Auerbach & Steele have moved to a new location, a few doors down, at 123 Kings Road, London
The prestigious optical store on London’s fashionable Kings Road – Auerbach & Steele – has moved to a state-of-the-art 3 storey architect-designed retail space just a few doors down from its original location.
Visible from the street, a vast minimal contemporary open space at ground level is now home to one of the UK’s most comprehensive and diverse selections of fine independent eyewear collections for which the practice has become a trendsetter and point of reference.
Distributed through the basement and two further floors beyond the main retail space, the practice also offers 2 private consulting rooms for eye testing and styling appointments, its own lens lab and one of the UK’s most unique dedicated spaces for beautiful, colorful kid’s eyewear. In line with its reputation for clinical excellence, the new location is fitted with cutting edge testing equipment, for the most comprehensive eye examination.
Curated by Gail Steele and a long-serving team of optics and design experts, the eyewear collections at Auerbach & Steele offer something for everyone including minimal design labels from Scandinavia, colorful British eyewear classics, exciting 3D printed frames and the most highly regarded avant-garde and statement eyewear from cities like Berlin and Zurich.
Gail Steele told Eyestylist: “Since we opened Auerbach & Steele in 1996, I have been dedicated to marrying absolute clinical and technical excellence alongside the dispensing of ever changing beautiful, cool and unusual frames which we source, and often have made, from around the world. We are thrilled to now be able to offer our special service from our beautiful new luxurious space spread across four floors.” Visit Auerbach & Steele at 123, King’s Road, London, SW3www.auerbach-steele.com CN
TBD Eyewear (The Bespoke Dudes Eyewear) has a reputation for Italian design style at an affordable price, with sunglasses priced at under 200 euros. Like their bestselling unisex style, The Cran, a frame we have tried and tested (https://www.eyestylist.com/2019/01/the-cran-by-tbd-eyewear/) model Lapel offers an “easy” design for men with a vintage-infused, slightly squared shape suited to all kinds of faces. With a flattened top that has become a hugely popular detail for the current season across collections, the frame now comes in amber tortoise, honey or green tortoise, shades which are beautiful through winter, paired with decent UV protective lenses in well-selected tones of tobacco or bottle green.
The TBD brand has dedicated itself to providing reliable delivery through its online service, and for those who seek a quick shopping option (pre-Xmas!) their frames arrive quickly and easily (delivery guarantee of 2-5 days). Founder of the independent label Fabio Attanasio is a well-known face in menswear, and his blog continues to be a faithful supporter of good design, craftsmanship and tailoring across the men’s fashion industry and a great source of information on tailoring and artisan accessories. Find out more about the blog at http://www.thebespokedudes.com/en For the sunglasses and eyewear collections visit www.thebespokedudeseyewear.com – sign up for the newsletter for special offers. CN
Sources of inspiration include ancient mosaics, 19th century eyewear + Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
A second collaboration series between artisan fashion designer Uma Wang and the avant-garde eyewear innovators from Hong Kong, Rigards caught the attention of Paris Fashion Week at the fashion designer’s much talked about RTW Spring 2020 catwalk show.
The two designs – UW5 and UW10 – are intentionally closely linked to the previous models, with an aesthetic derived from 19th century eyewear. Above: backstage at Uma Wang, Paris Fashion Week – collaboration design UW10
UW10, (a codename for the 10th anniversary of Wang’s brand) was undertaken as a follow-up design to the successful prior collaboration design, the UW1.
Conceived from a thread that runs through Wang’s latest collection (the golden age of Pompeii), Rigards’ Ti Kwa says they “zoomed in on the smallest element of the decorative arts of the Roman Empire, extrapolating it into something uncommonly inventive.” An eco-friendly bio-acetate is used for the side shield inspired by ancient mosaic glass tiles—” these are as vivid now as they were 2000 years ago, relicts of Pompeii preserved by Vesuvius and the passage of time.”
A further historic inspiration came from the extraordinary stained glass windows at Barcelona’s Sagrada Família, conceptualized by the great Antoni Gaudi and designed and produced by artist Joan Vila-Grau, a highlight of Kwa’s recent tour to Barcelona.
This frame, nicknamed “The Shanghai”, honors another artistic treasure, particularly dear to Wang. The exquisite Old Shanghai Art Deco stained glass windows are a legacy of the once-flourishing, now forgotten Jesuit Tushanwan Orphanage and its exceptional young foundling apprentices. The frame is produced in five spectacular shades, each one a literal rendering of seeing the world through tinted specs.
With an aesthetic derived from 19th century eyeware, UW5 (The Victorian II) reflects the design vocabulary of UW3, a prior collaboration with a minimal silhouette.
The so called “owl-eye” style has been increased in size and thus works ideally for wider faces. “Building with copper allows the application of our exclusive, proprietary ‘Time Machine’ hand-aging process,” says Ti Kwa. “What emerged wer the most beautiful examples of metal coloring—expressive, painterly patina that further enhance the personality of the frames, as though weathered by the passing decades.”
Uma Wang’s Pompeii inspired show took place in Paris in September featuring the collaboration frames with Rigards on the catwalk. For more information about the two brands visit www.rigards.com and www.umawang.comCN
Industrial elements, custom-designed furniture, and colour and texture inspired by the Thai capital. A new MYKITA store has opened its doors in Bangkok, developed by the in-house architectural team at the German design house. Located in the Sindhorn village development in the Pathum Wan district, the shop defines the brand’s high-tech aesthetic in an open, minimal space with distinctive mirrored walls and delicate green foliage.
The ground-level space has the familiar white interior and wall. Pale green touches are added on the expanded metal ceiling, eyewear storage trolleys and the metal detailing on the oak furniture. On approaching the shop, the entrance to the in-store optical lab is visible through floor-to-ceiling glass front, providing a showcase for the handcraft and high technology that defines MYKITA’s Modern Manufactory.
MYKITA Bangkok stocks the full collection of optical frames and sunglasses including the designer collaborations with Bernhard Willhelm and Maison Margiela. A Zeiss Vision Center provides comprehensive vision care. Sindhorn Village (Room C115/2), Soi Langsuan, 10330 Bangkokwww.mykita.com
Florescence collection released: Jono Hennessy’s lively colours and patterns are an inherent feature of his new collections, inspired by the brilliance and delicacy of flourishing blooms. Colorful and playful with Liberty print fabric laminations and tone on tone combinations, the line also gives space to fashionable blocked tones. Mixed material designs in stainless steel and custom acetate are also a key feature.
Inspired by the 70s dancefloor, the modern square shape of Studio combines sharp edges in a bold metal front in IP plated colour with a custom glitter temple. The palette is expressive and typical of Hennessy’s creative studio. It brings fronts in gold, black, red or a lovely pale mint together with the glitter infused stone-toned temples. An oversized shape is perfectly tailored for retro impact and highlights the trend towards larger metal proportions in the latest collections as we head towards a new year. The Florescence collection is available from Sunshades, Australia. Look for the brand at selected optical retailers. Find out more: www.sunshadeseyewear.com.au
Designer to the stars Kerin Rose Gold says she is celebrating 11 years of a-morir, her creative eyewear, accessories and ‘objets d’art’ business in New York. Photography (above): Sophy Holland
I understand you are celebrating a milestone after a very busy 10 years! What does that feel like and has it been an exciting time for you? The 10th year went by so fast, and the studio has been busy! Believe it or not, we’re on our 11th year. a-morir started casually and took off unexpectedly, it’s been hard to keep track. I kept meaning to plan some sort of celebration or dinner for my closest friends and biggest supporters and I just confirmed an 11th birthday party at the beginning of December. I have also created an online-only collection named after some of my best friends. I’m also preparing for a digital sample sale that include some one of a kind pieces from my archive.
Is all your work in eyewear today? While eyewear is where I started and remains a-morir’s ‘heartbeat’ I’ve had the pleasure of expanding. I had been doing custom crystal work for my big eyewear clients like Rihanna and Lady Gaga, and that half of the business has expanded beyond celebrities to private clients and large corporations. I’ve had the pleasure of working with J.Lo, Missy Elliott, Serena Williams, Cardi B, Lizzo and Halsey on non eyewear projects.
I’m also releasing accessories and art ‘objets’; a-morir started out of things I’d made for myself – which I still do in my free time. When my friends have seen those pieces, they’ve asked to purchase them as well.
One of my favorite recent ventures has been working with clients on custom eyewear pieces. I go back and forth with clients via email; if they are in NYC they come to the studio for a design session. A week later they get a custom piece shipped to their private address.
What is your fondest memory in the last years? There are many! I suppose highlights include a shout out from Rihanna on TV and being selected by Vogue Italia as a new talent in 2011. Today, every time someone orders one of my pieces online I still get a thrill. I’ve recently launched the first ever bridal eyewear line – it came with a beautiful profile on Vogue.com!
Are you located exclusively in NYC or are you travelling a lot for shows and commissions? I’m lucky that I get to stay in NYC. Nearly all of my creative collaborators and companies I work with are based here. The studio is skilled at shipping our pieces to anyone who isn’t. At the beginning of my career, I was based in a luxury accessories showroom in Europe and moved on to the Paris fashion tradeshows; I was receiving a lot of email inquiries from boutiques around the world and selling to them, but I wasn’t finding buyers at the tradeshows or in showrooms who were interested in what I was doing. Around the same time, I grew tired of doing large collections twice a year and I took a risk and went back to the way I was doing things when I first started; it has been better for me to design when I am inspired and release pieces through my website. I now try to travel just for fun. This leaves me stimulated and invigorated when I return home and get back to work.
How will you celebrate your 11th “company” birthday? With the December party…and a Zine produced with my wonderful husband. It’s a limited edition ‘self published DIY magazine’ to share our story. I see it as a ‘loveletter’ about the last 11 years.
Have you got plans for the next few years that you can talk about or is it top secret? Some things are top secret, but I look forward to finding new ways to push the boundaries of my eyewear, expanding the bridal line, creating more eyewear x jewelry sets, and doing more fun collaborations! I love the teamwork involved in collaboration, and look forward to doing fun things with brands and boutiques that I love. I’ve also finally teamed up with a wonderful lens laboratory who are handling prescriptions for my collection, and that part of the business is taking off. The lenses are beautiful and I’ve had a lot of clients get extraordinary pieces filled in their eyeglass prescription; seeing the frame transformation and how they are worn is a thrill!
What is your focus in your design work today? Tell us about the highlights in the collection for 2019. Now that I’ve gone back to my roots, I’m excited to be experimenting with over the top avantgarde pieces again. One of my most favorite recent designs is the Ayesha. I’ve had the honor of working with Preciosa Components, and am obsessed with their black plated chain. I wanted to make something extravagant out of it and this is what I wound up with! I originally said it has 75 feet of chain, (approx. 25 meters) per piece but I think it may be more. I’ve sold more of those than I have some of my more conservative releases from the same collection.
You are dressing many celebrities. What is the best thing about working closely with celebrities? Superstar celebrities have access to everything in the world – I’ve seen it first hand – knowing that they have chosen to wear something from a-morir is flattering because they don’t have to. I’m not giving them anything for free and I’m not paying them for endorsement – they’re doing it because they love the design and trust in my creativity and artistic process. What I do isn’t limited to celebrities, that’s also important; I have a handful of wonderful private clients in NYC and abroad. They tell me what they want and trust me to execute their vision. For more details about a-morir, visit www.a-morir.com / www.amorirprojects.com CN
Warm red wine tones, natural eggplant and deep bordeaux have returned to eyewear for the winter season. This flattering array of hues are an elegant lift for winter complexions and cold weather wardrobes, and an easy accompaniment to work or formal attire – and will spruce things up for everyday. Above: Falvin Eyewear, model Equator in matt amethyst with precious rose gold detail. An all-rounder (for work and weekends) where the purple amethyst colour looks beautiful with a touch of gold. An excellent accompaniment to gold jewellery and accessories. www.falvineyewear.com
Style Miriam, in Bordeaux, is a newly released frame from the British brand Kirk & Kirk; made in France it is produced in an acrylic material with a translucent quality that catches the light. The frame has been bevelled or “sculpted” on the edges which gives it a notable artisan finish. Find out more about the Centena collection by Jason and Karen Kirk at www.kirkandkirk.com
Parisian designer Caroline Abram combines colours in her new bold, feminine collection for winter, which highlights burgundy tones and chic shades of pink, adding hints of indigo, dark ruby and bright raspberry or fuchsia. For ophthalmic model Wisdom, the choices include burgundy/marsala (above) and indigo/purple, with the second colour in the pairing outlining the frame shape and providing definition at the brow. www.carolineabram.com
Italian eyewear designer Lara D’Alpaos is also creative in her combinations of colours and layering effects. In the new model Kristel from the Unique Collection at Lara D’, she matches black with deep bordeaux as a couture trim on a sumptuous statement cat’s eye that plays with art nouveau shapes and blocked 3d acetate. Find out more at www.laradeyewear.com
British brands highlighted: Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses, the iconic eyewear company, founded in 1926 and Covrt Project, a streetwear label launched in 2019.
In a London style focus by Eyestylist, we brought together two of the city’s finest street photographers with two British brands that define quality, individuality and eyewear attitude. Above: photographer @boyfromdagbon wears style Winston by Claire Goldsmith at Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses. https://www.olivergoldsmith.com/product/winston/Photography by David Nyanzi (@davidnyanzi) for Eyestylist.com
Model Gopas by Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses is ideal for winter light conditions with lightly tinted sun lenses which remove the brightness of interior light or glare from the sun on a winter’s day. The style is derived from an aviator with a flattened top and angular silhouette. For further details or to buy direct: https://www.olivergoldsmith.com/product/gopas/
Covrt Project’s MP4 from the _Mission One Sunglasses Collection defines this new brand’s ambition to balance innovation and a different design style with cutting-edge quality. MP4 is a hexagonal sunglass with a notable high double bridge and acetate bar. The design has undergone fine machine work to create the bridge and detailing and offers high-level functionality and comfort. This new label’s sunwear and accessories have launched at www.covrtproject.comCN
The expertise of craftsmen and women in the Jura (France) is behind the elegant luxury 24k collection, Delixs – produced by Eyes Gold. The collection, which balances classical design with contemporary touches, has the makings of a best kept secret in luxury eyewear, and is already stocked by exclusive optical stores at home in France and further afield in Europe and Asia.
Released this season, the Mademoiselle model in the Timeless Collection is one of their most sought after frames, with a memorable blue finish and ostrich feather pattern – real feathers are inlaid in acetate. A narrow gold line defines the upper rim of the elegant oval eye shape, enhancing the luxury design.
Delixs styles throughout the Timeless collection are created with precious metals and French acetates and each one is hand polished with finishes in Gold, Pink Gold, Ruthenium or Palladium. Carl Zeiss sun lenses are fitted in all sunglass models. For more information visit www.eyes-gold.com
Two well-known French names in optics have joined forces in a new optical/sun collection for men and women, defining feminine elegance and a chic quintessentially French design style. The capsule ‘Morel par Nathalie Blanc’ brings together the traditional Jura-based eyewear producer, known for its technical expertise and production and Nathalie Blanc, a creative eyewear designer and former optician whose eponymous ‘independent’ label is now sold worldwide.
The designs in the capsule play with traits from Blanc’s style – features such as the rimless sections in the designs – illustrated in optical style 90002C, and subtle metal inlays on acetate adding minimal, super delicate structural elements (temples and nose bridges) for lightness and comfort. A colour palette of black and tortoise variants is interspersed with a fiery orange (sunglasses) and translucent blue or brown tones, and some refined graduated colorations reminiscent of painted water colours with varying intensity.
Denmark’s first sustainable optician shop is now open
The Danish eyewear label Monkeyglasses has opened a flagship store in Denmark, as they celebrate 10 years in eyewear – placing complete focus on sustainability.
“We have created a flagship store where we can show the full potential of the market for sustainable products,” says Mai-britt Seaton, CEO & Designer. “In the store, our guests can experience a wide selection of sustainable products: our frame designs in all the available colours, Zero Waste accessories made from surplus materials from our eyewear production, eco-friendly contact lenses and eyeglass washing kits with organic coconut soap and hand-tied washing brush. Our idea was to bring together a complete universe where environmental concerns are a given.”
The furniture in the shop is second-hand or has been built by hand by the Monkeyglasses team. The interior style is inspired by classic Danish mid-century modern with dark woods and sturdy metals, finished with a high level of craftsmanship. Modern touches come in the form of upcycled materials such as the scrap iron used for the counter and the former backyard gate (pictured above), repurposed for the design-office partition wall, preserving its patina, aged over many years by the Danish weather. For more information about the brand and the new store visit www.monkeyglasses.comPhotography by Robertsosis.dk – CN