Growing in size and stature, the 2019 edition of opti – the German trade fair – offered a vast experience of eyewear from all corners of the earth. It’s hard to know where to start and where to look, and 3 days was barely sufficient to discover the most interesting design directions and innovations of the year.
Our focus was drawn particularly to artisan works addressing a purposeful design thinking, where natural materials are highlighted, incorporated with other materials, and inspiring an extraordinarily interesting study into surfaces and finishes – as in other design disciplines.
Above: Rigards – by Ti Kwa – continues to explore new ways to work with unusual materials. Their gorgeous copper patina finishes are now available in a variety of ‘rust’ and jasper/jade colorations and combinations with the signature miniature lock-in sun clip. Pictured – Model RG1911CU / for Ziggy Chen. www.rigards.com
In a new departure, using wood and metal, Spanish label Nina Mûr pays homage to deconstructivism and the maximum exponent of this movement in Spain, The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. The collection consists of two models, Mikel and Izorne (above) in three versions. Following their much loved Memphis inspired collection with Abet Laminati, the Deseraiki launch represents a mature and refined release marked by constructive nuances, textures and materials. www.ninamur.com
Italian label Pugnale has an interesting collection for 2019, following their excellent collaboration in 2018 with architect Hani Rashid. The extensive range this year includes multiple materials such as buffalo horn, leather, mother of pearl and precious silks and several eye-catching pieces such as the square Esaedro which has a metal insert on the bridge. www.pugnaleeyewear.com
Hapter from Italy has an exciting year ahead. A patented hinge – the 8-GON hinge – previewed at opti for the very first time – is to be introduced through the collections. Their extraordinary work with surfaces – in tactile rubber and carefully selected fabric – continues to place them at the forefront of the design led companies in eyewear. www.hapter.it
In the fast growing field of 3d printed eyewear (there are already more than 40 3D printed brands we are aware of), opti offered an expansive overview of the current directions: from the sculptured “creative” look of Impressio (www.impressio.lu) to the minimal luxe of Gotti Dimension (www.gotti.ch) high-precision range in Polyamide and Rolf Spectacles’ new 3d printed titanium Skyline collection – which is printed, with additive manufacturing techniques, in Germany and hand finished in Austria. Rolf’s second Skyline edition offers fine silhouettes in natural colours with textured surfaces that are perfectly in tune with the focus on tactile, “raw” earthy finishes. www.rolf-spectacles.com
The opti boxes are always an ideal location to find new ideas. The collective ‘We are Annu’ were a highlight amongst the start-ups with their paper clip inspired glasses made “half by machine and half by hand”. The innovation lies in the easy modular construction of the frames – made of 3D printed nylon fronts with titanium wire temples (in 3 colour choices) and put together with a simple screwless hinge concept; not forgetting an attentive focus on fit with customizable nose pads and temples. It comes as no surprise that an independent optician is among the co-founders. More details at: www.weareannu.com
Eyestylist.com will identify other key trends discovered at opti in the edits we have coming up through Spring 2019. opti munich returns in January 2020 – save the date -10th to 12th January – www.opti.de CN