2011

The Commander

Rolf Spectacles

A vintage car, designed over 50 years ago, is the inspiration for these luxuriously crafted walnut frames from Rolf Spectacles in Austria. Passionate about cars, as well as eyewear, classic automobiles are the foundation for everything the Rolf team designs. A revered, but now long gone American carmaker, Studebaker, created The Commander in 1953. At that time, The Commander was slimmer and more refined than other car designs, and the attractive silhouette made a strong impression on the creative forces at Rolf, which in turn, inspired this frame. The sculptured frame shape is as classical as the legendary car, very lightweight, and the walnut is polished to perfection. www.rolf-spectacles.com JG

OGI Eyewear
lafont
MOREL par Jean Nouvel
Götti Switzerland

Wood to wear: Fritz Frames

Friedrich Schwarz, a boat builder by trade, is the designer behind Fritz Frames, a relatively new Australian eyewear label specialising in wood spectacles and sunglasses. Eyestylist.com interviewed Friedrich at Silmo, where the company was exhibiting for the first time.

“I am working with a composite timber material, which contains timber with a fibre reinforcement between every layer. We started the company about one and a half years ago, but of course the development for the product began much earlier. I have been wearing my own hand-built  frames for some years. I set up the company with Ivo den Uijl. We were looking at making something together, and we eventually decided to go into frame design. I am a boat builder and a sports enthusiast. As a young guy I was skateboarding and sailing. I got my first pair of glasses at the age of 16, and I wasn’t very familiar with how to look after my specs so I broke them fairly frequently. Then I started to experiment with the lenses and I made full carbon fibre frames without hinges.

Aviator by Fritz Frames

Ever since then, I have worn my own glasses, and made glasses for my friends and family. My first frames were extremely durable and worked very well in terms of their resistance and wear and this is what we have carried through into the collections today.”

What are your ambitions with the brand this season? “We want to go into Europe. We are having a good reaction to our frames in this part of the world. The perception of timber for eyewear is, for some people, a bit negative; people think it might be too breakable or difficult to adjust and fit the lenses, but this is no longer the case. We have addressed all these problems, and we have really taken care with these issues through the development of the product…by using the fibre to reinforce the structure, we have managed to give added strength to the frame. I have managed to lift myself up from the floor on a frame for a photo shoot, believe it or not! For a perfect finish, we have used a hard coating on our frames to ensure they are water-proof and protected from other materials such as sun creams and make-up.

NorWester by Fritz Frames

How did you achieve the unusual glossy finish? “That is another special point. We have developed this finish, and it’s quite different from other wood products. The finish is both aesthetic and a means to ensure the frame will last….for 10 or 15 years. It is the same with the hinge, we have developed a very robust spring hinge that you can bend up and down and in and out.

lafont
MOREL par Jean Nouvel
OGI Eyewear

You produce the frames in a studio in Australia? “Yes in a workshop. We have just four of us in there….we are doing a lot of work by hand; it is time-consuming, painstaking work, but we are able to ensure a very high level of quality and finish. It’s exciting seeing the results.”

Churada by Fritz Frames

Fritz Frames won the Award of Excellence in the Sunglasses Category at the Sydney trade fair ODMA for their sunglass style Churada.

www.fritzframes.com

Introducing Alex by AM Eyewear

1st November 2011 Another edgy Australian brand to talk about. AM Eyewear’s Alex is a new square style in their sunglass range known particularly for their rock chic Cobsey sunglasses.  AM Eyewear’s Alex in “chess” (bold black and white) is said to be typical of the brand’s quality designs which use Mazzucchelli acetate or nickel-free plated stainless steel. High quality German hinges and special Italian-made logos are also part of the package and lenses are tough LYX Polyamide Nylon, with an anti-reflective coating.

Looking forward to getting to see these close up to get a real feel for the brand. They have big things coming up in Europe, according to a statement AM put out at London Fashion Week in September. More on this here soon…. CN

www.ameyewear.com

LINDBERG
OGI Eyewear
BLACKFIN

 

Jauch Optik

Altdorf Switzerland

1st November 2011 During my recent visit to Switzerland, I was pleased to meet Ralf Wenger, the owner of Jauch Optik in Altdorf. Located in the Swiss canton of Uri, the town of Altdorf and the William Tell legend are intricately connected. Tell was the expert medieval marksman and Swiss patriot, who allegedly shot an apple from his son’s head in the marketplace, just a few meters from the building that Wenger purchased in 2004. The old house is now the smart setting for Jauch Optik, with the exterior carefully preserved, and the interior streamlined and furnished in beautiful woods. Paintings by a variety of local artists give a gallery feel to the charming boutique.

“Its a small house with only two floors,”says Wenger, “and our concept for the shop is that when customers come to us, we have the right solutions for their eyecare needs. We keep a ‘Vision Profile’ on every customer, so we know exactly what they require – whether for working at the computer, going to the cinema, or being on the ski slopes.

LINDBERG
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MOREL par Jean Nouvel
OGI Eyewear

“Our in-store events have included a presentation of hairstyles and frames, art and wine programmes, makeup and eyewear. We believe in featuring authentic eyewear designers, so we avoid licensed brands. We have Mykita, Framers, Blac, Bellinger, Beausoleil and Kaenon among others.”  Wenger is creating his own legend in Altdorf at Jauch Optik. www.jauchoptik.ch JG

Eyewear by Olga

14th October 2011 I have come across Olga Ljutic-Trentin on my travels recently. Olga opened an optical store in Ontario in August this year. She has succeeded in designing a quirky “destination” store, with statement retro inspired fittings. The shop is stocking lots of brands that eyewear aficionados will love including Claire Goldsmith, Theo, Orgreen and Lindberg and the owner is a true fan of well-designed eyewear.

We were excited to see the sculpture in the shop which was created as an eyewear display, inspired by the orchid, a commission carried out by Jeremy Guy (http://www.jeremy-guy.com/).

Eyewear sculpture

 

BLACKFIN
OGI Eyewear
lafont

Eyewear by Olga, 1 Hurontario Street, unit 5, Mississauga (Port Credit), Ontario, L5G-0A3, Canada

www.eyewearbyolga.com