An imposing handpainted mural (above) portraying the founder Wim Somers in neon tones at the top covers one huge expanse of wall at the front of theo’s home in Antwerp. The colour combinations and design are indicative of a pioneering spirit and the bold, innovative and industrious direction of the theo family today represented by the second generation, brothers Mik, Jan and Toon.
In its own equally expressive statement, the Graffiti collection by theo, launched at the Paris eyewear fair Silmo 2018 and now available in stores, looks to pay homage to the freedom and impact of street art. It explores the specific language of expression and lettering used by the New York graffiti artist ‘Phase 2’ in the late 1970s, reworking the effect with a whole different look in the frames.
The style of the ‘bubble-letters’ or ‘softies’ became extremely influential at the time and continue to be regarded in the art form as a ‘gigantic leap’. Here in the new theo eyewear collection, the expression of the letters is achieved through the protruding rounded acetate rims, in coordinated or contrasting colours on the stainless steel base frame, also worked to replicate the bubble effect with little ‘breaks’ through the design.
Three frame shapes – models Tag, Throwie and Piece – realised by Serge Bracké, work with the acetate and stainless steel mix – and come in eight graffiti inspired bright statement hues which include ‘glowing’ neon-like pinks and oranges that perfectly identify with the ultra-brilliant tones of the best fluorescent spray paints.
theo belgium’s first glasses became available in 1989. Today their collections are sold in 1,400 stores in 50 countries. Many of their optical partners make the journey to Antwerp to visit HQ and experience the theo world first hand. Find out more at www.theo.be CN