Australian Flora Botanica by Jono Hennessy

Australia’s rich heritage of beautiful native flowers is the colourful inspiration for Jono Hennessy with their elegant Flora Botanica designs. The sophisticated frames are crafted from luminous bespoke acetates in sleek shapes, and tonal colourations with eye-catching charisma and unique texture. (Above image: Gossyp with custom acetate lamination)

Delicate and subtle: Nougat from the Flora Botanica collection by Jono Hennessy

Classic black, vibrant shades, and hues of flower nuances – including gum red, ocean green and cobalt blue are included in the colour palette.

Vibrant shades of native Australian flowers inspire Woolsia in Flora Botanica designs by Jono Hennessy, with bold colours on the outside, and a stunning inside lining

The stylistic collection highlights contemporary shapes, and soft cat-eye silhouettes, further enhanced with precise details. Visit www.jonohennessy.com for more details on Flora Botanica and additional innovative designs from the Australian label. JG

On The Cover: Götti launches magazine

Lifestyle, design, innovation and collection highlights: read all about it in the stunning new magazine produced by Götti Switzerland. ON THE COVER encapsulates the creative, distinctive world of Götti, presented in a sleek publication with photos by fashion photographer Zosia Prominska.

“Fusion of a positive lifestyle with the ability to surprise” Sven Götti

Designer Sven Götti commented: “Our latest campaign is multi-layered. On the one hand there are classic close-up portrait shots. We love these photographs because the glasses are staged as objects. With our glasses, we would also like to pass on the joy of life and imagination. The pictures are a fusion of a positive lifestyle with the ability to surprise. The campaign was created and implemented in close collaboration with fashion photographer Zosia Prominska. In the new Götti magazine there are over one hundred pages with important information about the brand and our products, as well as interesting information that is well-worth knowing about the people behind the Götti label.”

Titanium design by Götti Switzerland

Götti is an independent Swiss brand with an international roster of fine opticians. Timelessness, precise minimalism, innovation, and traditional craftsmanship ensure eyewear designs with character, individuality and contemporary chic. Visit www.gotti.ch and discover the variety of beautiful eyewear, including technically glamorous 3-D printed designs in Götti Dimension. Photos by Zosia Prominska All Rights Reserved JG

FICTION prescription collection: l.a. Eyeworks

Modern, refined and contemporary: FICTION – the debut collection of prescription eyewear frames –  has been launched by l.a. Eyeworks. The FICTION collection features twenty different frame styles constructed from quality acetates and stainless steel, often in combinations with customised colourations. The California brand also offers a sunglass selection in FICTION. Designers Gai Gherardi and Barbara McReynolds bring a multitude of experience as opticians and retailers – plus their celebrated originality – to the latest eyewear project at l.a. Eyeworks. “Fiction expands l.a. Eyeworks trailblazing legacy of creating innovative, desirable eyewear that emboldens the work of independent opticians,” observes l.a. Eyeworks President Rob Rich. Featured above from the top: CHANT in tortoiseshell acetate, SAIL in stainless steel with a curved double-bridge, and BEAM is a combo of acetate and stainless steel, all positioned on a FICTION cleaning cloth.

WAKE in Deep Blue Fade – FICTION by l.a. Eyeworks

Giving Back and contributing to society is an ongoing passion for l.a. Eyeworks. Based on the belief in the written word as a pathway to positive self-expression and growth, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each FICTION frame benefits 826LA, a Los Angeles based non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting students with their creative and expository writing skills, and to help teachers inspire the value of the written word in their students. Discover more sleek FICTION prescription frames at www.fictionframes.com JG

Fleye Copenhagen: Spring twist

Expressive colour pairings, delicate floral-inspired patterns and carefully proportioned reduced silhouettes. The new designs in the S/S 19 sunglasses collection by Fleye Copenhagen is the result of a creative process that highlights an appreciation for Scandinavian culture and Flora Danica – an iconic collection of plants from the 18th century. The design team created their own floral portraits using flowers, trees and shrubs often seen in Danish gardens – and the results offered a wealth of exciting and “powerful” tonal combinations and special engravings that make these artisan sunglasses a highlight for Spring/Summer.

Above: Model Melanie Baird wears Fleye’s cateye model Utopia – in deep brown with a shiny pink inner rim from the Signature Collection. Photography by Gennaro D’Elia exclusively for Eyestylist.com at Bageriet, Nordic Bakery & Cafe, Covent Garden. www.bageriet.co.uk

Utopia by Fleye Copenhagen in Matte Rose Gold with Shiny Powder Green

These comfortable lightweight frames –  in mixes of titanium, beta-titanium and/or acetate – feature delicately tinted polarized lenses which provide 100% UV protection.

Cosmos by Fleye Copenhagen combines Matt Gold and Shiny Gold

Fleye Copenhagen sunglasses have arrived in London for Spring. Visit Spex in the City in Covent Garden to see the new frames.  www.spexinthecity.com / To find further stockists in Europe visit www.fleye.dk CN

Summer fashion preview: LINDBERG Sun

Eyestylist Exclusives: LINDBERG: Style with substance – Spring/Summer 2019 Sun Collection

LINDBERG’s air titanium rim collection of the 1990s, a time when the Danish company flourished through its innovation in super light, highly technical almost invisible eyewear, is behind the slick fashion direction of their sunglasses for 2019 – a collection that combines essential fashion style with extraordinarily precise technical qualities designed for supreme functionality and comfort.
When it was launched for the first time in 1993, the air titanium rim design was an immediate success much for its lightweight comfort and technical excellence – as well as the individual identity and advanced functionality of the spiral hinge which continues to be seen as one of its most iconic design innovations to this day.
In model 8316 (above), the trendy narrow proportions of the micro frame are further enhanced by a vintage-inspired double bridge. The design featured shows the super thin titanium temples in a refined gold coloration paired with a distinctive black front, a combination that adds a luxurious finish to the model. Above: Danish model Josephine Skriver wearing LINDBERG 8316, the new micro sunglasses style

LINDBERG 8317: cat’s eye sunglass design

In recent years, the combination of acetate and titanium has entered several LINDBERG collections. Sun model 8317 illustrates the way in which the two materials can complement one another from a design perspective, as well as through advanced technical precision to create light, easy-to-wear sun models. The titanium temples and nose pad detailing are easily adjusted to ensure the frame fits the face perfectly. A narrow titanium line sweeps across the brow line creating a unique contemporary feel on the classic cat’s eye frame shape. For the full EYESTYLIST EXLUSIVES news and more LINDBERG designs click on the link: https://mailchi.mp/29a16a503861/eyestylist-exclusives-1563353

www.LINDBERG.com CN

Crystal Nest by Anna-Karin Karlsson

Expect the unexpected with luxurious frames from Anna-Karin Karlsson. Exuberance, individuality, and an eclectic tempo characterise her eyewear. The latest optical designs by the Swedish independent eyewear and jewellery designer combine elegant materials, unique shapes and abundant creativity. Her award winning glamorous creations bring stylish chic to spring wardrobes. Crystal Nest makes a distinctive fashion statement – modern and compelling. Rose Gold Japanese titanium unites with shimmering crystals, and a sleek take on a pilot shape with graphic elements accentuates the lenses. Anna-Karin Karlsson designs are available in fine optical shops and at Neiman-Marcus in the United States. Explore more of Anna-Karin’s artistic, edgy designs at www.annakarinkarlsson.com JG

Colour inspiration + design at Palermouno

Milan Design Week 2019: Palermouno renewed – concept studio focuses on chromatic research and international design

PalermoUno, the studio of Sophie Wannenes inaugaurated last November, has been filled with shapes and new artworks for Milan Design Week 2019. The exhibition – which includes limited editions and unique products have one common thread – colour that redefines spaces, choreographies, which completely change the look of the environment – give a new image to all eight rooms in the studio. The exhibition will continue through until July.

The space located in Brera confirms an original concept: each room keeps its functional connotation, revealing the desire to create a place that is in constant evolution. The product is part of the space, as well as an invitation to “please touch and bring me with you”. Attention is paid to the selection of furnishings made for PalermoUno in the customization of the shapes and in the colours and their gradients.

From 9 April the new exhibition, which will remain on display until 15 July 2019, will be accompanied by the launch of the ecommerce site Palermouno.it where it is possible to buy the objects and furnishing accessories present in the different spaces. For further details visit: www.palermouno.itImages: Andrea Pedretti CN

Mykita, NYC – Broome Street, Soho

German design label Mykita has moved its New York store to 458 Broome Street into the heart of the fashionable Soho neighbourhood of the city. After five years on Crosby Street, the new two-floor space comprises a large area of 1590 square feet where the full collection is now presented alongside a state-of-the-art lab and workshop.

The company says it is the first shop to allow a full view into the optical lab and workshop showing the combination of handcrafting and high-tech that defines what the company refers to as “Modern Manufactory”. It also means the shop can offer a comprehensive optical service including in-house lens cutting, glazing, adjustments and repairs.

New store in Broome Street – featuring a state-of-the-art optical lab and workshop

Mykita currently has a large and growing number of shops around the world, with further openings already slated for 2019 and a new store just opened in Carrer de Valencia, Barcelona. www.mykita.com CN

Frida Kahlo: Stylishly interpreted by BOZ

Exuberant, vivid and charismatic, Frida Kahlo grasped the bold beauty of Mexico’s abundant nature and artefacts. Joëlle Rey at BOZ captures the diversity, distinctive flair and dazzling colourations in a fabulous new collection of frames. There are fourteen exceptional designs, inspired by the unique personality of Frida Kahlo, and the amazing art that she created. Interpretation of the artist’s flamboyance is expressed in graphic elements, luminous transparencies, and exceptional patterns.

Illusion from the Frida collection by BOZ

The distinctive shape of ILLUSION is derived from the theme of Mexican festivals embodied by a symbol of femininity – the Flower, which symbolises many of Kahlo’s paintings. A unique interplay of technicality, inventiveness, and joyful colours complete the sleek, sophisticated look.

Impala by Joëlle Rey for BOZ reflects the lace that appears on Mexican openwork shawls

Aesthetic elements and decorative motifs on the top of IMPALA reflect the lace that appears on Mexican openwork shawls. The frame exudes sumptuousness and graphic codes inspired by geometric abstraction.

Coquetry and charm: Ibonia from the Frida Collection by BOZ

Detailed metal work highlights IBONIA with lacy trim around the frame front. Modern and feminine, a small removable charm accessorises the design with a touch of coquetry. The tiny charm refers to popular Mexican holidays. Discover the charismatic, uninhibited spirit of Frida Kahlo and Mexico skilfully expressed in this stunning new collection at www.boz-eyewear.fr JG

David Duralde: Dashing and Debonair

As he travels the world, David Duralde, Chief Creative Officer for Kenmark Optical, cuts a dashing and debonair figure in his sleek wardrobe. In an exclusive interview with Eyestylist, Duralde shares his thoughts on personal style.

How would you describe your personal style? “My personal style is edgy + classic. I like mixing metaphors and twisting convention so the unfamiliar becomes familiar. I’m intrigued by classic elegance with an edgy twist – it’s like a whisper in an echo chamber. You don’t have to be loud if it’s intentional. My mindset is to always question the status quo and wonder if something can be more beautiful and efficient. This is the curse and obsession that drives creativity.”

“Three-quarters of my closet is black…”David Duralde

What men’s designer do you find most influential?  “I really admire creative minds like Virgil Abloh, Riccardo Tisci, Raf Simmons and Allessandro Michele, who had to shake up the vocabulary for global men’s fashion collections and offer something truly new in these established brands for a younger generation. It’s quite an undertaking and I’m sure engenders some real nail-biting moments. Someone had to redefine what luxury looks like in menswear, as it all was looking very stale. The only differences in men’s brands were very, very subtle cuts and applications of fabrics. Now, when you go shopping for menswear, there’s a real energy in the category.”

“I’m intrigued by classic elegance with an edgy twist”

Do you have a favourite colour and is there an anecdote or story behind that? “Three-quarters of my closet is black for obvious reasons. I travel a ton and black is very practical and timeless. A black Prada lace up I bought in 1992 at Maxfields in LA still looks good after all these years. Every season there is a new colour deemed the new black, but for me, Black is always the new Black. If Black went away, green would be next. The colour has so many moods. It can be murky, slimy, fresh, primary and always looks new when it’s in a new shade or hue.”

What is your favourite accessory? – apart from eyewear of course! “Cars. So many men’s accessories are imagined and created to pair a great car. That’s why I think of great car design at the top of the food chain for other items such as watches, rings, wallets, bags, etc.”

“There is real energy in the menswear category”

Do you enjoy shopping for clothes? Do you have a favourite store – curiosity or professional instinct that draws you there? “I love shopping at Barney’s New York, Traffic LA, Forty Five Ten in Dallas. It’s also a lot of fun to spend time in Gucci stores. The stores have the same excitement, buzz and energy you first saw at Apple Stores when they arrived on the retail landscape. This reminds me that people will always want to buy something if the store is unique and compelling.”

Classic, casual and comfortable

Your work demands you travel frequently. Is there a city abroad where you like to shop, explore and cultivate new ideas? “I love to shop and people watch in Milan. People are never afraid of fashion in this town. It’s like oxygen for a designer. Then shopping in Paris is next on the list, because it’s an equal reminder that one should work to live and not live to work. There is a different sensibility in these towns. There is a pursuit for the aesthetic and a respect for intelligent, creative design. These cultures understand throughout history the importance and work behind making things that are great – from food, to experiences, to art, architecture and everything in-between.” www.kenmarkeyewear.com JG

Fleye Copenhagen Signature Boxed Sets

Award-winning Fleye Copenhagen welcomes the spring/summer season with elegant boxed sets featuring Signature styles. The Limited Edition of eight different stunning sets includes an optical and sunglass design in a beautifully appointed lined box. Fleye Copenhagen Signature frames express a graphic attitude, in superior materials with inspired shapes. In the box featured above – optical design Valmue is aesthetically streamlined with soft nuances. Utopia sunglasses radiate a hint of a delicate graphic cat-eye. Fleye Copenhagen eyewear is handcrafted with dedication to beauty, details, fit, and performance. For more details about the Fleye Copenhagen Signature Sets explore www.fleye.dk JG

l.a. Eyeworks: Glasses with flair and flourish

Wearing glasses is an exciting expression of style, flair and individuality. Choices abound –  technical innovations with intriguing materials; amazing colourations derived from nature and imagination –  plus tantalising shapes. Whether sporty; glamorous; contemporary; sophisticated; cool or trendy; optical designs offer impressive, stunning options. Leading label l.a. Eyeworks launches spring with spirited, signature designs in vivid provocative colours, as featured in Mollusk (above image) in a medley of tones with scalloped shaping.

Double-layer colouration in Zecca by l.a. Eyeworks

California designers Barbara McReynolds and Gai Gheradi at l.a. Eyeworks have a great sense of humour, which is creatively infused into the frame designs – as well as colour and style options. The contemporary shaping in Zecca – circle meets square dialogue and colours enhanced with double layering – is shown above in Rad Red, and is also available in hues of Cosmic Tortoise; Tulip Sun; Rain Puddle and Black Pearls.

Hatch by l.a. Eyeworks – designs with dynamic energy and charisma

Graphic and bold, acetate and titanium join forces in Hatch – a sleek silhouette embracing unique colour combinations, including Matcha Net with Black Velvet shown above. The latest optical frames from l.a. Eyeworks vibrate with dynamic energy and charisma. See more Limited Edition designs at www.laeyeworks.com JG

Livre Rare et Object d’art: Grand Palais Paris

Literature is embedded in the history of France, while French art and decorative objects are coveted worldwide. This weekend in Paris – 12th to 14th April – provides the ideal opportunity to view over a three-day period, a selection of rare books and unique drawings; portrait miniatures; furniture and porcelain; among other items, at the historical Grand Palais. Construction of the Beaux-Arts building began in 1897, and in 2000 the Grand Palais was decreed an historical monument. (Above image: Photo of Le Grand Palais by François Benedetti)

Rare books: Works of art at Livre Rare et Object d’Art in Paris Photo: François Benedetti

A structure of light steel and iron framing with reinforced concrete was amazingly innovative for the late 19th century. In these majestic surroundings, the written word becomes a work of art, and precious art objects with authentic provenance, can be viewed and admired.

Portrait miniature by Cecile Villeneuve at Galerie Jaegy-Theoleyre

The salon – now in its twelfth year – is among the cultural highlights of the French spring season. One hundred sixty exhibitors from fourteen different countries are participating in the event.

Louis XIV commode attributed to Antoine Gaudreaux presented by Henry Bertrand Collet

This weekend –  April 12th to 14th –  is a splendid and opportune occasion to partake in the French appreciation of significant books and exclusive objects d’art at the sublime Grand Palais.

Sévres porcelain sugar pot signed Aloncle François-Joseph at JM Béalu et Fils

Further details and information at www.salondulivrerare.paris JG

Graffiti by theo belgium

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.

© 2018 copyright protected Artworks,
Photography & Graphic Design!

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.

© 2018 copyright protected Artworks,
Photography & Graphic 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

Anna-Karin Karlsson: Dare and dazzle

Eyewear creations from Swedish designer Anna-Karin Karlsson are abundant with glamour, beauty and sensuality. Frames are crafted with unique statement style – exploring new concepts in shapes, colourations and details. Karlsson is an active advocate for equality and women being able to be who they want to be, and expressing this with fashion freedom. The latest designs are fuelled with Karlsson’s signature luxurious details: Zirconia stones; 24K gold plating and rose gold plating; Japanese Titanium; and Carl Zeiss lenses. Lush Diamond in Green Pearl (top image) is an elegant combination of acetate and metal, with 24K gold plated sides, and refined Carl Zeiss lenses.

Deluxe details: Half Moon by Anna-Karin Karlsson

Sleek and sophisticated, Half Moon is dramatically silhouetted with stone accents.

The ultimate accessory: Magic You in Emerald Crystal by Anna-Karin Karlsson

Bold and charismatic, Magic You accentuates an exaggerated round shape studded with sparkling Emerald Crystals. Explore more of Anna-Karin Karlsson’s eyewear dazzle at www.annakarinkarlsson.com JG

3D printed: Germany’s You Mawo

3D printed eyewear is now widely available, and the lightweight, easy-to-wear polyamide material has become one of the leading state-of-the-art material choices in high-end eyewear boutiques worldwide. Young German 3D printed eyewear company You Mawo is one of the design-led businesses to develop its potential in a bespoke-fit, individualised service. Their innovative system takes a scan of the customer’s face with an iPad and provides a choice of timeless basic frame shapes in contemporary colours from which the final design can then be adapted for a wonderfully comfortable fit. The frame is produced in Germany within a few days and sent to the customer’s optician with the optimized shape for the customer – a service for which they have become much admired. They promise a turnaround for delivery of the final frame of 15 working days.

You Mawo’s Aviator style Ketil is one of the styles currently available, super light and very fine in the structure which is strong, stable and extremely elegant on the face.  “The final product is a unique symbiosis between human, science, craftsmanship and technology”, say the founders, with the added benefit of the 3D printing technique that waste is limited during the manufacturing process. Find more designs and learn more about the fast-growing You Mawo brand at www.youmawo.com CN

Marco Grassi at HOFA Gallery, London

Marco Grassi creates figurative portraits that combine realistic and abstract elements. Since the start of his career, the Italian artist has developed a  personal style which praises the identity of the female subject in the specific moment in which they are painted. Through intense female portraits, Grassi is focused on captivating the viewer, and creating a silent dialogue between the subject and audience. Above: Marco Grassi – Gold Experience 2018 – Oil on aluminium with resin

Marco Grassi 2018
In the forthcoming exhibition in London, Grassi has abandoned the element that was once his trademark style and technique: the decisive strokes which outlined his anatomic forms and lent a sense of stability to the whole of the figure, and contrasted with bold colours, blended with a spatula, and drippings to break them down and make them more subtle. His recent subjects display less certainty, which once allowed the figures to integrate themselves fully with the complex weave of colours. The background is more decisive and reflects the subjects’ facial expressions and intense silence, creating a complicity with the observer.
“Central to my forthcoming exhibition is the expressiveness of the body and my determination to portray to our younger generations a truthful and realistic picture of themselves,” says the artist. “An image that goes deeper than cultural standards and opinions of the media and discovers the inner beauty that lies beneath the surface in all human beings.”
Marco Grassi’s works have been exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions, and international fairs including Art Basel, Art Miami, SCOPE Basel and the Moscow Art Fair. He was also selected to exhibit at the opening of the Italian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2011.
Exhibition dates:
  • 31th March to 6th April at HOFA Gallery, 30 Royal Opera Arcade, London, SW1Y 4UY
  • 6th April to 17th April at HOFA Gallery, 58 Maddox Street (corner with New Bond Street), WIS 1AY
For further details visit http://thehouseoffineart.com/ CN

Delicate blush pinks

It’s by no means an obvious choice in adult eyewear, but its popularity in fashion has led to a surge in delicate blush or blossom tones for frame and lens. At the Spring fashion and eyewear fairs, this delicate, soft tone was a key feature across collections from emerging to established, sitting next to the darker classics of black and tortoise and establishing its presence for what we believe will be several seasons to come.

Above: Heidi London cateye with pearlised textured finish. www.heidilondon.comModel: Melanie Baird – Photography by Gennaro D’Elia exclusively for Eyestylist.com – London, Covent Garden

Above: Evangelisti Eyewear: Squared acetate sunglasses Drop 01.

Young label Evangelisti was created by designers Giulio Milano and Giacomo Beghin. The sunglasses have a bold appearance with sculptured “flame-like” pattern on the temples. The design was launched this season in five statement colorways. https://evangelistiworld.com/

Grass by Fleye Copenhagen

The Danish independent brand Fleye has added new styles in the Signature collection, with pink tones, inspired by floral compositions in their “Flowers of Denmark” campaign.

Jasione by Fleye Copenhagen

Tones range from the bright baby pink of model Grass or the more neutral blush pink combination in the double rim optical style, Jasione. www.fleye.dk

Titanium frame Yuma 933 by Ørrgreen Optics

Ørgreen’s latest release of titanium eyewear, Titanium Tribe, explores the effects of milling the edges of the frames to create softer, more rounded edges. The contemporary palette, created by colorist Sahra Lysell includes brights such as Rio Red and Grape Juice, as well as the more delicate shades of Cloud Cream and Misty Rose (above). For more details visit www.orgreenoptics.com CN

Götti Ultrafine Dimensions – Kobi

Slim, trim and elegantly minimalistic, the newest designs in 3D printing from the Götti Dimension Collection are a unique marriage of revolutionary manufacturing improvements, and sleek, innovative design. Kobi is superbly crafted in Götti’s own customised factory in Zurich, and shown above in Stone – a colour favourite that harmonises with spring and summer fashions. The beautifully sculpted shape exudes character, comfort and style. Five different designs are available in delicious colours: Ash, Berry, Sand, Moss, Mocca and Denim. Discover more Götti Dimension news at www.gotti.ch JG

Serge Bracké: Visionary designer at theo Belgium

Goldsmith, furniture maker, innovative eyewear creator – Serge Bracké’s formidable talents highlight theo designs. In an exclusive interview with Eyestylist, the Belgium designer shares his viewpoints on creativity, inspiration, and the future.

What event in your life may have motivated you to pursue a challenging career in creative design? “Like most things in life, it’s probably a combination of events, influences, being at a certain place at a certain time…With my final exams, the school strongly hinted that I look for ‘new opportunities’ and my parents had all but given up on me. Luckily my art teacher showed up during the examination board meeting. He didn’t really have to but – divine intervention? he did. Based upon an interpretation I had made on a Mondrian painting, he convinced the other teachers to refer me to a design/art college. The funny thing is that the Mondrian assignment, the search for balance between horizontal and vertical lines, and primary colours, is still of great influence in my daily work. I can still literally lose myself in the equilibrium of a shape, the mix of materials, or the combination of colour shades.”

Mille 41 by Serge Bracké for theo

Please elaborate on how you became involved in creating eyewear for theo? “I spent my college years in jewellery design, but designing more practical objects already had my preference. When I had a  job with an eyewear brand near Brussels, my  skills as a goldsmith helped me make prototypes as if they were finalised production frames. From the start, I knew that eyewear was going to be a big part of my future. That challenging balance between aesthetics and functionality was right up my alley. I contacted Wim Somers at theo. It took about a year to convince him to meet. I wasn’t playing football, a needed skill back then at theo. Nowadays, cycling is a plus…”

“I literally lose myself in the equilibrium of shape, mix of materials, or the combination of colour shades” Tag by Serge Bracké

With regard to your unique creative process, how do you cultivate and energise your instincts for design concepts? “For me inspiration and new concepts are everywhere – stay curious, open and alert for new impressions. For children everything is new and exciting. Too often, as a grown-up we stare at things in a singular, mono-dimensional way, or observe on a superficial level only. ‘Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional’ should be on a tile in every kitchen and design studio. I try to absorb as much as possible from ‘exotic’ disciplines, and stay fresh and inspired. I have a weak spot for cities that never sleep, for industrial heritage, for youth subcultures, for…so many impulses, so little time!”

“That challenging balance between aesthetic and functionality is right up my alley” Throwie from The Graffiti Collection by Serge Bracké for theo

Are there any designers – past or present – whose creative concepts provided inspiration and guidance for your own artistic innovations? “I have a thing for movie directors with a distinctive layout and a creative identity. The balanced framework and colour schemes of Wes Anderson’s films, as well as the vibrant, eclectic scenes from a Baz Luhrman movie (inspiration for the theo ‘Graffiti’ frames came from his Nextflix series ‘The Get Down’) can really overwhelm me with respect, inspiration and a healthy dose of jealousy. Of course, these two examples are relatively easy to translate to the theo story.”

Mille+45 by Serge Bracké for theo

What particular trends in shapes, colours, and materials do you envision or anticipate in eyewear? “History repeats itself. We had the vintage 80s revival – which back then was already a revival of 50s shapes – followed by the oversized 70s frames that positioned the eyebrows into the rim shape again. Today the small, flat shapes of the 90s overrun all sunglass collections, and optical frames follow in their wake. The advantage at theo is that we don’t follow trends. Patrick and Wim always considered small metal frames as being a part of the brand’s DNA. I think in the long term there will be an even larger amount of new brands that develop 3D printed frames. And I see two directions that will survive: first, bespoke frames with a perfect fit and framing. Today the algorithms to scale frames aren’t yet what they should be. German brand YouMawo as well as Yuniku from Hoya and Materialise are really leading the way in this young niche. Secondly, the frames you can’t make in a traditional way. 3D printed manufacturing allows for shapes that cannot be made by milling or even injection moulding technology. The theo strategy for the future remains on creating interesting colours and combining them in original ways, while experimenting with extraordinary shapes and techniques. We set our own trends.”

“We sent our own trends at theo” Mille+64 by Serge Bracké

Are there possibly any new and different products – other than eyewear – you would be interested in developing? “I took a seven-year furniture course and have amassed an eclectic range of woodworking machinery. I spend time in my workshop as therapy or meditation: just the machines, the timber and me. Honestly – and this is by no means meant to be disrespectful or politically incorrect – I think it would give me great satisfaction to develop and design prosthesis. What attracts me is the crossroads of technique and aesthetics, as well as the fact that it can fundamentally change a user’s life. With regards to styling and personalisation there is a universe to be explored. New materials, new combinations, interchangeable covers…In fact, a pair of glasses is also a sort of prosthesis, but one that has become an expression of someone’s identity. See what I mean?” www.theo.be JG

 

Zac Posen: Contemporary aesthetics

Sensuous silhouettes, luxury materials, and impeccable tailoring define the glamorous evening dresses and chic daywear by Zac Posen. These finely-honed skills and high-caliber attributes are also creatively characterised in striking eyewear designs for men and women. The American designer is renowned for his contemporary, modern aesthetics that combine innovative shapes, quality materials, and signature details. Sunglasses are oversized, with slim lines; very lightweight; comfortable to wear; and adapt freely to city and seaside environments. Thiola (left above photo) is an alluring, exaggerated cat-eye shape; while the men’s frame – Roscoe – is casually and distinctively tailored.

Dinero (left) and Chaka from the Zac Posen optical collection

Posen’s optical designs are classically conceived with timeless elements that synchronise with fashionable attire for everyday wear, with subtly refined, yet impressive frame details. Explore www.kenmarkeyewear.com for additional noteworthy eyewear from Zac Posen. JG

Res/Rei: Artisan acetate

Italian Craftsmanship harmonises originality and creativity in Oliviero Zanon’s luminous acetate designs for Res/Rei. The versatility and colour possibilities of acetate delivers vibrant, rich expressions to individualistic eyewear designs for men and women. Frames inspired by art, history, music, and sculpture are accentuated in a diverse collection of sought-after styles. Art and sculpture are among Zanon’s passions, and his awareness of grand Italian sculptors – including Canova and Donatello, Rodin and Milo – are the inspiration for The Sculptures Collection. Frames are crafted to achieve a striking three-dimensional allure, as seen in Balla (above image). The chic Res/Rei ring from the jewellery collection is symmetry in motion – eye to hand fashion coordination with stunning frames and a matching mosaic ring.

Milo from The Sculptures Collection by Res/Rei

Milo, also from The Sculptures Collection, is elegantly refined with gently curved temples. Res/Rei frames are handmade in an atelier close to Venice, and infused with artisan diligence, skill and personalised attention to every detail.

Left: Azalea from The Flowers Collection; Right: Mai Tai from The Cocktails Collection by Res/Rei

Spring is here! And Res/Rei celebrates with their joyous Flowers Collection – combining acetates of different hues to achieve prominent colourations. Azalea (above left) is available in a gorgeous variety of spring flower tones that happily interplay on these decorative frames.The Cocktails Collection takes its cue from light, airy and delicious cocktail colours, interpreted in high-density Mazzucchelli acetate, which is then carved into slim silhouettes. Mai Tai (above right) is voluminous in shape, yet extremely lightweight and comfortable to wear. Explore the complete collection of Res/Rei by Oliviero Zanon at www.resrei.com JG

Rolf Spectacles Titanium Skyline Collection

Crafted with artisan ingenuity and galvanised with innovative technologies, ROLF Spectacles Titanium Skyline Collection is a remarkable testimonial to the Austrian brand. The multiple-award winning label features twenty-four prescription frames and six sunglasses with 3D printing processes, in elegant silhouettes with chic minimalistic assets. The Titanium designs are available in textured and smooth surfaces with five intriguing colourations – natural; anthracite; gold; black; and mocha – which are created  with an intricate process, influenced and inspired from the medical sector. Discover the enticing ROLF Spectacle collection at www.rolf-spectacles.com – and from 21-24 March in THE LOFT in New York City. https://lofteyewearshow.com JG

Eco-conscious: Vinylize-Tipton x Nespresso

As our attention as consumers is drawn increasingly to sustainable, eco-friendly innovations, eyewear companies across the business are exploring an eco-conscious path with creativity and resourcefulness.

Vinylize, the independent Budapest brand that turns old, unwanted vinyl records into beautifully made ‘upcycled’ artisan eyewear, has moved on its own potential in eco-friendly eyewear production in a special project with coffee giant Nespresso, in Hungary.

“This was a pilot project,” says Zack Tipton, founder of Vinylize. “The limited production run sold out within a few days. We used a material produced from Nespresso capsules, recycled by the coffee company in Hungary. The used coffee grinds are separated from the capsules and sent to composting. The capsules are then smelted and turned into aluminium sheet which we can then use to produce the frames. The entire process is documented and certified.”

Vinylize-Tipton x Nespresso – recycled frames made from coffee capsules

The result was an eye-catching limited edition glasses collection for Nespresso with designs inspired by the tones of the Nespresso Kazaar, Dharkan, Roma and Livanto capsules – in tones of satin midnight blue, gold and chocolate. “The coloration and finish were determined by Nespresso. They wanted a perfect match with the original colours of the capsules,” explains Tipton. “The durability we were able to achieve surpassed expectations. The frames were also prescription ready.”

 

Recycled frame for Nespresso: Oval – Livanto – in gold

The shapes produced in the first edition are inspired by the classic oval, butterfly and square designs, with a contemporary interpretation.

Vinylize-Tipton x Nespresso is ‘a salute to recycling’, designed to remind consumers of the infinite durability of aluminium which can be re-melted and reused, again and again. The project also aimed to further boost the recycling of Nespresso coffee capsules by showing the infinite potential of the recycled aluminium material.

Vinylize-Tipton x Nespresso

The sophisticated matt finish of the frames is achieved through a tumbling process and hand-lacquering treatment at a German facility, while the eco-friendly felt case and paper box the frames were packaged in underscore the eco-credentials of the special edition. Further editions are planned for 2019.

Tipton Eyeworks and the Vinylize brand were founded in 2004, and have become world-renowned for their handmade production using vinyl to produce fashionable sunglasses and eyewear in Hungary. For further details: https://vinylize.com/ CN

Von Arkel: Brilliant Swiss craftsmanship

Every Von Arkel eyewear design epitomises elegance and luxury; created with precious and exclusive materials, and then meticulously finished by masterful artisans. Traditional spectacle guidelines harmonise with sleek, modern technology, culminating in beautiful and exquisite frames. The stunning Calibre 4 and Calibre 6 frames are unique expressions of refined sophistication, precise technical specifications, and an exemplary fusion of lightness, attention to detail, lasting durability, and incredible comfort. The latest frames include innovation and character from the Calibre 4 Outline Collection with stylish simplicity, as featured in the above silhouette in stainless steel with PVD coating, and slim double bridge.

Calibre 6 Classic by Von Arkel

The Calibre 6 Classic concept unites acetate and stainless steel in relaxed, casual frames with purity, and a streamlined structure.

Outline Calibre 4 by Von Arkel

This sleek round shape merges retro and contemporary preferences in an Outline Calibre 4 frame in stainless steel with PVD coating. The ring on the inner frame is in Polyamide, and will soon be available with an acetate ring. Discover more Von Arkel frames and luxurious refinement at www.vonarkel.com JG

Summer spirit: PFB by Alicia Hartman

Sea views. Sundowners. Sugar and Spice. Peoples from Barbados (PFB) sunglasses collection by optical entrepreneur Alicia Hartman condenses the moods and colours of their Bajan origin in flattering UV protective sunglasses. Alicia’s love of the island’s culture, the natural landscape, spectacular views and everyday customs and lifestyle are the essence of her designs, which now include opticals with blue block lenses.

Three sun styles in fresh, tropical-inspired colours have been added for the new season, and will show as part of the full collection in New York next week. They explore subtle embellishments of glitter embedded in the acetate front and all the designs are made in Japan, integrating a screwless hinge and lightweight stainless steel temples for comfort. The frames undergo intense high-end polishing in the final stages to achieve a sophisticated glossy finish only achievable by hand.

Above: Model PFB 14 in colours C1 and C5 and PFB 08 (far right) in C1 – inspired by fresh Bajan coffee tones. For more details about Peoples from Barbados visit the brand at Vision Expo East – (Galleria 139) or click on the website link at https://peoplesfrombarbados.com. Visit EyeQ in Barbados to see the extensive collection of sunglasses and optical frames at Limegrove Lifestyle Centre Holetown. Find the frames in New York at www.selimaoptique.com CN

Plein les Mirettes: Diva delights from France

The independent, artisan French brand Plein les Mirettes heralds spring with delightful new colourations for their stylish Diva designs. PLM Diva’s are distinctive, shapely silhouettes in glistening acetate, with unique colour combinations.

Shapley silhouettes in Plein-les-Mirettes Diva designs

Conventional tones, unexpected mixtures, Havana’s, pastels and mottled designs bring lively radiance to the chic frames. Cat-eye inspiration, cutout details, or layering ensure additional flair in each design that is individually handcrafted in PLM’s Normandy atelier. More exciting Diva’s and PLM designs at www.plein-les-mirettes.fr JG

Richard Nahem: Parisian “eye” for art & attitude

Dreams do come true. Always keeping an “eye” open for opportunities, Richard Nahem, New York City former chef; caterer; events planner; producer and actor; realised a lifelong dream when he moved to Paris, where he proceeded to fulfil his inherent passion to be a photographer.

Parisian café waiters photographed by Richard Nahem

Roaming Parisian “rues” armed with enthusiasm and cameras, Nahem seeks and searches for the unexpected and unpredictable – whether landmark monuments; elegant Parisian doorways; the beauty of parks; and the marvellous play of light in Paris. “I strive to capture places and objects in a unique way that hasn’t been seen before,” says the Parisian aficionado. Nahem’s latest photos reveal the many sudden and remarkable moods of the city.

Unique variety of Parisian doors captured by Richard Nahem

Nahem has established not only a stunning photography portfolio, but also a site – www.eyepreferparis.com  – to ensure that Parisian visitors, residents and those who appreciate and celebrate Nahem’s dream, are able to keep abreast of current and culturally exciting events taking place in the City of Light.

Christmas trees at Place Vendome by Richard Nahem

For a new, fresh perspective on Paris, enjoy Richard Nahem photos currently on display at the chic Hôtel Pont Royal until 31st March www.hotel-pont-royal.com JG