials and stones sourced from exclusive mines. The LINDBERG design above is meticulously crafted in 18 caret solid rose gold with 1 x 0.33 caret baguette cut pink diamond, plus 1 x 0.38 caret baguette cut pink diamond. Refined and glamorous! A testament to LINDBERG’s 85 international awards for eyewear excellence. www.lindberg.com

The Taurus by MONOCEROS

A single piece of rich buffalo horn is superbly crafted into The Taurus from the MONOCEROS collection, handcrafted in Austria. The design is a new interpretation of a classic horn frame, with its vintage referenced round shape. The Taurus has been recognised as a 2017 Green Product Selection. Horn has long been used in eyewear; however, the MONOCEROS collection is a new contemporary manifestation of nature, glamour and luxury. www.monoceros.cc

Twilight by Birgitte Falvin FALVIN Eyewear

Birgitte Falvin understands the link between jewellery and fine eyewear. Before launching her frame collection, her metier was fine jewellery. FALVIN designs specialise in traditional eyewear techniques to ensure long-lasting quality and beauty. “It is an aesthetic attitude,” says Birgitte, “and our titanium frames are crafted in Japan.” Twilight in matte black features a layer of palladium with sleek streamlined contours. www.falvin.dk

“Haute Joallerie” Art Decoratif by SILHOUETTE

Art Deco inspired opulence, highlights the latest Atelier collection, handcrafted with geometric styling to capture the iconic style of the era. Baguette diamonds and beautiful gemstones radiate grace and finesse, coupled with Silhouettes’s design and technical expertise. www.silhouette.com JG

Velma by Komorebi Eyewear

It is always a pleasure to introduce a new quality eyewear label. Belgian brand Komorebi has caught our interest with its clean designs produced in Japanese titanium and carefully selected Mazzucchelli acetate. Each of the models is inspired by transparency, light and reflection, based on ‘komorebi’, the Japanese word for “sunlight shining through the leaves”.

Komorebi eyewear works closely with small creative workshops in Belgium and Europe to create its frames and eyewear cases. Model Velma, a unisex sandblasted titanium frame has a gentle aesthetic that is clean, minimal and delicate but appealingly different.

The frame is hand-polished on the outer surface to create a bright shiny finish. The end tips on all the designs are based on stylised leaves – a signature of the brand. Komorebi was launched in Spring 2017. The brand will be present at the Paris optics fair Silmo in October. www.komorebi.be CN

Yoko by Ørgreen

Some combinations like titanium and beta-titanium just work, and the Danish company Ørgreen is masterful at integrating the two, for a result that brings together great design and a wonderful sense of lightness. Yoko is a new sunglass design named after and dedicated to the peace activist and 60s icon. The oversized round silhouette and refined slim bridge are proposed in several colour combinations in a predominantly restrained palette that complements the sandblasted gold titanium.

Model 656
Model 656

 

While we’d go for a sharp duo of mat racing green and gold (model 627, top), festival-goers will be lusting after the theatrical effect of the mat vintage rose with pink to purple “look-at-me” mirrors (model 656, above).  www.orgreenoptics.com CN