Eyestylist

Vava Eyewear x Olympic stadium architect Kengo Kuma 3D printed capsule

Framed as buildings, the new Limited Edition eyewear, designed with the world renowned Tokyo Olympic stadium architect, imagines the face as a landscape. The technologically advanced, evocative designs are inspired by Kengo Kuma’s architectural masterpieces

Independent eyewear brand VAVA’s architectural eyewear style takes a new and striking turn through a collaborative project with the architect of Japan’s national ‘Olympic’ stadium Kengo Kuma. Inspired by Kuma’s work, the embodiment of transparency and lightness, which looks to the future while echoing Japanese tradition, this new collaborative Limited Edition works with a combination of super light sustainable materials and complex structures, only achievable via 3D printing. Above: model CL0015 takes inspiration from the concept that the production of architecture is fundamentally a process of weaving. Many of Kuma lab’s design projects can be understood as a pursuit of different types of weaving of diverse materials exploring concepts such as pliancy, precision, lightness and strength; the Tokyo Olympic stadium – officially the Japan National Stadium – also features a woven lattice structure (in wood) referencing traditional Japanese architecture

VAVA x Kengo Kuma 3D printed eyewear – model CL0013 : materials were carefully considered to fulfil Kuma’s design philosophy of modesty

Model CL0013 is a tribute to the traditional Japanese wooden building technique – ‘Kumiki’. These techniques have been explored in depth by Kuma for his wooden (or mixed) structures, which arise from a simple pattern of assembly and, through different intersections and angles, generate a complex whole.

VAVA x Kengo Kuma model CL0013: high-tech, sustainable, conscious design

Both models are 3D printed, with the use of a natural high-quality polyamide (Rilsan® Invent by Arkema) made from a 100% renewable source (castor seeds). The castor beans used to produce oil for the material is sourced from a cooperative of certified farmers in Gujarat, India. The 3D printing technology allows the adoption of complex eyewear designs and extraordinary freedom for advanced functional and stylistic features, while using the minimum material required. A colour palette that integrates precisely with the architectural inspiration and offers a new direction at VAVA with shades of ‘Caribou’ brown, a soft yellow, a light pistachio and a natural ‘Aqua’ blue.

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About Kengo Kuma: Kengo Kuma is a globally acclaimed Japanese architect who has offices in both Tokyo and Paris. He is one of the most significant Japanese figures in contemporary architecture,  and the creator of numerous works which include the Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center in Tokyo and the Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum. Kengo Kuma is famous for his design philosophy of modesty, rejecting flashy forms in favour of buildings in harmony with their environment; he is also the designer of the Japan National Stadium in Tokyo which has been built for the 2021 Olympic Games.

VAVA x Kengo Kuma Limited Edition (just 100 pieces per colour) will be available in stores from July 2021. Find out more about the project at www.vavaeyewear.com

Lewes optician: Taylor-West & Co. (UK)

Opened in January 2021, the stylish boutique in Lewes is the third Taylor-West & Co. Opticians in the south of England

In a corner of Lewes, known for its cafes, independent stores and the Needlemakers historic building to which it is attached, the new Taylor-West & Co. practice is a bijou boutique with an elegant and smart appearance. The choice of collections on offer, and the design focus in every detail of the interior are carefully curated to meet the discerning tastes and demands of the well-known and historic town and its community of creatives, artists and music lovers.

“My aim was to create a warm, welcoming and stylish environment, ” says owner Sophie Taylor-West who also has stores in Hove (Brighton) and Dulwich (London). “I wanted to make people feel comfortable and at ease, just as they would feel in the home of a friend. I also wanted it to have an element of fun and frivolity, to suit the range of frames I sell!” A pink and gold ‘Woods’ wallpaper by Cole & Son, adds a whimsical touch to the interior which is otherwise minimal and white with some old exposed brick. An apothecary drawer unit which immediately catches the eye was a special find on Vinterior – shipped over especially from the Netherlands.

Above: the interior features vintage furniture and bespoke displays for individual frames to make each one stand out and to highlight its special character. The shop has large beautifully decorated windows and an airy, fun and sunny space has been created by the owner Sophie who is passionate, creative and dedicated as well as “hands-on”!

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Kirk & Kirk frames at Taylor-West Lewes; a local brand with HQ just down the road in Brighton

Sophie told us that she and her builder did all the work to redesign the shop. “I love sourcing all the decor and display materials myself; I have put a flash of yellow in each store, and the yellow armchairs I found are perfect for this. The neon sign in the window is something I haven’t tried before, but I wanted this to be really eye-catching for people walking and driving past, to make it obvious what sort of establishment we are! Lastly, I’m pleased with the faces display in the second window, which I painstakingly made myself from acrylic. I think they really showcase our style.”

Taylor-West & Co. Lewes – featuring RES/REI, Anne & Valentin, Mykita and more!

The store currently features eyewear brands from around the world – Anne & Valentin, Mykita, Ahlem, Orgreen Optics, RES/REI, and Kirk & Kirk, and the curated selection varies from store to store as Sophie explains in detail. “My brand choices have changed organically over time. For example, the only brands we still have in Hove which have lasted since opening are Anne & Valentin and Kirk & Kirk, (which just happens to be a Brighton brand). It’s so difficult to know who your customers will be and what they will want when opening a practice from scratch. You just have to pick what you like, and then really believe in them. You also have to know when something isn’t working and be brave enough to phase it out…! We found a lot of new brands when we opened in Dulwich, such as Mykita and Ahlem, and they have worked well when we got them in Hove and then Lewes. I’m a great believer in the expression ‘you can’t be all things to everyone’. I’ve sometimes worried that our average price point is too high and this will put off some potential customers, but in this climate you have to differentiate. Decide where to place yourself in the marketplace, and do it really well. I prefer to stick to handmade, high-end eyewear which will stand the test of time, and trust that our patients want the best quality there is.” Taylor-West & Co. The Needlemakers, West Street, Lewes, E Sussex www.taylorwestandco.uk

Australia: new brand launch by mother and son duo

‘The Elusive Miss Lou’ brings colour, bright pattern and sunny vibes, post pandemic

Out of lockdown, and now post pandemic from Australia comes a new artistic quality driven line of eyewear from Teiger and Louise Sceats, a mother and son ‘dynamic duo’ with proven experience of optics and fashion. The brand, named ‘The Elusive Miss Lou’ is all about colour, pattern and fun, offering frames which suit your face and lifestyle and “allow you to express yourself!”

From a family of optics, which started some 112 years ago, Teiger is the son of Louise and Jonathan Sceats, a design team already well recognised in the world of eyewear. Teiger’s grandfather was an optometrist with a practice on Sydney’s George Street making him the third generation in the family to become immersed in the world of frames and the heir to the family’s creative optical passion.

Above: Louise Sceats, Teiger’s mum, enjoys sitting by the sea and designing happy artworks from her new home on Sydney’s northern beaches, Avalon Beach. After a short lived retirement, Louise has return to her creative passion and involvement with eyewear design; her son Tyger will run and manage the day to day development of the business.

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Wearable artworks by Miss Lou: Across The Buttons / colour ‘Life Brights’ – from ‘The Elusive Miss Lou’ collection – a fabric lining in clear crystal matched with a pearly acetate temple

“We are determined to create something really wonderful and spread happiness in what I think we can all agree has been a not so great period of time…”  Teiger Sceats

Across The Box / colour ‘Mind Brights’ – a pretty 1930’s inspired ‘Miss Lou’ design described as “a panto with wings” – the frames feature a gold L initial on each temple

Applying Louise’s creative design experience to Teiger’s story telling and experience growing up with brand creation, the new collection has just come to fruition and embodies the duo’s spirit of resilience, brightness and design originality, through artistic colour mixes, details of fabrics and textures and designs with a bubbly, fresh Australian personality and style. Find out more about the new line at https://theelusivemisslou.com

Online exclusive: Stefan Sagmeister x Götti Switzerland

A collaborative topline design inspired by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo

Götti Switzerland has teamed with New York based Austrian designer Stefan Sagmeister – to create a frame inspired by Frida Kahlo. Characterised by a strong, eye-catching browline – described as “a single iconic brush stroke” – over an extremely minimal pared back construction of the lenses, temples and hinges, this frame combines a 3D printed Polyamide brow piece with a very sinuous stainless steel LITE temple. The photochromic light-adaptive lenses adjust from an almost clear 12% indoors to a darker 85% for sunny conditions and offer 100% UVA/B sun protection as well as having an anti-reflective inner coating. Above: the new Limited Edition Frida style with packaging and logo design by Sagmeister

Sagmeister x Götti Switzerland: inspired by Frida Kahlo’s iconic “monobrow”

Sagmeister’s last sabbatical in Mexico City and his perception of Kahlo on souvenir after souvenir – “as a presence for relentless touristic consumption”  – formed the basis of the concept which grew into this design with the Swiss eyewear producer. Sagmeister states: “Kahlo is among the few artists whose fame reached such heights that her features — like Salvador Dali’s mustache or Andy Warhol’s wig — morphed into a visual signifier, a logo. As a designer fascinated by the creation and evolution of such logos, transforming one of them back into a product seemed like the logical thing to do….”

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Releasing a Limited Edition of just 300 pairs – the frame goes on sale online from 10th to 17th June exclusively (at Euro 515). Visit www.gotti.ch/sagmeister to find complete details.

History & heritage: Ottica Casoni, Modena

A family-owned store with a rich past – officially listed by the Province of Modena with the title “Bottega Storica” (Historic Artisan Store) of Emilia Romagna

With an historic architectural style that is typical of the city, Ottica Casoni is located in an impressive palazzo building which offers elegant warm colours and distinctive porticos. Formally the French embassy in the 1800s, the location was first turned into an optical shop in 1933 by two young women.

Giovanni Casoni, the first member of the Casoni family to work in the optical business and at this very location, graduated as an optician in Emilia in 1946. After a short stint working in eyewear production, he decided to take over the shop from the previous owners in the 1950s, and he grew and directed the family business until his son Roberto took over in the 1980s. Today, brothers Emanuele and Alessandro, the 3rd generation of the Casoni family to be involved with the business – are running the store together, with passion for and dedication to some of the finest eyewear brands from around the world.

Interior: in 2016, the interior was renovated to present its rich history

The shop was last renovated and redesigned in 2016, Alessandro told Eyestylist. “We’d been thinking about it for a while. And we gradually have managed to update the interior to what you see today. We wanted to resurrect different elements of the interior of the past…gradually adding some of the items and instruments used by our grandfather – in order to create a special point of interest and to take a look back in time at how our store looked in those previous times. The final project to make it a reality came through our collaboration with the designer Dino “Neropaco” who created a perfect harmony between the history and modern day/avantgarde.”

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Interior; balancing historic Italian grandeur with contemporary design

A love for fine eyewear design is immediately evident in this shop, and in its tastefully edited social media posts that first caught our eye several years ago. Alessandro adds, ” A love for eyewear is part of who we are, and something we’ve inherited from our family. Our interest has evolved because we are curious and we enjoy finding out more and traveling to international fairs…this has allowed us to come across some marvelous projects which always impress us, whether it’s the innovative crafting, an original form, or an extraordinary precision in the details.”

Traditions of the past – a corner for frame adjustments with vintage style fittings and old-fashioned tools

Today, Ottica Casoni offers independent eyewear brands from around the world, including Anne & Valentin, AKONI Haffmans & Neumeister, Piero Massaro, JMM, and Lesca curated as a special selection because “each collection has its own unique identity which makes it recognisable and different from the other ones.” One of the latest to be added was the Italian designer Piero Massaro, who works with skill in multi-layered acetate designs. Asked about sustainable materials, the brothers added that they have decided to dedicate more space within the selection they offer to limited small-scale production and designers using sustainable materials, recycled packaging and sustainable practices that are based on low waste.

Via Luigi Carlo Farini, 65, Modena, Italy