Eyestylist Exclusive: Leinz Eyewear x Guillaume Larquemain

Collaboration update Leinz Eyewear x Guillaume Larquemain – French label Guillaume Larquemain and Leinz Eyewear joined forces in 2023 for an eyewear edition. Uniting their mutual love of fashion, creation and innovation, the pair of trailblazing accessory designers created an offering of frames inspired by Larquemain’s unique line-up of luxury, apple canvas handbags. Eyestylist asked the designer Beate Leinz about how the two designers align, ahead of the MIDO show where the eyewear brand will exhibit with new and innovative eyewear releases….

How did you both meet? Guillaume discovered my brand’s profile on Instagram a few years ago. Then he contacted me to see if he could use some of my pieces for his shoot in Paris. He had fallen in love with my contemporary eyewear collection!

What do you both admire about each other’s work?  We are both true designers and really passionate about innovation. As founders of our own indie labels, it makes sense for us to support each other, develop synergies and enrich each-others products. Our creative universes are mutually minimalist and elegant.

Which frame in the collection would you choose to represent one another, and why? Our “One Life” frame with the cool clip looks really good on Guillaume, he particularly appreciates the light weight of the frame. I myself love wearing “Close Your Eyes” which has a strong shape for a more bold look.

Tell us about the inspirations behind this collection / collaboration. Guillaume has an exclusive pattern – inspired by the imperfections of an apple skin – for his luxury handbags, each handcrafted in France. Then, he proposed I create a silhouette to complement this unique style. Pictured above: Close Your Eyes by Leinz Eyewear x Guillaume Larquemain

Say My Name by LEINZ Eyewear: the 3D printed design boasts the innovative glossy pattern that was developed by the designers for the collaboration edition

Did any challenges arise when translating bag design to eyewear design or vice versa?The challenge was finding a solution for applying the pattern to a 3D-printed polyamide surface. We had to source a glossy material that resembles a drop of water, sticks to the plastic surface and meets the wearing conditions of eyewear. After several tests we found a solution, every drop of the pattern is applied to the frame by hand.

As well as this, we were switching industries; translating the production of bags to the manufacture of eyewear. This is always a challenge, but aesthetics and design must of course remain the same regardless of the industry.

Do you think your previous backgrounds in design make it easier or more tricky to dive into each-others worlds? Easier, for sure. Our respective extensive experience in the fashion world helps us to understand each-others specificities. Also, as accessories designers, we love to collaborate by nature.

What are your views on sustainability within the eyewear and fashion industry? I try to use ecologically high-quality materials in any areas where it makes sense. Our sun clips, for example, are made from a plastic derived from the oil of castor beans, and our new glasses case is made from recycled leather material. We do not use adhesives, “embellishing” plastic coatings, additional lacquers, magnets or metal fasteners. It is important to me that we do not produce and use composite material and favour pure, recycled leather instead. Also, our entire collection is made in Germany – so it is locally produced.

One Life by Leinz Eyewear

Do you think vegan and sustainable products are of the same level of importance? For me, it’s important that whatever I do, I must do it with the appropriate determination – this is why I will never engage in greenwashing.

Even if Guillaume’s apple canvas has all the European environmental agreements, his brand is above all a luxury, French handbag brand. Sustainability is not an option for new generations, it is now part of the process of creation. Myself and Guillaume are both engaged enough as designers to propose these new, unique creations.

What developments if any do you see being made in terms of veganism and the fashion industry? Guillaume had his debut Fashion show in Las Angeles last October, during “Vegan Fashion Week”. There, he presented his collection of luxury bags with his signature material; apple canvas. For this event, the models wore our collaboration. Guillaume had created clothes made with natural materials; linen, cotton and apple velvet, for the first time. He believes new materials are a wonderful source of inspiration for the future, and I am inclined to agree.

Are there any other worlds of design either of you would like to trial next? Yes! I would love to design comfortable, high-quality and mega-cool shoes, made from sustainable materials of course.

Leinz Eyewear will exhibit new innovative 3D printed eyewear designs at the international trade fair MIDO (Milan) this weekend. Visit the website: www.leinzeyewear.de

Interview exclusively for Eyestylist.com by Victoria G. L. Brunton