Bio acetate has become a hugely desirable commodity in fashion eyewear, and optical accessory designers are also making it their own. The Orris London range is produced in a material made from wood pulp and cotton fibre. It’s kind to the skin, petroleum-free and 100% natural and biodegradable.
“Sustainability is at the core of orris London,” says founder of the label Tara Shen. “Designed in our London studio, each chain link is individually laser cut, shaped and hand-polished, with pieces taking up to seven days to finish. Long-lasting design and ‘buy better, buy less’ are mantras we live and work by.”
One of several designs, the bio-acetate Spaghetti chain (pictured above) launched in Paris for SS2020, is the most original design in the collection, with a super-sleek silhouette to fit all styles of glasses and sunglasses. Available in Liberty’s, Le Bon Marche Paris and selected independent fashion + optical stores you can also buy these designs for purchase on the Orris London website. To find our more about Tara Shen’s designs, made in the UK, visit www.orris.co.uk
Described as a favourite within the collection, Vysen’s latest colours for the unisex Panache style are eye-catching and brave, a new spin on a design that is one of the strongest futuristic highlights in this collection by the independent label from Miami.
For quality finishing, these Vysen sunglasses, which feature a double rim and open section below the lens are made with a versatile, ultra-light, durable stainless-steel. The new colours combine black and rose gold with a rose mirror lenses or black and silver with a silver mirror lens, both of which bring a luxury finish to the unique, avantgarde shape. Find out more about Vysen sunglasses at www.vysen.com
Amsterdam-based blogger, model and influencer Linda Tol lives life in fashion’s fast lane. Her own-brand eyewear collection is the embodiment of her fresh, elegant, unpretentious personal style. Eyestylist spoke to her in an exclusive interview during lockdown.
What is your earliest memory of fashion? I grew up in a village nearby Amsterdam. Together with my younger sister. I grew up with fashion. My mum has a deep interest in it and I guess it rubbed off on me. Growing up, she loved to dress us kids for school. It looked like it was our birthday every day.
When did you begin your journey / career in the fashion industry? Before I started blogging I worked in Fashion PR. Many stylists and journalists supported me to do something with my style. A blog was the perfect way to share my love, passion and inspiration for beauty and fashion. After 3 years working for the PR firm, I decided to start my own company and LindaTol was born.
What are your thoughts on the “influencer” industry and social media platforms as we know them today? Social networks are the biggest source of inspiration. Billions of us are using social media platforms every day. We use it for every part of our lives. In our personal relationships, for entertainment, at work and in our studies. Social media changed the way we communicate. It’s changing the way we do business, the way we are governed, and the way we live in society. Social media is real. Influencers share their personal life, experiences and stories. And people relate to influencers.
When you’re looking for a particular item; clothing, bags, accessories – what, for you, are the 3 most important attributes to the item / the brand it is produced by? 1/I invest in timeless pieces: wardrobe investments 2/Quality over quantity 3/I ask if it is environmentally friendly production?
Does quality / lasting wear for you have an influence on purchasing a product? Yes. For me it’s really important to invest in a piece. I only buy products that are timeless and the quality is really important to me. Quality means it lasts longer. It has a different value for me.
What is your stance on environmentalism and sustainability in the fashion industry and in day to day life? Shop less, Collect better – be mindful of your consumer habits – shop Brands That Prioritize Sustainability.
Do you think there’s a similar need for accessories to become sustainable? Not really a need. But the idea behind TOL Eyewear is to invest in a timeless pair of sunglasses. A pair of sunglasses you buy and wear for many years. It’s a luxury product.
How would you describe your own style / and how has it developed over time? Style is all about personality; it’s an expression of your individuality, so if you don’t feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, then it won’t feel authentic. My style is quite diverse, but it’s always really recognizably me. When I was younger, I used to try a little bit too hard – I’d wear too many crazy prints or statement pieces all at once – but in recent years my look has become more sophisticated. Now, a typical outfit for me is a pair of boyfriend jeans and a T-shirt, but I’ll finish it off with some super-girly slingbacks. Comfort is the most important factor for me when I’m piecing together a look, so I live in denim.
If you could choose one only one category of accessory to wear, what would the category be and why? Hard to choose between bags and sunglasses. I love bags. In the same way that different types of bags define your personality, the way you carry them defines it too. It’s practical. I love sunglasses because they are the finishing touch of the look. They make me feel strong and powerful. I also wear sunglasses in winter. It’s an attitude. They make people feel confident.
When did TOL Eyewear present itself as a potential business prospect? From the moment we proposed the project to the Italian factory who produces TOL Eyewear. They believed in the project from the very beginning.
What are your plans for this collection? We have so many ideas in mind. Our dream is to become a successful global brand.
If any, what is the mission statement / brand motto for TOL and it’s future customers? TOL is an Amsterdam based design studio with an international approach to eyewear and fashion that is overseen and embodied by myself and Marieke Meulendijks. All our work derives from a deep interest in fashion, contemporary art, interiors, architecture and people. Above all, every story and every project begins with the creation of a new emotion.
The brand’s mission is to reach a fusion between creativity, technical innovation and traditional craftsmanship. This allows them to offer eyewear characterised by high quality materials and the typical excellence of Italian manufacturing. This combination of innovation and tradition is the principle that inspires us to create and design for TOL.
On a personal level, what is your feeling towards this current period we’re living through – a pandemic, self isolation…how do you keep busy and mindful? It was not easy in the beginning. Staying positive is very important. I try to create a routine for myself. I wake up around the same time every day. I get dressed and get my make-up done every day. I plan meetings (via Zoom) and try to create as much content as I can for my personal account and TOL Eyewear.
What would be your advice to young fashion creatives looking to work in the fashion industry? Stay true to yourself and ignore the critics.
Find out more at www.lindatol.com.and @lindatol_ on Instagram. To purchase the sunglasses visit @toleyewear (available from July). Interview by Victoria G. L. Brunton for Eyestylist.com. All rights reserved.
Handmade fascinators by Italian designer Claudia della Frattina / JCN Fascinators, Rome
In a world of its own accessory fantasy, Claudia della Frattina’s Seaweed collection, a concept first launched 2 years ago, explores nature and sea life in rich colorations with adornments and beads. Combining a hand blocked round base in three layers of sinamay, with sinamay strands below, each delicate thread has been hand finished with minute crystal beads, creating a dazzling almost magical light effect.
The double headband is trimmed with raffia and has several big AB glass beads, balancing the overall effect and reflecting rainbow colours onto other surfaces when hit by the sun.
Claudia della Frattina makes handcrafted hats, fascinators and head pieces from her atelier in Rome, Italy. Her work is featured every year in the UK at the annual X Terrace press preview – an event for designers and innovators in millinery and hat design from around the world (For details visit: https://www.eyestylist.com/2020/03/to-the-future-and-back/). Find out more about JCN Fascinators atwww.jcnfascinators.com
Spotted on celebrities including Paris Hilton, Kris Jenner, and Giovanna Engelbert, Decadent Too sunglasses by the renowned Swedish designer Anna-Karin Karlsson are the model of choice for overstated jewellery style. Impossible to slip by unnoticed, these striking sunglasses are adorned with a crystal setting over lightly toned Carl Zeiss sun lenses. This extraordinary quality and finish is achieved through the craftsmanship and expertise of individuals with passion and pride in their extraordinarily accomplished metier.
The Anna-Karin Karlsson eyewear collection is created for an exclusive audience with designs produced in only 20–100 pieces worldwide. An authenticity card is provided with each frame and they are individually numbered. Find out more at www.annakarinkarlsson.com
A vision of sun-drenched island vistas and fabulous colours, Peoples from Barbados eyewear by Alicia Hartman returns to inspire uplifting reflections for the future with new photography by Jaryd Niles-Morris, and Barbadian model Jalicia Nightengale.
Accompanying the imagery, and for the first time, the brand is publishing poetic words dedicated to the precious community from where it draws hope and inspiration – by the travelling street poet, Kevin Devaney.
“If the future that you are gazing towards is as bright as the Bajan sun, remember, it is a star and you are too, Peoples from Barbados” Kevin Devaney for PFB Eyewear
Peoples from Bardados eyewear lives and breathes the beauty, colour and spirit of the Bardados community. Produced exclusively in Japan, the eyewear collection highlights an extraordinary versatility in design style. The collection has grown to a complete set of 10 models, incorporating styles for men and women. PFB13, worn by Nightengale in the new shoot, is created in a pastel shade of mysterious purple pink acetate with glamorous grey undertones, finished with a high-end Japanese polishing technique to reveal a graduated shiny to matt finish across the surface. https://peoplesfrombarbados.com Find your PFB style at Alicia Hartman’s online store: www.eyeqstylistopticians.com
Tired eyes and too much screen time in quarantine? Created by Cécile Gavazzi, Morpho+Luna eye masks have become our go-to accessory for relaxation and deeper, more restful sleep. These beautiful eye masks are made by hand in silk, with light padding for the ultimate comfort. Above: blush tone eye mask with a silk snow piping and elastic strap. Ideal to block light during a daytime garden siesta or for better quality relaxed sleep at night.
Morpho+Luna is a womenswear brand specialising in sleep and homewear. The name comes from the combination of a vibrant blue Morpho butterfly and a delicate white Luna moth—inspired by a rebellious baroness: an adventurer who constantly sought out a new space for her ideas, her expression, and her very being.
The products are made in Italy with a careful focus on design, craftsmanship and fine quality fabrics and prints. Find out more : www.morphandluna.com
‘The Friday Edit’ at Eyestylist is a new review series of elegant accessories and lifestyle products for the weekend and beyond. Watch this space.
Interior design collaboration with Stephanie Thatenhorst
Mykita opens its third shop in Germany in central Munich, close to Maximilianstraße at Am Kosttor 3. A historic listed corner location formerly used as a gallery space, the shop presents the design language and handcrafted eyewear collections from MYKITA in a welcoming luxury atmosphere where historical elements are offset with one-off furnishings and contemporary design accents.
In a different vein from the typical sleek, minimalist tradition of other MYKITA stores, the interior design was a collaborative effort between the Berlin eyewear maker and local architect office Stephanie Thatenhorst: behind the restored façade of the historical 19th century building, oversized arched windows and doorways set a grand tone followed up by the use of luxurious materials, including marble surfaces, bronze mirrors, glass lights and custom-built furniture pieces from Thatenhorst.
Inside, the eyewear collections are extensive, and include the designer collaborations with Maison Margiela, Helmut Lang and Bernhard Willhelm. A Zeiss Vision Center provides comprehensive optical services and the opportunity for a customised optical profile, to perfectly adapt the frame and lens to each customer’s face. MYKITA Shop Munich, Am Kosttor 3, 80331 Munich, Germany – www.mykita.com
Jewellery embellishments bring exceptional luxury finesse to handmade eyewear. At the Danish independent label Falvin, precious black diamonds with a chic, rare coloration provide the contemporary mood and sparkle for the new Subsolar edition, a women’s sunglass shape balancing exquisitely feminine lines and technical finishing.
Falvin Eyewear has special expertise in luxury frames with jewellery settings. Founder and designer Birgitte Falvin seeks out unique materials for her contemporary collection which is produced exclusively in Japan. The diamond settings – assembled by a leading jeweller in Denmark, are mounted using traditional techniques to ensure a long-lasting quality. Find out more: www.falvineyewear.com
In the third and final recommendation in our series on creativity on Instagram this week, meet Chiara Veronese @centro_ottico_bastia, a young Italian optician and designer with an eye for style and curated imagery.
Chiara Veronese’s IG profile @centro_ottico_bastia is colourful, personal and full of fun and glamour. With a background in art and graphic design, Veronese took over her father’s optical store in 2016, and has a special passion for independent creative design. “After graduating from the University of the Arts London in 2011 I studied to be an optician in Italy,” she told Eyestylist. ” Today I’m the owner, the manager, the creative, the cleaner: I’m a one-woman band!”
With posts that visualise the beautiful chic style of the shop, as well as Chiara’s personal edit of eyewear, design, fashion and accessories, a few very elegant selfies are also highlighted as part of the styling of this page, demonstrating the unique qualities of the frames in store.
“My IG inspiration is always connected with independent brands and creative individuals,” she says. “I follow many accounts on travel, design and ceramics, and I have a soft spot for Japanese photography and architecture. I’m very attracted to one-off projects, collaborations and hybrid design (useful vs beautiful).”
Asked how she’s faired in lockdown, she says she has tried to see it as a chance to explore creativity within the limits of her home. “For IG I’ve been using only what is immediately available and mundane, everyday objects and settings. I also had the opportunity to experiment with my first, rudimentary posts via IGTV.” Via Veneto 54, Loc. Bastia, 35030 Rovolon PD, Italy. Find out more about Centro Ottico Bastia at the new website:www.centrootticobastia.it
In our special series about creativity on Instagram, we introduce @nina_more_eyewear, a new Insta page by the Spanish design brand Nina Mûr designed to “connect, support and share” across the optical/optician community.
The Spanish label, already present on Instagram with their brand page @nina_mur_eyewear, have launched a second page @nina_more_eyewear, with design and lifestyle inspiration specifically for the optical community. “We wanted to share our knowledge, inspiration and philosophy with passionate opticians,” Lorena Serrano, Co-founder and Creative Director told Eyestylist. “To inspire and empower them to improve their sales – and also to feel good. On this page we highlight sustainability, slow luxury, arts & crafts, design and innovation.”
The page curates a wide variety of imagery about design, display, creative composition, colour and eyewear inspiration based on the brand’s main values but translating them into ideas and tips about window dressing, set design and decoration, marketing concepts and elegant minimal ideas for presentation.
“We see this side of Nina as a new window on our work – beyond glasses,” explains Lorena. “It talks about our philosophy and our soul and our activities beyond eyewear as a creative agency. Here you will find more variety of content and more value, giving ‘more’ and sharing ‘more’.”
Nina Mûr is a refined wooden eyewear label – crated by Davide Fichera and Lorena Serrano and based in Madrid. The label focuses on independent production, high quality and sustainabile materials, innovation and craft.Visit @nina_more_eyewear by @nina_mur_eyewear on Instagram – and find out more at www.ninamur.com
A special series of three posts about creativity on Instagram highlighting three individuals with an eye for social media and a unique design-focused content style
Bold compositions. Real people. Creative style and energy. Eyewear designer Jean Philippe Joly runs his own Instagram page @jeanphilippejolysunglasses with the hashtag #passionisborn. The photos are for the most part by the designer himself who tells personal stories of “travels, meeting people, art, furniture and new eyewear designs.” Above: “Be ready for the summer: model Seducteur by Jean Philippe Joly – available as a sunglass or ophthalmic model.”
Joly is a believer in capturing the attention of a real audience on Instagram with similar values and interests in design and life who appreciate his photographs and the stories he tells.
His time during lockdown, he says, has been dedicated to the creation of new designs for Autumn/Winter 20/21 which will preview at Silmo in October. He has worked on all the prototypes himself by hand from scratch in his workshop so they can be ready to go to into a limited edition production at the factory in the next weeks. “I want it to be perfect!”
Originally from Paris, Jean Philippe Joly is a passionate traveller, designer, and eyewear + design connoisseur. Made exclusively in Italy, his frames are graphic and characterful with strong shapes and colours that highlight their unique artisan characteristics. With just over 12 timeless styles, each piece in the collection has an expressive design and colour palette which makes it immediately recognisable as a JPJ design. Find out more at www.jeanphilippejoly.com
The creative districts dotted around Europe as well as internationally are the most appreciated, curated and diverse locations for fashion, street culture and design – an eyewear brand inspired by such extraordinary places, seems to be no less. Daniel Liktor graduated University in his twenties and began working in bars, restaurants and pubs towards a career in the culinary industry. He then took an interest in cycling, which led him to product management in sports gear and edged him onto the path that would lead him into the fashion industry and the conception of a sustainable, urban spirited, lifestyle brand of eyewear named ‘neubau’.
How did the idea of ‘neubau’ – a brand of eyewear taking inspiration from creative districts and their inhabitants around the world, first come to light? After Silhouette International took the decision to launch a new brand in 2014, part of the positioning process was to define a clear target group. As we wanted to focus on people with a certain mindset and use a place for the brand story, one came to the other. Austria, urban lifestyle, creativity and a name that can be pronounced all over the world led us to Vienna’s 7th district – named Neubau.
Was alternative eyewear a gap in the market you have always seen in relation to your particularly creative social circle? In all honesty no, not always. It was discovered and then developed out of a natural interest and curiosity I had in the area. I started to work with bicycles and other sports gear as product manager and had the chance to dive deeper into several industries, that are kind of linked to fashion. One day in 2014 I received an offer to meet up with the former CEO of Silhouette to talk about a project they were working on. We got along, shared the same ideas and vision, which was definitely linked to some gaps in the market we could see and 5 years later I must say, I definitely took the right decision to enter the eyewear industry.
Did ‘neubau’ always intend to supply sustainable eyewear (as opposed to solely high quality, artistically unique and stylish frames) ? Yes, it was part of our DNA from day 1, as we had so many positive aspects at our fingertips, that stood out from the masses, like our local production in the centre of Europe, our waste-reducing production processes, and so on. After launching our sustainable plastic material naturalPX in early 2017 the story became more complete and more obvious to everyone.
Did sustainability organically manifest as an important factor due to the ‘urban’, ‘current’ and ‘stylish’ concept of the brand itself as well as its target market? It absolutely did and does more than ever. Especially in times like today with all these relevant, popular and increasingly influential movements like Fridays for future, Plastic Patrol, just to name two out of many, awareness for the necessity of crucial behavioral changes towards a better future for our planet is rising. To me it is part of our culture.
From the perspective of ‘point of sale’ – would you say many customers inquire about the sustainability of ‘neubau’? Is sustainability a prominent selling point that could make or break a sale? Yes and no. To some the style itself is of more importance than the sustainable component, but those who do want a responsibly produced, sustainable product AND style don’t have to compromise any of those aspects with ‘neubau’. And that is great!
What would you say are the benefits and / or the disadvantages of using 3D printing in the manufacturing of your glasses? To start with the disadvantages, as there are only two that come to my mind, colouring is still very limited, as the process does not allow us to produce translucent plastics. The other is the high investment in machinery and competence to start production. As part of our philosophy is to produce our frames in-house, we had to learn this technique from scratch, which on the other side gave us the chance to re-think certain production processes, that are critical in 3D-printing, e.g. sealing the surfaces to avoid that colours from “bleeding out” or even fungi growing on your frame, and find our own solution for those challenges. In terms of design options, you can be very creative compared to other production techniques and very important to us, the production process produces almost zero waste. We just launched our new 3D-printed capsule collection “Côte du Soleil” produced out of 100% bio-based raw materials; our next step in becoming the most desirable, sustainable eyewear brand out there.
What inspires ‘neubau’ most in particular to either the people or the location of some of the creative districts you have mentioned like El Born in Barcelona or Shoreditch in London? Both! Creative ideas and an open mindset mostly characterise the people living in those urban areas we like to refer to!
Is the inspiration ‘neubau’ derives from these special places and people used in just the aesthetic features of the range; colour, shape and so on or does it go further than that? It goes further than that! We try to be as open-minded as possible, one of the characteristics that are typical for those places and its people we really admire. We hope it’s visible in our activities, our collaborations, our communication and last but not least, our products.
From reading ‘neubau’s’ Sustainability Guide, I gather the intentions of the brand’s sustainability and good ethics make special emphasis on future generations – what legacy will ‘neubau’ leave as one of a growing number of sustainable eyewear brands, that is different to the rest? What we share with those of our competition who do care about sustainability too, is the mindset of supporting the environment. What goes beyond the others is our way to link the sustainable world to a certain style, as we believe sustainability can look and feel premium and up-to-date.
Just as ‘neubau’ eyewear beautifully dissects and draws inspiration from the most bustling creative capitals of our world – in the midst of a contagion, one of the most positive culminations of our isolation – where we are limited to little or no exploration, adventure or wandering, is that we have been forced to appreciate the beauty within our own localities and dwellings – some that were once hidden in plain sight. A brand as diverse and continually evolving as ‘neubau’ can be a source of both creative and non-creative inspiration for designers and consumers alike; creativity is an easily identifiable and relatable motif for us all – and that is what helps to set this brand apart from others. Interview by Victoria G. L. Brunton for Eyestylist.com. All rights reserved.
Tricks with titanium are part of the mastery and craftsmanship of Italian label Blackfin. The bas-relief effect of model Lynn Haven – achieved through a state-of-the-art micro mechanical processing technique – allows for a two-tone colour scheme, in this case balancing delicate pink and blue/green. Comfort is a key to the design with a lightweight construction and several special features such as tilting nose pads, and overall the styling delivers a smart, modern, clean-cut elegance that reflects our era whilst maintaining timeless aspects popular in today’s eyewear selections. This women’s frame is also created in red/blue, silver/gold, brown/magenta and silver/black. The design is recommended if you have sensitive skin as the materials are non-toxic and bio-compatible, free from residues of nickel or other heavy metals. To find out more about Blackfin eyewear read our latest post at https://www.eyestylist.com/2020/02/brand-storytelling-blackfin-italy/ and visit www.blackfin.eu.