Creative spirits

Claire Goldsmith

Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses / Claire Goldsmith Legacy

Claire is her usual bubbly self when I speak to her for this feature before the optical fair Mido. She is about 7 months pregnant with her second child, but despite having to delay a few long-haul travel arrangements, she is as busy and excited as ever about business and new projects, as well as looking forward to being a mum of 2! “I feel like I’m having my third baby! The business is so important to me, and I am very protective about it and every new step we take,” she explains. Claire Goldsmith is the great granddaughter of Oliver Goldsmith, one of the most influential designers of spectacles and sunglasses, who designed for a mass of celebrities, from 1926 through to the 70s and 80s…Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn (the Audrey style “Manhattan” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s has just been re-released) and Michael Caine…and the list goes on and on. Claire opened Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses in 2005 and now has her own flagship store in the hub of London’s Notting Hill. The newly renovated shop offers the full offering of OG styles, plus the latest additions, including Claire’s first brand in her own name, Claire Goldsmith Legacy. It also houses the archives of Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses, including a huge, unique collection of frame styles which span decades of eyewear history and fashion.

Claire Goldsmith Legacy – classic with a twist

Launched in 2010, CG Legacy is a collection of spectacles designed by the new team Claire has put together; it’s the expression of their enthusiasm for eyewear, born out of working with the OG archive, but embodying their own new design ideas in the present day. “We launched Legacy in 2010. I felt it was time I had my own line after many years dedicated to perfecting the reissue of OG vintage classics. I have the same DNA as my great grandfather but we are not the same person, so it was time to put my own mark on eyewear with my own line. We will have a total of 20 styles in the range from this March, 6 of these will be launched in Milan at Mido. We are growing Legacy at a calm, steady rate. It suits a slightly younger customer than the pure vintage OG concept, with its colours which are fun, and the designs which are really out there! I am working on new materials for Legacy, I am exploring different metals and titanium for the first time, it’s really a new departure for us and an evolving one. (more…)

essedue sunglasses
SILMO Paris Nord Villepinte 24 - 27 Sept 2021
Visit J.F.Rey
lafont
TVR advert 2021 linked to the TVR website
ROLF Spectacles

Babou Olengha

Butcher Couture

Babou brings an intriguing international background to her designs for Butcher Couture – leather frames that are created with her philosophy of “Slow Design”. That is the term that the designer uses for her framecreations that are made with traditional manufacturing processes, and working with skilled craftspeople and artisans. She is also an avid believer in using natural materials whenever possible, and likes to design frames that merge both style and functionality.

I had the pleasure of meeting the personable and charming designer last summer in Paris, and was impressed not only with her innovative frames, but her philosophy and unconventional approach to frame design.

Babou was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but grew up primarily in the UK, and attended University in England. She now divides her time between Oslo and London, perfecting her craft of Optical Tailoring in frames, which are made in France – giving a global flavour to her products.

SILMO Paris Nord Villepinte 24 - 27 Sept 2021
ROLF Spectacles
MOREL par Jean Nouvel
BLACKFIN
LINDBERG
OGI Eyewear

She emphasises that the overall focus of Butcher Couture is to offer design, quality and to evoke timelessness. In addition to frames available in boutiques, customers are able to purchase and commission frames on a made-to-order basis, and clients can choose from a selection of leathers, threads and various finishes. “I’ve always enjoyed a love affair with leather, which I believe is inherently linked to my love of all things craft and artisan,” she says, “and since starting Butcher Couture in 2007, my passion for leather is a crescendo into somewhat of a full blown obsession. (more…)

BLUE MAGIC EYE

Creative spirits don’t allow a bumpy economy to interrupt plans. Despite rocky global predictions in 2009, Guya Montermini and Ciro Tugnoli launched their first eyewear collection, Blue Magic Eye, at Silmo, where we discovered them. Their risk venture paid off from the debut, as the frames are now sold all over Europe, America, Canada and New Zealand.

The charming design duo have a specific concept for their frames. “We want to create eyewear in clean and traditional shapes, but not the “usual” version,” says Montermini, “and we create frames without thinking about a special target audience. We design what we like, and think about what we would wear. It’s important that the frames are comfortable and easy to wear. We don’t like big logos on frames; that is all too showy and extreme for us.”

MOREL par Jean Nouvel
LINDBERG
TVR advert 2021 linked to the TVR website
Visit J.F.Rey
OGI Eyewear
BLACKFIN

Film inspiration

The unusual company name is taken from the movie, American Gangster. “Blue Magic was a famous product in the film, very competitive and very high quality. This is our philosophy for the frames,” says Montermini. (more…)