August 2020

Explore 3D printed design: Liq Eyewear

3D printed eyewear by Barcelona design studio, Creax

With the rise of 3D-printing, a young generation of designers is coming to the eyewear arena from other specialisms – interested in the sustainable potential of the eyewear alongside the opportunities offered for individual design and customisation.

Josep Mateo Muñoz, product designer, Creax Design, a design and innovation studio in Barcelona, launched Liq Eyewear with focus on the potential of Polyamide and its creative appeal when exploring shapes. “Polyamide is a natural material, it is light, warm and pleasant on the skin,” he told Eyestylist. “The material allows us to design “liquid” shapes which would be impossible to produce with other materials.” The frames at Liq have a lightweight construction achieved with a sculpted finish on the exterior and interior of the designs and finishes are gently textured – with colours ranging from bright red to natural stone-like tones.

MOREL par Jean Nouvel
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Liq Eyewear, Barcelona – a sustainable production

With a self-designed magnetic hinge system, Zeiss sunlenses and an attractive protective soft grey felt bag, the Liq designers has managed to balance their love of modern design and fashion in a comfortable, inexpensive product they can produce out of Spain. “Liq started as an internal project at the studio: we thought that it would be a good idea to apply our experience in eyewear design to our own brand taking advantage of the benefits of 3d printing and controlling the whole process from our studio, avoiding overproduction or excessive waste in manufacture.”

About the label: Liq Eyewear first launched in 2018. The liquid-inspired shapes are 3D printed in Barcelona, Spain – and the collection is now widely available in Spain in optical shops. The new 2021 collection promises frames with sculpted decorations and surfaces with holes and openings – watch for new styles such as Liq Rain and Liq Lava opthalmic/sun styles with details only possible using 3D printed technology. www.liq-eyewear.com

Trending glasses – McKenna by Lowercase NYC

When an architect, an investment analyst and a craftsman combine the result is apparently founding a quality-driven, on-trend and up-and-coming eyewear brand in the Big Apple: Lowercase NYC. Gerard Masci first realised his passion for eyewear as young as 13. Years later, he was connected with Brian Vallario and then with Ryan Langer – the three used their respective industry acquired skill sets to forge a team unmatched in artistry and individuality creating a collection of pieces that showcase exactly that.

The team’s passion for quality and style is obvious in each aspect of their small-batch product design and manufacturing; using an immersive approach they source high quality materials – such as Italian and Japanese acetate, Carl Zeiss sun lenses and German engineered hinges – and a mix of technology as well as handcrafting techniques to deliver each pair of glasses with their onerous stamp of approval. Aside from the physical materials and labour that play a part in the production of each piece, Lowercase maintain an intimate level of knowledge in each step of the journey – from design conception to send-off – a 30 step process to be exact, all done over the course of two weeks from the comfort of their amazing Brooklyn Army Terminal workshop.

Trending glasses – Victoria wears the McKenna frame by Lowercase NYC – in Ox blood

The workshop itself is iconic and like no other – standing since 1919 it was once the largest US military supply base during the Second World War. Now, in Brooklyn – the most ambitiously creative and diverse district of NYC, it houses artists, designers and makers from all stretches of the industry – each working alongside one another and inspiring each-other to create – and yes, it is open to visit.

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MOREL par Jean Nouvel
OGI Eyewear

I have the McKenna frame (Ox blood colour) – a striking style with a subtle cat eye lens; the subtlety means they maintain the sharp finish and statement impact desired in a cat eye shape – but make it less intense and more rounded. These frames are versatile, there is no outfit that these won’t adapt to or improve. The quality is noticeable…Carl Zeiss sun lenses provide 100% UVA/UVB protection, and the barrel hinges and coated screws ensure long-lasting accident proof structure. In spite of their high-fashion, fun and delicate appearance these sunglasses block out UV rays and rest firmly and comfortably on the face; the levels of quality in each part of the design, manufacturing and production process can be seen and felt.

Lowercase have an engaging and immersive website which allows customers to experience every aspect of the brand and its collection including a step by step video on the production of the glasses within the Brooklyn Army Terminal – right up to them being delivered into the customers hands, as well some further information on some interesting initiatives the brand takes in their endeavour to be as sustainable as possible. For more information visit https://lowercasenyc.com and find the McKenna – in Ox Blood, Powder Blue or Gold Flake, at https://lowercasenyc.com/products/mckenna. A review by Victoria G. L Brunton.

Italian eyewear event: ‘Enjoy Eyewear Again’

Italian eyewear event – A special event in Italy for independent design brands

A new event concept by the founder of Miga Studio Eyewear (Italy) and like-minded independent eyewear brands and designers will take place on 7th September 2020 at Villa Avanzi, Lake Garda, Italy (by invitation only).

The concept is designed to bring customers and brands together again in a stunning, safe yet intimate setting, and to allow opticians access to some of the finest independent labels and their new offerings, in line with new social distancing protocols.

MOREL par Jean Nouvel
Götti Switzerland

“We have organised an entire day dedicated to opticians who wish to discover unique eyewear with an inevitable glass of wine,” says Alessandro Fedalto of Miga Studio Eyewear who has conceived the event with others as a result of  the many cancellations of trade events through 2020, due to the global pandemic. ” 20 eyewear brands from Italy, UK, Germany, USA and Portugal will share their latest projects and designs releasing for the new season and 2021 with a group of 100 stores located within easy proximity of the stunning shores of Lake Garda and the historic location. For more details contact [email protected]

Kitschenberg: the tiny gem of Munich

Curated with exceptional care and attention, the distinguished family-run optical boutique Kitschenberg in Munich, has been providing an eyecare service and an extraordinarily refined selection of eyewear to a very specific community of frame wearers – for more than 20 years. Stocking over 80% panto and round glasses shapes, owners Andreas Kitschenberg and his wife Steffi choose every piece themselves; with an unprecedented knowledge of the highest-quality labels and an appreciation of the craftsmanship and finesse of the materials – Andreas says they have identical taste for glasses – the couple go out of their way to explore new makers and designers with individual, covetable designs from around the world.

Kitschenberg: the new interior by Stephanie Thatenhorst

The shop itself is something of a destination and perfectly encompasses the beauty and refinement of the selection of eyewear inside. Andreas explained to us the redesign: “Last summer, the time had come for something new and we completely renovated the shop. The 29 square meter shop has a 4 meter high ceiling and is covered with walnut wood. The lines are very angular, the inner shape is like a cube – a clear contrast to our otherwise round glasses. We worked with interior designer Stephanie Thatenhorst – and as you might imagine we have had a lot of compliments for the design of such a small yet striking space.”

Kitschenberg’s interior is finished with striking walnut wood

Labels currently featured here include TVR from Japan, Lunettes Alf from France, and Savile Row from the UK. “These are glasses with a soul, just as we like it; glasses that stand out from the crowd, handcrafted with absolutely meticulous attention down to the smallest details…”

The Kitschenbergs have also added their own small acetate collection – Kitschenberg acetate – and a luxurious buffalo horn series – Kitschenberg Horn. “All of the styles are of course Pantos,” says Andreas, with delight.

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Götti Switzerland
MOREL par Jean Nouvel
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Kitschenberg’s curated collections: “glasses that stand out from the crowd”

At Kitschenberg everything is by appointment, it has always been that way, allowing a more personal fitting and selection of a frame. “We are located in a very beautiful part of Munich, between the old town and the Isar river. There are good restaurants here, but no other shops. We don’t have walk-in customers…everyone is coming to us very specifically and often they have been coming back time and again for years.”

https://www.kitschenberg.com/ueber-uns/

 

Fleye Copenhagen: Elements of Art

“Each frame is the intersection of craft and art – a representation of our vision for modern designs crafted to last….”

Fleye Copenhagen’s innovative, creative concepts expand yet again with the introduction of ‘Elements of Art’: an eye-catching arts-inspired collection which pays tribute to Denmark’s Thorvaldsens Museum, its evocative colours, architectural features and marble and plaster sculptures.

Inspiring a new collection: experimental molding in geometrical soap blocks

Through a process of experimental molding, the designers at Fleye sought to recreate the mood of the works – and the process of creating them – while adding a contemporary context. As they explain, “Rather than molding in clay and cast, the designers began creating soap in various forms, colours and patterns from the Thorvaldsens Museum. Afterwards the geometrical blocks of soap were stacked on top of each other, creating art sculptures and visions for the new designs.”

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Götti Switzerland
Inspiration was drawn from the historic museum, its colours and its works of art / Images courtesy of Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen. Left photo credit: Sarah Coghill

The result is a line up of glasses with new inspiring colorways and engravings as well as patterns and playful transparencies created by light reflections and closely aligned to the historic elegance and visual aesthetics of the Thorvaldsens Museum and its exuberant heritage and works of design.

About Thorvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark (www.thorvaldsensmuseum.dk) – the museum is dedicated to the art of the Danish neoclassical sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, who lived and worked in Rome for much of his life. The museum can be found on the island of Slotsholmen, near Christiansborg Palace. More information about this new season arts-inspired collection at www.fleye.dk