Christian Roth and Eric Domège

A new story, rooted in the past, at Christian Roth Eyewear

8th April 2013 I first started following Christian Roth when I got my first job in optical publishing back in 1999. In the ’80s and ’90s, this independent label had already played an impressive role in establishing sunglasses as a key accessory in the fashion arena, and their glamorous shades were worn by everyone who was anyone in fashion and music…memorably, because of the extraordinary images that ensued, Kate Moss, Agyness Dean, Lenny Kravitz, and many, many more.

Series A, Optical Affairs Christian Roth / circa 19??
PAST: Series A, Christian Roth / 1980s

Today Roth and Domège have new plans, both in eyewear and beyond, with new capsule collections including optical frames and sunglasses, and other Christian Roth accessories that they will unveil in 2014/15 via the website. As part of our special Vintage Edition, we asked them, in an exclusive interview, about their new project, the launch of their e-commerce destination and what the future holds for this iconic name in sunglass fashion.

PAST: Optical Affairs / Christian Roth, the early years
PAST: Optical Affairs / Christian Roth, the early years – signed by Warhol

“Our first overnight success was with Series A (above), our rimless frame in acetate and metal, designed so you could customise the lens shape with the colour of the frame. It was something very different back then, so that it became an overnight success and went straight on the cover of WWD. At that time, we were seeing our frames on all kinds of influential people from different walks of life, from Andy Warhol to Diana Ross, but it wasn’t endorsement, they were genuinely buying our frames and wanting to wear them because they loved them. It was incredible. It is our privilege to have lived in NYC in that period when celebrity culture was not such an issue.

“In the early 90s we joined the CFDA, thanks to Anna Wintour and Candy Pratts Price (the US Vogue team) who wanted the best eyewear designers on board as part of the Association; that was another important moment. We were the first to be a part of it, we were there at the right time!  And it offered so much – we were given the support of Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs as our ‘godfathers’. We began to work with these very big designers. We had a very inspiring working relationship with Karl Lagerfeld for the runway shows and collaborations with the most prolific and talented designers of our times continued for decades. We had our own studio in New York and we started to run private views of our collections. It was in a very cool place next door to a famous agency where we met a very young Claudia Schiffer.

Kaleidoscopic Cool by Christian Roth
PRESENT: From the new Christian Roth BLOCK-ON Capsule 2013

“Today we have completely redefined the Christian Roth concept, our image, and collections – placing the spotlight on the best of “Christian Roth”. We have created a whole new life for the brand adding fun, excitement and the unexpected for eyewear aficionados. Our goal is to now connect through our crisp, conceptual and modern e-commerce destination – –  with our many visionary fans from all over the world, and to reach more seekers of beautiful and unique eyewear. It is a very different, very personal site, where you can get behind the scenes.

“In 2013, the new frames will be availably via the site and through a few ambassador optical stores. Our first Block-On capsule collection includes Italian acetates and Japanese titanium. It is all about craftsmanship, high-quality and mixing geometric, precise, graphic and modern elements. We have worked in a very detailed way with special touches, mixing colour and chic transparent tones. Every frame is crafted by artisans to have its own identity and uniqueness, and we will renew our capsule every few months with new additions, another unusual concept in eyewear that we feel will be exciting for our online customers. On the site, we have added a small shopping area for rare vintage designs, both our own and others; it is something fun, for collectors and people who love the history of frames. The site also shows our support for OrphanAid Africa, something which touches our hearts.

Götti Switzerland

“For the future we want Christian Roth to grow into a one-of-a-kind independent accessory brand with new categories which we will launch in 2014/15. We believe this is really something that will complement our frames and the spirit of the brand and appeal to the luxury market’s expectations. We have a great devotion to eyewear, and it is exciting for us to develop a new choice of accessories that will make sense for Christian Roth Eyewear”. CN