Sid Fiz Optique

1st September 2013 Queen’s Park, a fashionable neighbourhood of west London, with a well-known gastro pub ( inviting bakery (, small independent shops, cafes and a popular farmers’ market is the location of Sid Fiz Optique, a new eyewear store that is a wonderful modern addition to this area. Sid is an eyewear expert, with a wealth of experience of the finest labels on the market – he is also a distributor of some of them, who has long been working with special, quality brands, and who now has his own unique label – Coppe & Sid – in a partnership with Gaultiero Coppe –

Sid FIz Optique interior
Sid Fiz Optique interior

For his shop which opened in July, Sid’s choice of frames reflects his knowledge and understanding of the new direction towards artisan luxury, something that is likely to please the fashion crowd and professional families locally. “I am  in a really nice position to be able to fill my shop with well selected special labels; my customers will be able to walk down the street here and they will be the only one wearing the frame they purchase.  There’s something for everyone, and yet we have chosen eyewear that is less mainstream and more about great design and clean, elegant aesthetics. From what I have seen so far, our customers are intrigued by new design and independent labels they may not have heard about before.”

Coppe & Sid
Manila by Coppe & Sid


Providence, Coppe & Sid
Providence by Coppe & Sid

As well as showcasing the Coppe & Sid Eyewear Collection, Sid guided me through labels that included Oliver Peoples, Frency & Mercury, Mykita, Jacques Durand, Lafont, Meyer Eyewear, Face à Face and for kids, Zoobug. “I have a created a minimal interior; my wife and I have designed absolutely everything ourselves and I think the shop reflects something about how we see eyewear moving whilst making this a store where you can see, touch, and try everything – the frames are not locked away and you can pick them up and try them on easily. “The shop also represents a great opportunity to show the Coppe & Sid label in full for the first time; the label has been a great success with the opticians I have worked with and I am looking forward to seeing the response in the eyes of the customer, that is where you really understand the success of a design so you can evolve the collection in line with their tastes and desires.” Sid Fiz Optique, Salusbury Road, Queen’s Park, London. CN

Summer fashion and fun

August is the pinnacle of summer’s playful season, and we’re ready with chic designer sunglasses and the latest glasses in reviews. Discover updates on shops in Boutiques, and Dutch Design highlighted in Designer of the Month. Current fashion exhibitions and books are featured in City Guides, and we feature an eyewear exclusive on Anna-Karin Karlsson. 

Throughout the month we take a preview peek at what Autumn will be bringing and it is a creative banquet of eyewear inspiration. Happy and warm summer holidays from Eyestylist!

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Hapter, Italy

Eric Balzan and Mirko Forti at Hapter, who will unveil their latest collection in Paris at the end of this month, have kindly given us a preview. Hapter designs are a very tactile experience – crafted using legendary Cerruti materials, and the frames have a pleasant illusion between what the eyes see and the hands touch. The wide surface of the frame (above) is inspired by military eyewear, and the sharp angles of the low bridge area make a powerful statement. In addition to the elegant blue shown, the frame is available pewter, olive and chocolate. JG

Meet Mr Kilsgaard!

1st September 2013 Kilsgaard Eyewear is the Danish eyewear label that has become famous for its expertise in fine, lightweight aluminium. As designer and founder, 34-year-old Jacob Kilsgaard himself says, “We are the company that made aluminium work as a frame material. Aluminium is half the weight of titanium, and it’s the only material you can colour anodize.” “Anodization”, he explains, “is an electrochemical way to colour aluminium. The colours are everlasting and very unique, they are deep and bright and very modern.” It’s an achievement and specialisation that has set the brand apart and set it on an exciting road to success. The Kilsgaard team now have offices in Copenhagen and Aarhus in Denmark, and their frames are available across the world in 35 countries. “Our main office in Aarhus in an old building in the Latin quarter. It is a cozy space where everybody feels at home. The design team and partners Bonnelycke MDD are four blocks away. They are our external designers, but we work closely with them, as we have done from day 1; we are friends and this is a joint project that has become very strong.”

Model 54.1/3 by Kilsgaard
Model 54.1/3 by Kilsgaard – launching this month in Paris

Launched in 2008, Kilsgaard has grown steadily in Europe. In the US, Jacob works with good friend Shane Baum of Baum Vision. ” We launched in North America two years ago and we have a growing business there. It is a privilege to work with friends and Shane and I are best buddies as well as business associates.” In design, Kilsgaard manages to bring vitality to metal frames, and an individuality that is exciting. “We have found a corner of the business where we – as we see it – are on our own. We try to use some of the same elements as the fashion industry – especially the Danish fashion industry.”   The Danish design roots are important, but Jacob explains this in his own way. “I find my inspiration in Denmark’s design heritage – solid materials, minimal design, and caring for the function intended for the product, comfort and every day use. Many of the Danish designers set out to create comfortable furniture that looked great, in that order. The basics need to be in place. This is our starting point as well.” Eyestylist asked Jacob to reveal something about the new collections coming up. “We have six new shapes and one new colour being added to the existing range. Our new temple concept employs a new material that we haven’t used before – titanium. It is really something to talk about!”


Kilsgaard - Model 56.6-1 launching this month
Model 56.6-1 by Kilsgaard launching this month in Paris

Outside work, Kilsgaard spends time with his daughter, new girlfriend and family…and he loves to cook. “I had a catering company while I was “studying” in Aarhus many years ago. My love of cooking didn’t go away. I cook everyday with Smilla, my four year old daughter, and try to pass on my passion for great food and the importance of high-quality ingredients – I like to show her that good food can bring people together on many levels. To me, cooking and dining with people is a very private special thing. If I cook you dinner, you’re in…I love skiing, good wine and change. I guess my working life has made me somewhat impatient. I don’t get bored easily but I enjoy change from the daily routine. It keeps me going.” CN

Royal Vintage

Lesca Lunetier – Eyewear Legacy

29th August 2013 Lesca Lunetier was one of the brands I remember from early visits to the fashion frame exhibition in Paris. What a delightful surprise to see Joël Lesca again, and discover that his talented son Mathieu is now involved in the business. On a recent Paris visit, Clodagh and I were enamoured to have the opportunity to look at scores of gorgeous vintage designs from Lesca including frames designed by Joël. The feel of the acetate is wonderful – so smooth and rich. The beauties above are from the 1950’s that have been lovingly refurbished in the Lesca workshop.

Joël Lesca 1983 Vintage Legacy
Joël Lesca 1983 Vintage Legacy

Frame P9 (above) celebrates its 30th anniversary this year – Joël Lesca created this design in France in 1983. Fabricated in finest quality cellulose acetate, the frame shape captures vintage elements in classic tortoiseshell. JG

Photography (top image) by

Eyewear Artisans and Architecture

Sven Götti – Götti Switzerland

27th August 2013 Eyestylist continues its series on Eyewear Artisans and Architecture, and a visit with Sven Götti.

On a hilltop in Zurich sits an unusual building by an important Swiss architect, who created a masterpiece that is inspiration for Sven Götti, designer and CEO of Götti Switzerland. “The Freudenberg Schoolhouse was built by Jacques Schader in the years between 1954-1960,” says Götti, “and the generosity and the straight forwardness of this building remains unique for Swiss conditions. Given the small scale of Switzerland, this building means a waste of space for some people. Today, this facility can accommodate 1500 students.


The elegant, pure lines of Kantonsschule Freudenberg, Zurich
The elegant, pure lines of Kantonsschule Freudenberg, Zurich

“The school is located in Zurich near my home, and it impresses me with its timeless elegance. The building has such clean lines that I am looking for in my glasses. I hope my frames are as timeless as The Freudenberg building.


The view from Freudenberg
The view from Freudenberg

“It was built in the late 50’s, and still looks modern and up to date to me. So if I look at frames which I created some years ago, I hope I still like them today….then I think I did a good job.” JG

Photos: Exclusively for by Paula Götti

Anna-Karin Karlsson Wins Swedish Fashion Award

Original and Daring Eyewear Designer Feted

25th August 2013  Designer Anna-Karin Karlsson was bestowed the prestigious Swedish Fashion Accessory Award last evening for her amazing eyewear creations. The Award is a coveted prize in Scandinavia, and entrants must prove not only their fashion-worthiness, but also their business acumen. Speaking from Stockholm where the designer is based and where she received the award, Karlsson said: “I cried with happiness when I found out. This is the most important thing that could ever happen to me.”


Pursuit-of-Happiness by Anna-Karin Karlsson
Pursuit-of-Happiness by Anna-Karin Karlsson

Dramatic and luxurious, AKK eyewear is a total expression of Anna-Karin’s quest for beauty, love and romance. She says: “I like designs that are graphic and strong; I want to tell a story, and make eyewear with feeling.” AKK’s first optical collection will be launched at the end of September at the Paris Fashion Events, and she will also unveil her new sunglass designs. Warmest congratulations Anna-Karin on the Swedish Fashion Award from Eyestylist! JG

Teen Trends

New Looks: Style and Character

23rd August 2013 Most teens are fashion aware and like to wear what is cool. Specialist eyewear designers meet this need with teen collections that feature fresh and creative styling and colours. Lafont Paris has a distinguished eyewear history for youngsters, with contemporary shapes and unique touches that appeal to budding style setters. Mia (above) is a sleek acetate design, and a distinctive accent is the playful colouration on the frame interior. 

Vintage Mood - Jasper by JF Rey
Vintage Mood – Jasper by JF Rey

A variety of styles and colours permeate the JF Rey teen collection, also from France. Jasper (above) in acetate and metal has a vintage air with its engraved metal side inserts. The tone-on-tone effect ensures a design with a sophisticated, grownup spirit. JG

Eyestylist at LARKE optics, London

21st August 2013 Eyestylist recently visited Laura Nicholson in her Bloomsbury studio, the home of LARKE optics, a new independent spectacles label, created in October 2012, that has just launched online this month.

With a background in fashion and enthusiasm for interesting, well-made specs – she is a specs wearer herself  – Laura explained that Larke means “To embark on an adventure”. Her aim is that the inaugural collection should accommodate good colours and good shapes with a classic feel, and no ostentatious external branding. The colours vary from traditional tortoise to a few surprises in horn effect and an edgier dark midnight blue.

Gill by LARKE optics

One of a growing number of new labels in the UK selecting local production, LARKE optics starts its handmade eyewear journey with 7 rich Italian acetate shapes, some of which work perfectly with sun lenses. Some of the acetate material comes from rare, end-of-line blocks for a more exclusive frame. Expect to see hand riveted hinges, subtle design details such as the suggestion of classic details like the key hole bridge and hand polishing for a fine finish. LARKE spectacles are now available online and at the new flagship Stine Goya store, Copenhagen, which opened this month. More on this new collection coming soon. CN



Best of Britannia 2013, London

20th August 2013 Best of Britannia is coming up again in October and will take place at the Farmiloe building in London’s Clerkenwell. The exhibition showcases a special mix of quality British brands – established and emerging – encompassing an interesting range of industries and sectors, including interiors, furniture, lighting, food, sports, accessories, automotives… and eyewear too. Founder and Creator Antony Wallis explains: “It is a very exciting time to be a British designer and manufacturer – the London 2012 Olympics, the Golden Jubilee, and now with the arrival of Prince George, brand Britain is experiencing a major boom. At Best of Britannia, we have curated a collection of British brands that have authenticity, a strong British heritage and provenance, all under one roof. Visitors are in for a real treat.”

Ailen by FAN Optics
Ailen by FAN Optics

Among the fashion exhibitors we are looking forward to seeing are the accessories label, Age of Reason ( and the British eyewear brand FAN Optics (, who recently launched a Limited Edition Sunglasses Collection – The Nine Worthies. Read more about it here:

Best of Britannia 2013, the Farmiloe Building, Clerkenwell, London – 3rd to 5th October 2013. To book a stand or attend as a visitor find out more here:  CN

School Days!

Back-to-School Eyewear Kids Love to Wear!

19th August 2013 This cheeky youngster is ready to conquer the new school year in this appealing Zoobug acetate design. Zoobug founder Dr. Julie Le is an eye surgeon, so she is keenly aware of the necessity to create frames that provide safety, protection and super style. All ingredients are artfully achieved in Ollie, a unisex frame that is handcrafted, designed and tested on young children. Kids will love the colours too! Featured: tortoiseshell acetate. Also available in navy, light blue and a fun combo of black and red. Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images for

Belle wears San Francisco from Red Optical
Belle wears San Francisco from Red Optical

Belle is the ultimate adorable fashionista wearing San Francisco in Mazzuchelli acetate by Red Optical. The Netherlands brand is a children’s specialist frame company with a delightful collection of eyewear for youngsters – designs that are child-friendly in fresh and clear colours, with fine quality, plus strength and safety for playground adventures. View more desirable designs at JG

Rigards on Craftsmanship

‘Handmade for your face’

16th August 2013 Exhibiting in Paris last month, buffalo horn specialists Rigards from designers Jean Marc Virard and Ti Kwa, showcased the entire process of handcrafting a pair of their frames from buffalo horn, from the raw material to the traditional tools used, whilst also showing how the by-products are used as nose pads or recycled for fertilizer. The design process was also highlighted, starting from a sketch, created in the traditional way, with pencil and paper. “Our goal was to highlight that Rigards is truly handmade, one frame at a time, in the traditional way.” explained Kwa.

“Produced from genuine buffalo horn, Rigards frames are made from harmonious, natural horn colours such as amber, black and onyx. Each horn plate is matched with the most appropriate design to bring out the inherent characteristics and beauty of the material,” adds Kwa, “and we work with hand tools which really comes through in the finished product, adding a one-off kind of richness and personality to the horn designs in the same way that the history of an antique can add to its value.”

Rigards frames available in London at Layers ( For more on Rigards visit CN

Rigards display in Paris


Rigards Eyewear


Handcrafting at Rigards

Guard your Glasses!

Francis Klein has the Solution!

13th August 2013 Losing a pair of sunglasses is not a pleasant experience, yet it can so easily happen, particularly on holiday. Francis Klein has a fun and fashionable solution that we discovered in their Paris boutique – glass cases in which your frames slid into with ease. With its perky design (the reverse shows The Eiffel Tower) and vibrant colours, the case is an ideal way to protect your frames and keep them safe.


Retro glamour by Francis Klein
Retro glamour by Francis Klein

The Francis Klein sunglass collection this season features their signature retro shaping in wonderful colours. There are lots of bright florals, plus chic colour combinations as seen in Mel (above) in tortoiseshell and blue. Glittery and matt bronze stones highlight the front of the design, and the waffle detailing adds to the allure of the acetate shaping. JG

Sunglass Splendour

Summer Stunners Available on Line!

9th August 2013 Don’t leave home without your sunglasses! Two designs we’d definitely love to tuck into our suitcases include these sensational frames in gorgeous blues. Anna-Karin Karlsson’s über sleek acetate creation has a bold structure in rich turquoise, and is graphically enhanced with gold inlay on the frame top and sides. A unique frame destined to be a collector’s item.


Colour Magic - Pop Power by Christian Roth
Colour Magic – Pop Power by Christian Roth

Christian Roth magically captures the Azure blue of the Mediterranean with this striking design – Pop Power. Translucent acetate is spiked with dabs of colour, and the retro inspired voluminous shape not only offers sun protection, but great style too. These stunning frames can be ordered on line at – click on BOUTIQUES to easily place your order. JG

Trend watch – detail, a new orientation

6th August 2013 Minute, handfinished detailing showing authentic artisanal skill is where things are going this year in spectacle-making. It is like we’ve come full circle.  This is thanks to a handful of independent labels who are passionate about upholding traditional traits and techniques typical of quality vintage eyewear, and exploring them in the new world of high-tech materials and technology….but still using real “work by hand” to do a variety of the production steps, and sometimes all of them. (Image above: handcrafting in England, Oliver Goldsmith bespoke, read more here:

Matsuda, view of detail on temple
Matsuda, filigree detail
Rolf Spectacles, handmade in wood – hinge detail

References to vintage design include both new interpretations and designs featuring actual vintage elements. Antique pins, metalwork or filigree – the Japanese label Matsuda produces some very fine examples – nose pads or arm ends with tiny embedded initials – for example, at Oliver Goldsmith they are using some of their original OG buttons in their re-released aviators, Colt and Wiseguy – and other exquisite detail work are on a par, once again, with fine jewellery making. You will also notice that the materials in these collections are far from ordinary…..custom glossy acetates – we love the Italian Mazzucchelli ones as do many of the top eyewear designers, traditional luxury metals such as gold that hark back to old-school elegance, and a rise in buffalo horn and handmade works of astonishing precision in wood – Rolf Spectacles ( There are also new designs produced in pretty vintage materials that have been salvaged from former workshops; we’ve seen nice examples of vintage materials in new designs by Thierry Lasry, BlueMagicEye, Nine Worthies / FAN Optics ( and Res/Rei (  – and there are more out there if you search them out. CN

Matsuda Eyewear

Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses

Rolf Spectacles


Eilonwy Lilac

Vera Wang

Vera Wang has kindly given us a preview of their forthcoming 2014 Salon Collection of optical frames – stunning designs in beautiful soft colours. Eilonwy Lilac is subtle and refined with a transparent lilac acetate front, and temples in marbled tones. A delicate touch is the gold accent that runs across the rim of the frame, and onto the side. The result is a timeless design with elegance and flair. JG

4700 5

Blue Magic Eye

Guya Montermini and Ciro Tugnoli, designers at Blue Magic Eye, enjoy searching for sheets of old acetate. Their latest find includes this vintage green and Havana colouration – circa 1980’s – from the Italian acetate specialist – Mazzucchelli. The retro inspired shape in style 4700 5 features polished metal temples in olive green for an elegant, soft effect. Other colour combinations are available too – including a chic grey and blue duo. JG

The House of Eyewear

New Name –  Super Specs Remain!

1st August 2013 One of our most admired Parisian boutiques – Les Plus Belles Lunettes du Monde (Eyestylist 1st June 2011) – has a new name: The House of Eyewear. The name change occurred because of the international reach of the boutique’s customers. Expansive, beautiful and varied collections are available in the elegant shop located on a sought after Parisian address: 30 rue de la Trémoille in the 8th arrondissement. Global designers represented include LGR by Luca Ruscone, Anna-Karin Karlsson, Paulino Spectacles, Face à Face, Patty Paillette, Thierry Lasry, l.a.eyeworks, Victoria Beckman and many more. Owner and optician Sandrine Pereira was quoted as saying: “We sell happiness”….and we add eyewear excitement! On your “must see” list when in Paris – The House of Eyewear for a creative eyewear celebration. JG



The innovative Danish company has recently released new designs with remarkably slender shapes – the Lindberg n.o.w. Collection. Composite materials and delicate ultra-light titanium temples team for a masterful result in elegant, uncluttered frames, such as the men’s design shown above. The understated, distinctive composition is minimalist and unobtrusive. With the advanced-technology front featuring transparent colour gradients, as well as subtle groove colours, the effect is a gentle contrast with the titanium temples. The Lindberg n.o.w. is available in 15 different colours. JG

Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980’s

Victoria & Albert Museum Explores Club Culture

1st August 2013 The creative explosion of London fashion in the 1980’s sets the pace for this lively exhibition. Many of the designers who are acclaimed today, had their roots in the heady days of London club life and fashion. Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, Betty Jackson, and Katherine Hamnett are among the pioneers who altered fashion during this period.

Ready to Rock - Joseph jumper 1985
Ready to Rock – Joseph jumper 1985

The impact of London club culture was felt far beyond the club doors, and reinvented fashion worldwide. More than eighty-five outfits from the designers, plus accessories by Stephen Jones and Patrick Cox, are on display, and illustrate the creative relationship between catwalk and club wear. Exhibition continues through 16 February 2014. To book tickets, visit JG

Top photo: Body Map A/W 1984 Cat in the hat takes a rumble with a techno fish Model: Scarlett Cannon Copyright Monica Curtin Middle photo: 1985 Joseph jumper: Victoria and Albert Museum, London


Sunnies for Summer Pastimes

Eyewear Pleasures by Anne et Valentin

1st August 2013 Designer Anne Valentin lives and works in Toulouse, the lovely French city located on the banks of The Garonne River, and not far from the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. So she is used to lots of sunshine and the need for sunglasses. She has aptly named the three lovely styles above – “Time Off” – sophisticated designs with glamour and beauty. In acetate and metal, the detailing and frame shapes are superb. From the top: styles 19h15, 16h35 and 10h10 in luscious colours of blush pink, mint green and burgundy. Chic on the beach and for town wear too! JG

Translucent beauty by Anne et Valentin Style 10h10
Translucent beauty by Anne et Valentin Style 19h15

Allen 5

Lotho Paris

This exquisite colour is one of the highlights of the approaching autumn season – and it is as stunning in eyewear, as it is in clothing. Lotho is a French brand that thrives on providing beautiful frames with distinctive details. Allen 5 is aesthetically pleasing in teal acetate with its graceful angles, and is delicately piped in mocha acetate. JG

SG Wants the DJ

Suzy Glam

As a jewellery designer, Susanne Klemm understands the components of cut gemstones, and this knowledge now translates into her stunning eyewear collection. SG Want the DJ features a luxurious faceted shape, moulded in fine Italian acetate, with the frame surface round and smooth. I’ve tried on Suzy’s frames, and the craftsmanship, fit and beauty is a delight. The collection will make its official debut at SILMO in Paris in JG

Tom Stevens Eyewear

Design Inspiration in The Netherlands

1st August 2013 This month, Eyestylist chats with Tom Stevens of Tom Stevens Eyewear in The Netherlands

Please give details of your background. “I used to be an optician and started my first independent optical store in 2001. Two years later, I opened a second store and enjoyed the years working with people, and always looking for new collections to fill my shops. In 2008, I sold both stores and started doing what I really wanted to do: designing frames. Together with my business partner we launched the children’s label Red Kids Eyewear. In 2011, Tom Stevens Eyewear was launched.”

What inspires your eyewear designs? “My ideas and inspiration for new designs can come from anywhere: cars, buildings, fashion, shapes I discover in objects. I start drawing shapes that I prefer or might be interesting for new models. I like to anticipate the trends too. For instance, ultra round shapes in our new titanium collection. The colours for each model are partly inspired by fashion and catwalk trends. We used neo coating on previous models, as an example. The different seasons also affect my preference for certain colours. The new collection – which will be launched in September – shows darker, sophisticated and ‘calm’ colours, such as midnight blue, matt gold, warm autumn red and soft creamy white.”

Do you have a customer ‘profile’ in mind when you design? “I don’t think of a potential customer when I design. I just draw shapes that I like; this part of the process is quite abstract actually. Clearly I think about measurements, sizes and fittings for male and female faces. But for me, my designs can be worn by all sorts of people.”

Acetate Excellence by Tom Stevens
Acetate Excellence by Tom Stevens


In what countries are your frames sold? “Our collection is sold in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Italy, Ireland and Denmark. We are in the process of distribution with South Korea, the U.S. and Australia.”

What are your favourite eyewear materials? “I prefer to work with acetate and titanium in the highest quality. We are experimenting with new materials, and new ideas often pop up in my mind, but it has to work in the final product too. Acetate and titanium have proven to be very solid and beautiful materials in which to produce frames.”

Do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring creators? “Follow your heart, work hard, have fun and never, ever forget what started you in the first place. You will have to overcome bumps in the road, and it might be hard. But if you do something you believe in, and it’s the only thing you really want to do, keep going for it. It will pay off.” JG