Eyewear for opti

Munich’s expanding international fair for optical professionals – opti – takes place in a few weeks at Fairground Munich. Known for its wide variety of exhibitors and impressive line up of independent designers, the event is one of the highlights of the optical year in Europe, and is increasingly attended by retailers and business professionals from inside and outside Europe.

This year, the fair offers an exceptional mix of creative designers and distinctive eyewear collections from as far afield as Hong Kong, the US, Swedish Lapland and Canada. First time exhibitors include Rapp, Nirvan Javan, Frency and Mercury and Specs Lab Zurich.

A selection of start-ups and small labels will show in the OPTI Boxes (Hall C2), some, such as Lightbird (Italy), showing product for the first time. Above: Young label PORTRAIT Eyewear from Italy will show their new artistic Glitch Series (opti BOXES). The Interface sunglasses (above) are a tribute to Peter Campus, the American pioneer video artist. www.portraiteyewear.com

Oliver Goldsmith – highlighting new winter sunglasses for opti

Oliver Goldsmith pioneered the idea of “winter sunglasses” in 1966, according to Claire Goldsmith. In an article written about them in the 60s in the UK, the concept was explained: “The idea was that these designs should be worn in the winter months as  there was insufficient sun-light to warrant wearing dark lensed summer sunglasses.” Originally, the lenses were made from precision ground optical glass and were very pale in density making them ideal for wearing indoors as well as outside on dull winter days.” Re-exploring the concept with special releases for opti19, the new styles offer the statement style of Goldsmith designs and are fitted with state-of-the-art soft hued lenses by Divel Italy for exceptional comfort and protection. www.olivergoldsmith.com

Honey by BOZ

Always bold and decorative, J F REY’s BOZ collection continues to offer surprising shapes and eccentric combinations, designed with sophisticated creative touches. The BOZ collection will be exhibited with JF REY, 1985, and the much praised leather line – Le Cuir – at the opti fair. www.jfrey.fr

Pantos C8 – Tavat Eyewear

Tavat Eyewear has launched a series of exciting designs in recent months. Their ability to use innovative construction in multiple designs and material combinations continues to develop through a strong commitment to original design and artisan excellence. Find them at opti and visit their website at www.tavateyewear.com

BLACKFIN Black Edition – model Sandbridge

Titanium experts Blackfin return to the fair in Germany with new styles in the Black Edition, where a special treatment – Blackfin Nano-Plating™ – creates shiny finishes on the advanced material. Find out more at www.blackfineyewear.eu

opti Munich takes place at Fairground Munich from 25th to 27th January 2019. The show will offer an extensive new layout as it expands to include Halls C5 and C6. For full details and a full list of exhibitors, visit www.opti.de CN

What to see: 100% Optical, London

As the first fairs of the 2019 Spring season approach, eyewear companies will reveal the trends of the months ahead, fresh innovations in design, and expressive new colour codes to explore and inspire. 100% Optical, the UK’s optical fair – which takes place at ExCel exhibition centre will set the scene for the Spring optical calendar from 12th to 14th January 2019 and promises a selection of independent eyewear designers as part of the line-up which also includes innovative lenses and technology. Above: From Denmark, LINDBERG is one of the leading independent luxury companies exhibiting at 100% this year. Their collections include fine materials such as titanium, wood and buffalo horn. www.LINDBERG.com

Kirk & Kirk will show the Centena Collection

British label Kirk & Kirk are staunch supporters of the UK fair and return with their colourful Centena collection in January, designed by Jason Kirk in celebration of his family’s 100 years in optics. This line is unique in its 10mm acrylic material which is flattering, bold yet – at the same time – surprisingly light to wear. The sculptural look of the frames is part and parcel of their unique appeal. Check out www.kirkandkirk.com

Quantum by Ørgreen

Ørgreen Optics has an exceptionally strong and varied selection of eyewear collections to show for 100%: as well as the new acetates in the latest Minimal Vintage Collection, they have just announced a 3rd Quantum collection, which features their exceptional spherical hinge design and showcases their design skills in combining Polyamide and titanium. Visit www.orgreenoptics.com

Woow model Super Sonic 1

Part of The Eyewear Design Group, Woow Eyewear will exhibit with other exceptional collections in this portfolio of brands which also includes FACE A FACE. Woow is colourful, exuberant in character and always injects humour and fun! www.wooweyewear.com

Walter & Wassily: a special edition by neubau eyewear

neubau’s latest sunglasses edition offers a homage to Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius and the painter Wassily Kandinsky. The shape of the model is based on the Bauhaus philosophy of  “form follows function” while the design and material choices are directly inspired by the movement, with a titanium frame based on bent steel tubes combined with fade tint mirror lenses recalling the facade of Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus school building in Dessau. neubau will exhibit their new optical and sun collections alongside sister company Silhouette Eyewear at the London fair. For more details about the brand, visit www.neubau-eyewear.com.

Rita by Danish sustainable company Monkey Glasses

Just released a few days ago the new Elevate collection by Monkey Glasses also goes on show this month – this sustainable brand is one of several to exhibit at the London show (Bird Eyewear and Pala), and highlights the growing interest in recycling in the frame business. The brand has begun to use packaging in recycled paper as part of its eco action to go plastic free. For more details visit www.monkeyglasses.com.

Arranged by the fair organisers, this year’s RCA Eyewear design competition’s theme is 2020 Vision in Motion. The competition asked the Royal College of Art students to design and make a maquette of a new vision device, which functions as a health aid/ protection as well as a style statement we are opening up the range to possibly include; viewfinder/ device/ VR headset. Six finalists have been chosen by the judging panel and their work will be on show during the 3-day event : Andrew Cullo, Annie Foo, Fi Grew, Giulia Lombardi, Loy Chen and Sunny Kitfung. The winner will be announced during the fair.

100% Optical opens its doors on 12th January at 10am and runs through until Monday 14th January 2019. For further details and registration visit www.100percentoptical.com/about/visiting CN

Acetate by Ørgreen Optics

When a titanium specialist like Ørgreen announces a new departure in acetate, all eyes are upon them: the material is different to work with, unique in its colour possibilities, transparency and design focus when compared to the characteristic pared back look of metal frames.

Launched in Spring 2018, the Minimal Vintage Collection strives to uphold the same quality and minimalist design typical of the Danish design company whilst adding a vintage feel with nostalgic design references suited to the acetate material. It has taken painstaking research and study – and the commitment and unreserved enthusiasm of the young entrepreneurs behind the label who set out to achieve a high-level wearable fashion collection, with individual, innovative touches. The acetate launch signifies an important step for the business that has grown successfully in the titanium eyewear field since Henrik Ørgreen and the co-founders first set up in 1997.  Above: model Michelle, a shape within a shape – daring, playful and easy to wear.

“The Michelle frame is not your regular cats eye throw-back design, the colours are much more graphic with unique details on the corners…”

Model Jose – a cigar temple shape, low bridge and detailed metal core

For the current season, men’s and women’s styles have launched including models Jose and Michelle pictured, paying attention to the refined aspects of transparent colours such as nude, rose and blush and blending them with more concentrated tones to allow for definitive accents at certain points on the frames.

An independent label, Ørgreen is based in Copenhagen – the frames are available worldwide from high level opticians and include models in titanium, acetate and state-of-the-art 3D printed Polyamide. All the latest models are now available in selected stores and through Ørgreen’s flagship store (Copenhagen). Find more details at www.orgreenoptics.com CN

Festive flourishes

Glittering holiday events present magical possibilities for fun and fashion flourishes – and eyewear is no exception! Designers concur – as frames are beautifully crafted with luxurious diamonds, sparkling crystals, and captivating accents. The exceptional designs are not only holiday oriented: shapes and exquisite colours are destined to be worn beyond this glorious  period, and will enliven and brighten your days – and attitude – throughout the year. Celebrations start early for Finest Seven and Frame Chain, where their brilliant designs were photographed at the trendy cult bar – “Bananas” – in Barcelona (above image). Finest Seven’s glamorous, lightweight sunglass designs provide luxury, comfort and elegance. www.finestseven.com The prestigious UK brand Frame Chain ensures your frames are protected with sophisticated and practical chains in plaited silver and gold. www.framechain.co.uk

The Emperor by Anna-Karin Karlsson

If the holidays take you to sunny climes, the dramatic shaping that characterises The Emperor, by award-winning Swedish designer Anna-Karin Karlsson, is certain to dazzle. The bold silhouette features crystals set in Japanese Titanium, plated in White Gold with Carl Zeiss lenses. www.annakarinkarlsson.com

 

Capeline by Lafont Paris

Twinkling Swarovski crystals adorn a stunningly sculptured shape with Art Deco echoes on the frame sides. Capeline by Lafont Paris is available in a lovely selection of colours. www.lafont.com

Pancha by l.a. Eyeworks

The beauty and flexibility of acetate is splendidly featured in l.a. Eyeworks Pancha – clear acetate with a delightful, confetti-peppered motif in vivid colours. www.laeyeworks.com

Havane by JF Rey

For merry and bright occasions, JF Rey proposes Havane – a spirited design with its stunning round shape, stylish colourations and intricate details with sleek gold engraving. www.jfrey.fr

Buffalo Horn frame by LINDBERG

Buffalo horn is a traditional favourite for the embodiment of fine frames. LINDBERG luxury and flourish are captured in the latest designs teamed with white gold. www.lindberg.com

Carnivale by Jono Hennessy

Jono Hennessy in Australia embraces the jubilant mood of Carnivale – with fabric-patterned frames in joyous colours. Discover the variations of The Carnivale Collection at www.jonohennessy.com JG

L.G.R Eyewear artistry

Italian craftsmanship is long revered in fine accessories…often viewed as an art form. Luca Gnecchi Ruscone (above photo) – the creative force behind L.G.R – combines the tradition of superb workmanship with his deep love of and passion for Italy and Africa. These elements ensure eyewear with artistic flair, purity of line, and subtle elegance.

Amba sunglasses by L.G.R

The latest collection of stunning eyewear designs for men and women includes expressive eyewear shapes with timeless chic.

Streamlined and sleek optical design – Fez

The finest quality hand-polished materials in acetate and metals are transformed into sunglass and optical designs that are equally comfortable for city and country pursuits.

Contemporary chic: Tebe Superleggero

The enduring beauty of tortoiseshell and the interplay of subtle interpretations in neutral tones gives the frames distinctive finesse.

Stainless steel and acetate harmonise in Sicarius by L.G.R

L.G.R eyewear designs are sold internationally in style savvy opticians and boutiques. The frames are also available in the smart, sophisticated, L.G.R boutique on Corso Garibaldi in Milan. Explore and experience the individualistic eyewear artistry of L.G.R at www.lgrworld.com JG

100% Optical: preparations underway

Eyewear from across the globe will find its way to London in January for 100% Optical, the UK’s premier optical event (for trade), now in its sixth year. The event is a showcase for new and established eyewear collections, as well as the latest innovations and cutting-edge technology – and takes place at ExCel exhibition centre in East London. The fast expanding independent eyewear design collections are represented each year by a selection of highly regarded companies including Andy Wolf, Tavat Eyewear, Silhouette and Francis Klein. Above: Tavat Eyewear returns to 100% in 2019: their collection continues to expand with striking designs in premium materials and a much praised and innovative ‘sandwich frame design’ called “SoupCan”. www.tavat-eyewear.com

Gatsby1 by FACE A FACE, from the new 2019 collection

FACE A FACE will bring chic colour to the London fair and new 2019 sunglasses with an audacious character in their interpretation of light and colour.

“Our new collection is all about exploring colours and the dynamic movement created by sculpting with light,” explains Pascal Jaulent, Head of Design at FACE A FACE. “Playful transparencies highlight the contrasts between being and not being, challenging the viewer and creating optical illusions.” www.faceaface-paris.com

Bridge by Lafont Paris: elegance and craftsmanship

Newcomers to the London event will include Lafont Paris,  a label which has long been appreciated in the UK for its quality, elegance and design excellence. For those unfamiliar with Lafont, this Paris based company has an exciting history, originating in the 1920s. Their expertise continues to evolve with extraordinary creativity under the direction of brothers Matthieu and Thomas Lafont. www.lafont.com

Von Arkel, Switzerland – luxury and precision

Another notable addition to the London fair for January – and a must-see – is the Swiss label Von Arkel. Currently Von Arkel’s innovations and extraordinary design precision in the luxury eyewear segment is propelling the business quickly into new markets and the most exclusive optician’s stores, internationally. Their secret ingredient is there successful “marriage of eyewear manufacturing and Swiss watchmaking inspired hinges.” Find out more at www.vonarkel.com

Gotti Switzerland

Swiss label Gotti is a regular exhibitor in London, successful across the country for its appeal both technologically and in terms of its unique comfortable materials and design competence. As well as gorgeous titanium collections, they also highlight achievements in 3D printed eyewear, as one of few labels that has mastered a sophistication in the 3D printing process and combination designs using Polyamide and other materials – the resulting designs are impressive and a delight to wear. More information at www.gotti.ch.

100% takes place at London’s ExCel from 12th to 14th January 2019. The event has announced the launch of “Eyewear Week” from 7th to 13th January to further raise the profile of  eyewear as a fashion accessory. To find out more visit https://www.100percentoptical.com/ CN

Article + images: Copyright EYESTYLIST.COM

Paul Smith x Cutler and Gross: coming soon

Paul Smith and Cutler and Gross are to join forces as eyewear partners, with a first collection launch planned for March 2019. The British eyewear brand will utilise its traditional production expertise that spans almost 50 years to create Paul Smith eyewear and sunglasses with a luxurious finesse in the metal and acetate materials and subtle design details that will tie in with the fashion designer’s colours and tailoring. Marie Wilkinson, long serving Design Director for the London eyewear brand will oversee the creation and development of the frames in collaboration with Smith’s design experts.

In a statement, Paul Smith explained: “I’ve always had enormous admiration for Cutler and Gross. Before we sadly lost him, Tony Gross was a personal friend of mine. The attention to detail and expertise that Tony practiced is still absolutely central to the work the company are doing today. I’m delighted to be collaborating with Cutler and Gross and look forward to an exciting and creative future.”

The frames, which will feature high quality Dalloz sun lenses, will be on show to retailers at Mido Milan – the Italian trade fair – in February. They will then be available from Paul Smith and Cutler and Gross outlets and a selection of premium stores and opticians globally. For more details about Cutler and Gross visit www.cutlerandgross.com CN

LINDBERG Precious: Refined elegance

LINDBERG Precious embellishes winter festivities with the opulence and beauty of their handcrafted eyewear. The award-winning Danish label – who just received the German Design Award for 2019 in the Lifestyle and Fashion Category – celebrates this wonderful season with frame designs in 18 carat gold with splendid diamond highlights.(Above image: 18 carat solid rose gold with a 0.33 carat baguette cut pink diamond, and a 0.38 carat baguette cut purplish pink diamond) 

LINDBERG Precious 18 carat gold design with pink diamond.

The frames exude masterful engineering with silhouettes that are exquisitely shaped to the contours of the face. Pink is fashion’s energetic and spirited colour of the season, and LINDBERG extols its virtues with the highest quality diamonds in alluring pink – as well as exclusive options in black, and raw uncut, clear diamond accents.

Merry and bright: shimmering diamonds by LINDBERG Precious

With minimalist construction, the frames are featherweight, yet durable, and each frame is individually crafted. The distinguished collection includes designs for men and women.

LINDBERG Precious tiny treasures: sparkling pink diamonds

Treat yourself this holiday season, and just as importantly – your eyes – to the dramatic brilliance of a LINDBERG Precious design – a gift that truly keeps on giving – with its timeless, sophisticated beauty. www.lindberg.com JG

 

 

Von Arkel: Timeless and traditional elegance

Simplicity is sublime and nobly emulates in the streamlined eyewear designs by Von Arkel in Switzerland. Complex engineering by master craftsmen combined with traditional spectacle making techniques, ensure that Von Arkel frames accentuate innovation; lightness; unparalleled flexibility; and comfort.

Von Arkel Calibre 4 Outline Sunglasses

Switzerland excels in watchmaking, and certain elements unique to that industry are also reflected in Von Arkel designs – such as chamfers (cut-aways to make a symmetrical sloping edge) and the intricate, meticulous polishing – so respected and renowned for Swiss watches. These characteristics are beautifully expressed in Calibre 4 Outline designs.

Buffalo horn Calibre 7.95

Buffalo horn has long been considered amongst the most regal of eyewear materials; used in spectacle making for centuries. However, Von Arkel has a modern, environmentally-aware take on Buffalo horn – using only horn from domesticated Indian buffalos that have passed away. Warm, rich tones of Buffalo horn united with Von Arkel’s intricate, precise crafting results in a luxurious design that will be appreciated – and enjoyed – by the discerning wearer.

Von Arkel Steelmaster Gemstone

Superb gemstones opulently accent frames that are exquisitely crafted with unprecedented quality and distinction. Shimmering diamonds sparkle on a Calibre 8 Steelmaster design that embraces the apex of sophisticated gracefulness.

Von Arkel Calibre 9 Entourage Sunglasses

The Calibre 9 Entourage collection includes sleek silhouettes with enticing details: no rivets, no soldering or setting – and no screws. The Calibre 9 has a complex, hidden mechanism featuring a friction-controlled movement – a hinge that is durable, and a frame exceptionally comfortable to wear. Discover more of the illustrious and exquisite spirit of Von Arkel Switzerland at www.vonarkel.com JG

Frame Chain: how will you wear yours?

The rise of the eyewear chain continues as our love affair with decorative details, chunky gold jewellery and semi-precious stones moves forward into the new season. The UK’s no. one company in this department – Frame Chain – has come over all glam for 2019 – proposing a wide selection of new designs as the finishing touch for any outfit – for women, and yes, men too. Above: Classic pearls are a feature of the new season collection at Frame Chain.

The Diamond Geezer from Frame Chain

With the launch of their new campaign, designers Vanessa Harrington and Ann-Margret Kearney demonstrate the complete versatility of the chains, which are equally as beautiful worn as a necklace (top image) or suspended from the frame itself (see above). We also love the bling effect of two or three worn together!

The Golden Balls: an original design by Frame Chain

All the designs come with two sets of attachments in black and white, to coordinate with your chosen eyewear, and feature a small statement Frame Chain logo plaque. More styles can be found at www.framechain.co.uk as well as Selfridges, Matches and Liberty of London. CN

Campaign Credits: Photography by Alastair Strong / Stylist Ailsa Jane Miller/ MUA Anna Gibson / Creative WE ARE DISCO/ Models Nejilka & Paige Saffron.

Claire Goldsmith Optical

The passion to create original and imaginative eyewear creatively flows in the Goldsmith genetic code. The family-run business – now under the leadership of dynamic Claire Goldsmith – is embracing new horizons for the nearly century-old British company. Claire comments on the creation of her own innovative collection – Claire Goldsmith Optical.

Please tell us how you perceived and envisioned the concept that developed and evolved into CG Optical? “CG evolved through an inner ambition to pursue something for myself. Initially all the OG designs we made were replicas of styles held in our archive. They were relics brought back to life in beautiful new colour ways and modern acetates. We’ve since developed the collection to include new original designs, but at the conception of the relaunch there wasn’t a platform for me to create new styles. I was dubious about doing so under the Oliver Goldsmith name. It was so iconic and historically treasured. I wanted something of my own to create, and so the natural evolution was to launch my own brand.” (Above image:Claire Goldsmith)

“My core material will always be acetate”

Was your inspiration or motivation influenced by fashion trends; art or architecture; travel; or other appealing circumstances? “My initial inspiration certainly came from my heritage and the incredible brand my great grandfathers had created and the legacy they left behind. OG was at its peak during the 1960’s and 70’s – and these decades continue to be enormously influential to me: from fashion, car design, architecture…there is something so cool about that period of time that I am forever drawn to the fantasy of the era – the celebrity, the clothes, the apposition of both frivolity and attention to detail  – in detail. But CG is a new brand, and much as I enjoy looking to the past for inspiration, it is today’s customer we are dressing, and as a Londoner (myself) and as a London brand, I am lucky to be continually inspired by the city, and the people who live within it.”

Dean in Rose Gold from the Claire Goldsmith Optical collection

What are your favourite materials and colours in which to create a collection? “OG is an acetate brand, and so it’s very much what I know best. It’s a material I understand, and I love the joy of creating new materials through laminates or changing the thickness of a frame to reveal the richness of its colour. For me, acetate is part of our identity, whether we are talking OG or CG. I adore super light stainless steel frames; I think they are beautiful, but you can’t be every brand to every person and it’s exhausting trying to be. I dabble with metals and combination frames, but my core material will always be acetate – other brands already do metals or wood or vinyl so well – I’ll stick to what I know and do best!”

What is the demographic profile of the CG Optical wearer? “I don’t really think demographics exist in the same way they once did. The CG customer is varied, simply because of the incredible cities and stores around the world where we are represented. Our frames are contemporary classics, and our customers tend to revere the values of the brand rather than because they fit into a particular demographic. We’ve dressed the eyes of so many different people, and so many age groups, and I love that.”

Double bridge chic: Silk in Champagne

What shapes and colours do customers most desire this season? “When I purchase something I want it to last more than a season, and I like to think my customers buy into CG as a lifestyle rather than a seasonal piece. Personal style is so – well – personal – and if my frames can help someone express themselves or become an integral part of their image, then that makes me happy. I truly don’t design to fit into trends. Of course, I’m conscious of what fashion is dictating, but what someone wears on their face doesn’t always correlate with what they wear on their body. There are some amazing brands producing incredibly modern and fashion forward eyewear who dictate micro trends within the eyewear industry, but the colours and shapes we produce at CG focus more on longevity.”

You love to create and have an enterprising spirit. Are there possible creative design thoughts or ideas being cultivated? “Definitely! We are living in such an entrepreneurial era, with the internet and social media providing a platform for almost anyone to launch a brand or concept. I find this both incredibly inspiring and at times, overwhelming, but I do like the idea of being able to be creative in other industries: to dabble or delve into different projects as I see fit. For now, CG an OG keep me more than busy, but who knows, perhaps that enterprising spirit will need exercising at some point!” www.clairegoldsmith.com JG

 

 

Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart

“Since 2012, we have held Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart at Motorworld in Boblingen,” said organiser Nathanaël Wenger, “and this year we decided to change the venue to the centre of Stuttgart, where we found a beautiful, historical building – Haus der Wirtschaft. (Top image:Lars Malmsten Vasuma Eyewear and Nathanaël Wenger)

Isabelle Monteleone Brand Representative Von Arkel Switzerland shows frames to visiting opticians.

“Quality, independent labels were present – including among others – Blackfin; Orgreen; Von Arkel; Vasuma; Nirvan Javan; Didier Voirol; Götti; Coblens; and neubau. However, we were disappointed with the number of opticians that visited during the two days – which was below our projected expectations. Perhaps the rivalry of superb weather; Stuttgart’s Octobefest; shops open on Sunday; and Stuttgart’s challenging traffic contributed to fewer shops visiting.

Patrick Zweifel Co-founder and Co-CEO Nirvan Javan explaining the new collection

“It has always been our goal to bring independent designer brands and opticians together. We have so enjoyed our years of involvement with Die Brillenmesse Stuttgart, but have now decided not to continue for 2019, and will focus on Hall of Frames Zurich for next year. We look forward to seeing you in Switzerland!”  www.hallofframes.ch JG 

Photos:Andrea Tännier All Rights Reserved