Fresh eyewear colour and energy from Istanbul
1st June 2013 RVS by V., the Turkish spectacle label, based in Istanbul, was created by Vidal Erkohen, a collector of vintage eyewear. Handmade to order, the frames are colourful and exotic, both in acetate and metal.
“We give importance to colour, timeless design and quality. We also offer custom colour combinations. You are able to choose your own custom lens colour along with your temple and frame front colour with each order you make. We are also able to custom imprint all frames depending on your request. By letting customers add some of their imagination into each design makes a real difference for them; for us it helps us better understand what they want in the future.
Erkohen became interested in eyewear at an early age. “When I was at high school I found a drawer full of my father’s sunglasses which had not been worn in years. I took them to an optician in Istanbul who turned out to be a real artisan. He restored the frames for me and showed me how to do so in the process. It was then that I fell in love with the art of frame making and restoration. After wearing the frames we restored, people started to ask me for similar styles. I got to a point where there was enough demand to open up my own vintage website, Rare Vintage Sunglasses. Over time we started to supply boutiques, private clients and celebrities worldwide.”
In 2007, Erkohen launched his own collection. “I launched a 25 piece collection at Selima Optique in New York. My goal was to bring back the quality and originalty in design that was put into frames of the past; I believed that was missing at that time due to the lack of independent brands around.”
RVS by V. now has its own small-scale factory in Turkey. “We have 2 floors spread out to 4000sm area; it is more then 50 years old. We have 30 people working there who all still do almost every aspect of our production by hand, working together like a family. We have now also started to produce for other brands that are looking for an alternative other then China or Italy and believe that very soon we will be able to showcase more of our production on a larger scale all over the world. Turkish craftsmanship is truly wonderful although not known as well as it should be. Our goal is to make sure we promote what we can do in the best way possible.
So what’s the focus for 2013? “As always we are focusing on new colours and interesting colour combinations combined with new materials that have never been used before. They are sure to awaken the imaginations of all those who love colour. We have eight new optical frames in the new RVS Love Collection, featuring vintage and new Mazzucchelli acetates in colours that try to reflect the mood people are in when in the state of love. We are bringing a lot of new designs, collaborations and inovations to the table in 2013, along with our new label – POV, Point of View.
Of his influences, Erkohen talks of many but particularly his travel experiences. His former years were spent in New York where he lived with his family (father who is Turkish) and mother (who is Morrocan/Israeli) and brother until he was 11. “We later moved to Istanbul where I got the chance to see and live a very different culture then I was used to until that time. Once we started to live in Istanbul we were traveling in Europe frequently; this gave me a wider perspective that very much affected my sense of style. I always look back fondly at those days and believe that is the reason for my need to create something that reflects classic chic while also bringing something different to the table. Turkey is a country full of history and inspiration that most of the world is still unaware of. Living in Istanbul brings inspiration to my designs and everything I do almost everyday, for this I feel very lucky.”
Erkohen shows great passion for the current growth in individual independent labels in eyewear. “I think this is not only a good time but it is The Time for independent brands to start creating new things and take over the eyewear world with their creations. The main reason we started RVS was to bring something new and limited to the table and educate consumers on what they were buying when the eyewear world was still ruled by mass production and companies producing pieces by the millions.
Today the situation has changed. Consumers have started to educate themselves on the quality of eyewear they are buying and they have also started to take notice of the smaller brands and look for originality and quality in the product they are purchasing. Is an exciting time for independent brands and we are happy to be a part of this movement.” CN