Eyestylist

Handmade for men: Duke by RES/REI

In the Gentlemen collection by RES/REI launched for the current season, model Duke exemplifies the brand’s elegant contemporary take on designing artisan eyewear styles for men – always striving for an inimitable style of sophistication and handcrafted finesse

Distinguished by bi-layer acetates and the blending of horn tones and vibrant blue or green, through the intricate 3d detailing, model Duke is part of the Gentlemen collection conceived to suit the modern man. With its sophisticated shapes, accomplished workmanship and rich details, the frames in the line all feature 5-joint hinges and a decorative metal inner core within temples. Above: model Duke comes in six different colourways including the rich Brown Tortoise variation in acetate from Mazzucchelli 1849’s archives – the additional colourways (not pictured above and below) are – Brown Havana with slate blue and ultramarine blue; black/green; and olive green.

Detail: model Duke by RES/REI, pictured in brown horn with ultramarine blue

Decorations in this collection are inspired by the tradition of the Speakeasies that arose in the United States during Prohibition. The lettering on the inside of the frames follow this theme.

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Detail: model Duke by RES/REI, pictured in grey-blue horn and green

The Gentlemen Collection by RES/REI currently boasts twelve models sorted into two main directions: the first features thicker fronts and temples, while the second is characterised by thinner profiles. Both design styles incorporate numerous masculine details. Find out more at www.resrei.com

Bril Gallery, South Africa

Bril’s Founder Werner Fourie has refurbished the original flagship store, turning it into a fun and welcoming eyewear gallery space – Bril Gallery – which brings the local community together. We caught up with him to ask about this enterprising new store experience in the beautiful wine region of Cape Winelands…

When was Bril founded and where are you based? How many stores are there now?
We embarked on our journey six years ago, establishing our flagship store in the picturesque Cape Winelands region, specifically in the charming town of Paarl. Since then, we’ve expanded to proudly operate five distinctive stores across South Africa.
What was the idea behind the Bril Gallery and when did you re-open this flagship store – was it this year?
Our Bril Gallery is a testament to our belief that every space we create is unique, with its own character and story. Originally opened six years ago as our flagship store, it was recently transformed into the Bril Gallery. Inspired by its lofty ceilings reminiscent of an art gallery, we curated an ambiance that showcases eyewear as a form of art. We’ve also incorporated playful elements, such as adding eyewear to iconic art pieces with hidden messages, creating a delightful experience for our visitors.
Bril Gallery: eyewear presented as art
What was the atmosphere you wanted to create in the Gallery space, and how have you made the space unique and fun?
At the Gallery, we aimed to cultivate a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere. Our upbeat house music sets the tone, complemented by a diverse selection of refreshments that evoke a cozy coffee shop or bar vibe. Adding touches of yellow throughout, a signature color representing happiness in our brand, further enhances the sense of warmth and joy.
In your posts on Instagram, you say it is a place of “joy and happiness”. Please explain. What was your aim with the interior colors and fittings?
Our brand essence revolves around spreading happiness. Through thoughtful design elements like cheerful wall tattoos featuring inspirational quotes, pops of yellow hues, and playful eyewear keyrings, we infuse every corner with a sense of joy. Our marketing strategy embraces quirkiness to bring smiles to our customers’ faces, ensuring they leave our stores with a positive and uplifted experience.
A unique experience awaits at the gallery which has lots of special design features including a bespoke oversize collectible lens cloth and lens cleaner spray
Tell us a bit about the area where you are located and the people who shop at this special new optical haven “with wine tasting!”
Situated in South Africa’s renowned wine district, our location attracts a dynamic community of individuals who appreciate adventure, style and quality. We often host engaging events like wine tastings and collaborative art sessions with local talents, fostering a sense of community among eyewear enthusiasts and showcasing our commitment to creating memorable experiences for our customers.
What kinds of eyewear brands are you selling there, and do you find your customers have a particular focus – more on timeless design and quality, or trendsetting colors and materials?
Our diverse eyewear collection primarily features our exclusive ranges categorized into the Bril House, Bril Premium, and Bril Unique collections, catering to various style preferences. The Bril House range offers trendy and affordable options that evolve with fashion trends. In contrast, the Bril Premium range emphasizes timeless designs crafted from premium materials like Italian acetate or titanium. Our Bril Unique range showcases one-of-a-kind pieces renowned for their exceptional quality and innovative designs. Additionally, we curate select international eyewear brands not commonly found in South Africa, providing our customers with a unique and captivating selection.
Left: transport at Bril for the “Home Fit Service”; right, a pet-friendly practice – Pepe the wire haired fox terrier in residence
We have noticed some pets in residence at Bril Gallery. Tell us more!
Indeed, we have two beloved pets, Bekker and Pepe, who occasionally grace us with their presence at the store. They add a playful and endearing touch to our space, delighting customers with their charm and friendly interactions.
Bril owns stores in Paarl, George, Stellenbosch, Pretoria and Val de Vie. The Val de Vie space is described as a “concept store” with a fully equipped examination room, to be able to offer eye tests to the residents of the estate, the workers and the home owners at Evergreen. The store there also offers frames by designers from around the world. Find out more about all the different spaces by visiting www.hellobril.co.za.

Erker’s Special Reserve: new Limited Edition models

Two new refined models elevate the design of the heritage collection at Erker’s with a new polishing process, adding a range of custom elements throughout the frames, and upgrading from a standard brushed metal to a shiny silver – the ferris wheel rivets reference an important moment in the brand’s history

Combining the Erker’s family expertise, which dates back through generations, the Bouvier and Deardorf optical styles have been developed as being completely representative of the heritage of the brand and featuring detailed insignia, telling stories of the Erker family in each little detail. Found on the temple tips, a goggles icon notes their making of Charles Lindbergh’s goggles in the first ever nonstop transatlantic flight, while their year of inception and the generations of Erkers to run the business are found on the opposite side. On the interior of the temples, a custom-designed wire core is meant to resemble a microphone, a nod to the one-of-a-kind legends from the family’s hometown and some of the big-name celebrities that have sported an Erker’s frame. Ferris wheel rivets join the temple with the custom German hinge, matched by the decorative rivets on the front of the  Deardorf model featured in the collection. Above: model Deardorf by Erker’s – in the Special Reserve Limited Edition

Deardorf by Erker’s – available in blue grey, green sand, grey brown, and black red (pictured above)

Named after a veteran sales rep for a handful of their Northeast territories, the model Deardorf has a classic square shape, thick brows with a gentle curve at the bridge to offset the thinner lower rims, paired with a wide temple for a bold, sturdy style. A classic saddle bridge complements the thicker build, ensuring a comfortable fit. Matching the authentic rivets along the temples, four Ferris wheel rivets decorate the front of the frame, drawing the eyes upwards for an “uplifted” look.

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The Ferris wheel is a detail that references the history of Saint Louis, where in 1904 at the World’s Fair, the very first ferris wheel rides were given. Erker’s Eyewear was the official photographer of the event.

Bouvier by Erker’s – an elegant cat eye design

Model Bouvier, named after a long-time sales rep of the North Carolina territory, features a bold and expressive silhouette. The sharp cat eye edge gives a dramatic feel, further accentuated by a narrow rectangular shape, thick rims, and a sleek straight brow. Custom designed and exclusive to Special Reserve, model Bouvier is available in four acetate blends including Burgundy Night and Antique Tort. For both frames, with the aim of retaining real exclusivity, just 100 styles of each colour have been made. For more information visit https://erkers1879.com/pages/erkers-special-reserve

Gigi Studios: colourful models, sculptural shapes

The Spanish label has created a chic capsule collection in an innovative colour palette that is perfectly in tune with the 2024 Spring/Summer season of bold and bright hues

Inspired by exotic fruits and their wealth of colours and textures, the new ‘Odd Fruits Collection’ from Gigi Studios offers colours for all faces, balancing bright tones of melon, grapefruit, guava, dragon fruit, Buddha’s hand fruit and avocado, and a few classic tones of tortoise and black. The styles, which include three sunglasses and three optical frame shapes, play with the exciting tones through translucency and subtle laminations, to create flattering fashion statements with a striking feminine allure. Above: model Citrus, a large hexagonal design – available in rich fruit-inspired colours

Odd Fruits collection by Gigi Studios – model Tender comes in four colours including the bright yellow graduated colouration

The optical styles, named Tender (above), Fresh and Acid are presented in acidic and luminous colours with bold 70s and 80s inspired geometric and oversized shapes that frame the eyes.

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Odd Fruits collection by Gigi Studios – sunglass style Lush – one of the three sunglasses in this collection

The rectangular sunglass style Lush (and sister model Bitter) feature laminations that add depth and new nuances to the designs.  The design team explain that these constructions have been worked on to feature bevelling effects that add lightness and that the CR39 sun lenses have been developed in tones which match the acetate colours of the different frames. The visuals for the collection present the frames and their unique colours next to artistic still life compositions featuring the colourful exotic fruits and brightly coloured apparel against a stark minimal studio backdrop. Find out more at www.gigistudios.com

TVR®504 8mm KURO (Black Edition) released

Now available worldwide, the new Edition has been created in a collaboration with Aaron Chang – creator of IVY BOYS 

A new Black Edition from the Japanese independent eyewear brand, TVR® has been created in a collaboration with Aaron Chang, the South Korean born creator of IVY BOYS – and launched initially via teaser campaign in Seoul. The frame, which features Sterling Silver spear rivets and  introduces gunmetal on all metal parts of the eyewear is named “KURO” after the Japanese word for “black” and its spectrum of meanings across fashion and art as well as in Japanese culture.

Crafted from custom-made Japanese Zylonite in Grey Crystal, the TVR®504 8mm KURO features a 1mm black layer on the temple, adding depth and sophistication. The material used for the front is described as taking centre stage, crafted and layered with black hues, achieving a profound solid black tone with a unique finish and surprising light effect. Above + below: a handcrafted work of distinction – TVR®504 8mm KURO (Black Edition), merging craftsmanship and style with Sterling Silver rivets and gunmetal accents

TVR®504 8mm KURO: exclusive packaging and limited edition merchandise / gifts

Of particular interest to those who recognise craft and unique Japanese design work, the TVR® Sterling Silver Spear 3D Rivets (Enlarged Version), have been produced without coating in order that they will develop a dark patina over time. Breaking new ground, TVR®OPT has also introduced a gunmetal coating on the hinges and the metal core, a step which adds a luxurious touch, and further accentuated by gold-plated washers that make the hinges shine.

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Designed and created in Sabae, Fukui, Japan, this new frame concept took 12-months to develop through production, to ensure the final qualities of stability and a luxurious finish. The team at TVR®OPT say that they dedicated their time in the subsequent year to the meticulous crafting of each piece, with every detail custom-crafted by their highly renowned artisans.

Available in sizes 46mm to 50mm, the larger 50mm design is recommended as the ideal choice for sunglasses. Find out more at www.instagram.com/TVROPT

About AARON CHANG: Chang is the visionary creator behind the IVY BOYS brand, and stands at the intersection of art, dreams, and fashion. Born in South Korea, his artistic journey began under the influence of his father, an art teacher, fostering a deep love for creativity from a young age. His childhood immersion in art laid the groundwork for a lifelong passion that eventually manifested in the fusion of Ivy League fashion and a whimsical sense of humour. Aaron’s journey into the world of fashion illustration was shaped by pivotal moments, notably the impact of street fashion photography during his university days and the inspiration drawn from luminaries like Scott Schuman, creator of The Sartorialist blog. The introduction to ‘Take Ivy,’ a book capturing the essence of Ivy League fashion, marked a turning point, leading to the birth of IVY BOYS.