Anything goes is the mantra for 2020 in the women’s sunglass collections. In Milan this weekend, blue skies brought out plenty of eyewear chic on the street outside the shows, and a pleasing breadth of designs to pair with outfits and accessories with pride, purpose and precision. Popular styles included the large square-ish tortoise frames, a variety of mini and maxi rimless styles, very large iconic visors, and a consistent fondness for the 1990s looks. Above: Outside the shows at Milan Fashion Week: Mandy Bork wears oversized visor / Fendi FW20. Photo: Gennaro D’Elia / Eyestylist
Vintage-infused styles were popular paired with miniature bags, and a predilection for boyfriend shirts and suits came dressed up with a variety of sunglass statements, from very feminine cat’s eyes to 90s micro “blackouts” which shield the eyes with purpose from the sun (and the cameras).
Fashion blogger “Mascarada Paris” wears quirky oversized sunglasses, a multi-colored top and super baggy boyfriend trousers. (Photo by Gennaro D’Elia/Eyestylist).
A good mix of classic eyewear or vintage-infused shapes in Milan suggests that anything really goes this season! See more of our photos from Milan, Italy on our Instagram page @eyestylistmagazine.Photography by Gennaro D’Elia exclusively for Eyestylist. All rights reserved.
Eyestylist returned to Algha Works, London – the home of classical British eyewear
Behind the memorable doors of Algha Works, an historic artisan eyewear factory now surrounded by new builds and wastelands in the East End of London, are some of Europe’s most highly skilled craftsmen and women, making spectacles the traditional way, through years – in some cases decades – of dedication to the meticulous craft.
The building itself has stood the test of time. In 1940, a bomb exploded just outside on Smeed Road and it was described as a miracle that Algha Works – and its extraordinary collection of German-made machinery and specialised tools survived. Today, within the factory’s distinctive graffitied walls, lies a complex artisan operation that remains much as it was in the ’30s, historic and infused with a deep heritage which has brought it consistent recognition and loyalty from customers around the world.
Preserving the most classical forms and constructions, delicately tweaked for the contemporary wearer, each of the Savile Row rolled-gold styles today continues to be produced in the old fashioned manner with numerous steps to achieve a final “bespoke-finished” product. Model Beaufort exemplifies the ultimate signature panto shape of the Savile Row collection, worn by a host of well-known faces such as Harrison Ford (as Indiana Jones) and Johnny Depp. Typical of the styles in the line, the frame comes in a choice of gold or rhodium with a choice of colour for the Windsor rim, typically black, chestnut, tortoise or blond. https://savileroweyewear.com/retailshop/beaufort
The Savile Row Panto is unequivocally a star in the collection, worn famously by John Lennon as well as Eric Clapton (the Diaflex Panto version). Engravings, which elevate the unique finish of these retro-infused spectacles, can be applied to parts of the frame such as the bridge (illustrated above) – the operation to create such a delicate and ornate patterning is precise and requires particular expertise – using the very same machines that were brought from Germany many decades ago. Link to The Panto online:https://savileroweyewear.com/retailshop/panto For more details about Savile Row Eyewear visit www.savileroweyewear.co.uk
A sensual soft style evolves in new designs at the luxury brand
The Danish eyewear designer, Birgitte Falvin points to the sensual finesse of her handcrafted frames for Spring/Summer 2020. “A Nordic ambience infuses our new designs, pure and streamlined,” says Falvin. “The Premium Collection unites this mood with precise details, superb Japanese quality and skillful craftsmanship.” Above: Danish model Marina Ohm wears model Venus; photography by Henrik Adamsen.
Falvin’s unisex aviator shape, Uranus, is sleek, sophisticated and commanding in its expression of quality – ideal for all activities – both sports and professional. The structure is oversized with a dramatic square-ish eye shape to suit men and women. The colour choices are typical of the brand with uniquely inspiring luxury pairings which include mat onyx with mat black gold or mat topaz with 24 carat gold.
The soft, sensual form of frame model Venus is interpreted with a light construction, satisfyingly comfy fit, and a striking matt and shiny finish to symbolise charisma and subtle personality. FALVIN offers the additional possibility of a fully customised design, decorated with sparkling Wesselton diamonds. The brand works in close collaboration with a distinguished Danish jeweller to create the jewellery encrusted frames with a luxurious and compelling expression of individual style.
FALVIN’s exciting new eyewear designs include models Venus and Uranus. The frames will be available at international stockists from Spring 2020. They will show at the trade fair in Denmark: Copenhagen Specs March 7/8. Find out more atwww.falvineyewear.com
Cutting-edge aesthetics. Advanced functionality. Streamlined tech detailing. These areas have been studied with painstaking care and attention by a handful of independent eyewear brands creating products to fit with the aesthetic of streetwear: where luxurious – often avantgarde – styling and innovation are presented in equal, uncompromising measure.
Barcelona brand Lool has just announced its flat sport style sunglasses, Lool’s ‘Spark’ (above) from the Non Stop City collection. The inspiration for the line comes from club culture, contemporary cities and streetwear fashion. The glasses mix experimental concepts and new fashion trends with a touch of colour and bold, angular structures. The range also highlights the use of photochromic lenses which adapt to changes in light, darkening for day and lightening for night, when a luminescent line profiles the lens. Find out more: www.looleyewear.com
Mykita’s reputation as an eyewear innovator and its wide offering of sun and ophthalmic frame styles takes in the streetwear aesthetic in many guises with models in the 3D printed Mylon collection having a particularly special allure for connoisseurs of design. On course with a mix of sports and streetwear – and elements of fantasy, the new capsule collab styles with Bernhard Willhelm serve up bold silhouettes with airbrush gradients on temples and eye-catching ‘hanging’ lenses – marking a decade of successful collaboration between the two creative brands. www.mykita.com
The British label Covrt Project is defined by streetwear cultures and subcultures. Creative Director Marcello Martino has particular expertise in CAD design – and luxury eyewear production (in Italy), allowing the brand to create innovative frames with a distinctive identity. MP4 – from the all-black _MissionOne collection has an unusually high double bridge, topped with an acetate bar. The tech details include a signature cam laser welded hinge and functional ‘stopper’ incorporated into the temple arm. Find out more at www.covrtproject.com
The Italian brand explores a new deep narrative in its latest campaign – Timeless Memories -, located at Alberto Burri’s Cretto of Gibellina. The campaign was shot by Giovanni De Sandre.
The Cretto of Burri, also known as the Great Cretto, is a dramatic piece of land art in Southern Italy, realized by Alberto Burri. The work lies at the site of the historic centre of Gibellina, a village destroyed in an earthquake, and today remembered in Burri’s immense and permanent ‘cretto’ or crack.
“Selecting the Great Cretto was a choice of values and value,” Simone Favero told Eyestylist. “A pure connection between what Burri wanted to convey in cementing the Gibellina ruins after the earthquake and our putting down roots, even emotional ones, in our every action. We can only grow as a company, as a business, if we define our reasons for doing business in a clear way. For us, the connection with the past, and what every day teaches us, is a fundamental way of putting down roots.”
“Cementing the ruins of a city after an earthquake represents the ‘apotheosis of pointless gestures’. With Timeless Memories we wanted to convey our conviction that these seemingly pointless gestures are necessary,” explained Favero.
This location, and those of past campaigns, have become inherent to the storytelling of the brand and its values: neomadeinitaly, the company’s ethical and historic ties to the land it inhabits; titanium, the concrete material aspect of the product; and credo, the ‘awareness’ of the campaign’s message that, in this case at the Grand Cretto, is not only a transfiguration of images, but also of deep meaning and substance.
“We’re a company and a brand,” says Favero. “Our history and actions as regards production, along with our business choices are all focused around corporate social responsibility. The objective is to bring this theme into the seasonal campaign and amaze people, as we like to do at Blackfin, thereby, for maybe the first time, laying down a subtext which can constitute a milestone in the company’s history. Timeless Memories was welcomed by all…and has far surpassed expectations. It has touched people due to the emotion inspired by the book we have created, resonating mostly because of the choice of a truly intimate, ethical motivation.” For more details about TimelessMemories and the new SS20 eyewear releases, visit www.blackfin.eu
British photographer Mark Borthwick has worked with Mykita through a multitude of campaigns and his latest work for the brand – entitled Light Narratives – illustrates his characteristic unaffacted style and authentic approach with a particularly compelling mood. As storytelling goes, the imagery is perfectly in keeping with the personal aspect of Mykita design, capturing real faces and real glances and expressions in a landscape that is evocative and mesmerising, with wide-open spaces.
Created in a remote area of Portugal, the minimal imagery features deliberate contrasts in close-up portraits, group shots and landscapes, while across some of the photographs are the distinctive pink and lilac movements in light from the sun, a trait that is typical of the style of the photographer. Below: a short ‘behind the scenes’ film from the shoot in Portugal by Mark Borthwick.
The campaign images show frames styles in the Mykita Lite, Decades and No1 Sun collections, in contemporary stainless steel or acetate/steel combinations. In synergy with the photography and the neutral colour palette dominated by blue sky and tan earth, interspersed with flashes of bright crimson fabric, the eyewear designs come in pared down and classical tones of matte silver, champagne gold and black, with some unexpected twists and contrasts in a gentle purple bronze/pink clay combination and a topaz/shiny copper mix. For more information about the new SS20 styles now available at Mykita, visitwww.mykita.com
The UK’s showcase destination for eyewear fashion, 100% Optical, took place last weekend, at the well-known trade venue ExCel in East London. This British trade event for the optics industry presents a cross-section of technical products with a slew of seminars, debates and educational lectures for optical retailers, alongside a broad eyewear fashion “overview” where big and small brands present their lines, side by side.
Among hundreds of different types of eyewear showing across the hall, the creativity, design focus and innovation of the frame industry comes through in the representation of independent labels at the fair; their presence was widened in the 2020 edition with the addition of a small shared section dedicated to emerging talent: Covrt Project (London), Nina Mûr (Madrid), Lunettes Alf (Paris), Lowercase (NYC) and Manu Torres Atelier (Galicia) were particular highlights for lovers of finely crafted, spectacles and sunglasses.
Above: Lowercase from NYC was one of the notable additions in an area dedicated to small labels and newcomers. Built out of a love for eyewear and an appreciation for craftsmanship, Lowercase was established in 2016 by Gerard Masci and Brian Vallario. The team founded the company “with a mission to once again localize the trade of eyewear to the US. Every pair of Lowercase frames is made in the Brooklyn workshop from start to finish….”
Key colours: Across the show, the freshest statement colours that popped up time and again were bright canary yellow, Pantone “colour of the year” classic blue, and light purple/lilac – with several very pale interpretations of lilac through to pastel pink. The Alium collection by FACE A FACE (above) which combines extremely well aligned technical properties for comfort and longevity offered a mix of vibrant, on-trend colorations with a particularly stunning intensity. www.faceaface-paris.com
Nina Mûr from Madrid has a consistent and broad range of eyewear concepts – some created as collaborations. The label is focused on good quality and distinctive design and produces its collections in innovative and sustainable materials – predominantly wood with an artistic palette of tasteful, quality colour finishes. www.ninamur.com
The French label Morel was also exhibiting at 100% this year. Morel’s expertise in minimal styling takes a new aesthetic twist with pretty seasonal colours and two-tone ideas in the S/S range. The hexagonal shaping of Morel model 30182L combines with the bold graduated transparent shade of blue, and a delicate soft pink, perfect for a lighter look for Spring. Find out more at www.morel-france.com
The annual RCA competition was won by Ely Yili Cao, Womenswear (Millinery) for her piece entitled ‘Your sight, sound and smell, my love.’ 100% Optical will take place at Excel London in 2021 from 23rd to 25th January 2021. For details visitwww.100percentoptical.com. Feature written by Clodagh Norton exclusively for Eyestylist.com.
The contemporary appeal of the palest tones of lilac alongside a few more provocative purple hues have infiltrated the 2020 eyewear and sunglasses collections with striking success, as we head towards new looks for spring/summer. According to trend forecasters, this is a colour to “pack a punch” with a growing desirability since 2018 when “ultra violet” took the title of Pantone colour of the year. Above: a new campaign from Italian label Blackfin at an evocative location, The Great Cretto, Southern Italy. The frame is a combo beta titanium with acetate rim model called Tortuga and is part of the Blackfin AURA collection, pictured above in a purple/gradient blue acetate. For more colorways visit the website at www.blackfin.eu
The Sand Dab by l.a.Eyeworks is a little bit shimmery, with a graduated soft blue to pale lilac effect, a chic rendering of the trend that has achieved a steadfast hold on fashion and design trends. This pairing of tones softens the quirky angular shaping of the acetate frame. Find out more www.laeyeworks.com
1980s attitude combined with the most modern tone of luminous lilac packs a punch for girls and boys who love the cat eye edge. Particularly alluring is the matching ‘fresh lavender’ lens tone. Find out more at www.carlacolour.com/shop/modan-astro-comet
Tree Spectacles has focused in on this colour in both its acetate (above) and titanium collections for 2020. Note the delicacy of the tone in the acetate style Hero, and the lightness achieved through the transparent crystal finish. www.treespectacles.com
This year’s edition of 100% in London will bring together a cross-section of frame collections, with independent labels represented by companies from far and wide including California, Copenhagen, Paris, Madrid and Brighton in the UK. The excellent quality and craftsmanship of the independent collections offer the UK independent optician attending this event much opportunity and should be a point of reference as an important direction for their stores, providing customers with new, exciting design-focused premium quality eyewear.
The fair will highlight major players such as Design Eyewear Group, Orgreen Optics and Morel France alongside small artisan labels and newcomers who we look forward to seeing (some are showing for the first time in the UK). Highlights in this area will include: Lara D’ (Italy), Booth + Bruce (UK), FACE A FACE (Paris), Covrt Project (UK), Kaleos (Spain), Kirk and Kirk (Brighton, UK) Nina Mûr (Spain), and Kame Mannen (Japan).
Above: FACE A FACE will be present at 100% Optical, with Design Eyewear Group. Among their new collections is the latest range of Bocca frames – Bocca Pixel, in eye-catching raw machined acetate, which is sandblasted and polished. The Bocca shoe has been abstracted in this cool collection inspired by 3d pixelated effects. The colour selection includes delicate pastels and exciting patterns. Find out more: www.faceaface-paris.com
Kirk and Kirk is a familiar face at 100%. The Brighton-based company will show its Kaleidoscope, Centena and Spectrum lines which offer uplifting colour and some of the hottest tones of the year. Find out more at www.kirkandkirk.com
SALT. Optics are a go-to brand for quality, and continue to do well with the UK market. Their frames are designed in California and made in Japan, with all the attributes of a well-made premium-quality design with unique details such as traditionally inspired pins and rivets. The classic or nature-inspired colour schemes are evocative of the land and seascapes of coastal California. www.saltopics.com
Anyone seeking out a strong, sustainable eyewear collection should visit Sea2See Eyewear at the London show. The collections by this enterprising company continue to expand. The frames are made from 100% recycled plastic ocean waste. Find out more at www.sea2see.org
One of our favourite French newcomers has just reserved to attend the show in London. Lunettes Alf is an artisan label with a love for retro style and elegant handcrafted design work. Find out about this brand at www.lunettes-alf.com
Nina Mûr is attending the London fair for the first time. Based in Madrid, the brand produces elegant, architectural eyewear pieces with a focus on advanced – often sustainable – materials (including wood) and special concepts of design “with a story”. One of their latest ranges is inspired by the microcosm (above), with superimposed layers and materials which have an unusual and surprising finish. www.ninamur.com
A highlight of the 100% optical fair, the RCA competition for new talent is this year focused on the theme of ‘Love’. The work of the finalists will be on display throughout the weekend. The finalists are: Rebecca Armstrong, Womenswear, 1st year; Yili Cao, Womenswear (Millinery); Annie Mackinnon, Womenswear, 1st year; Adam Frost, Womenswear, 1st year; Reiss Dendie, Footwear, 1st year; Kitfung Sun, Menswear Accessories, 2nd year.
To register for 100% Optical, visit the website: www.100percentoptical.comFeature written by Clodagh Norton exclusively for www.eyestylist.com. The permission of the author must be sought to reprint or re-publish the materials in this article.
The first trade show of the year – opti 2020 – set the stage for what’s to come, with packed halls proposing a huge variety of niche eyewear labels, iconic brands and high-profile fashion brands – from around the world.
Our personal highlights at the show will be featured in the weeks to come. They included the new face scanning app at the German 3D printed brand You Mawo and a variety of collection launches that were innovative and impeccably produced. We have much to say on new colour, style directions and design trends, as well as having identified some impactful Limited Editions from California, Marseilles and Milan.
The beautifully curated opti BOXES cater to those who wish to explore emerging collections. Participants of note in this area included from France, Lunettes Alf, from the UK, Covrt Project (winner of the Newcomer Award at the fair), from Italy, Beate Leinz, and from Israel, Tough Character. Above: Leinz Eyewear by Berlin based eyewear designer, Beate Leinz. The collection, which is the designer’s first eponymous line, is presented under the concept of ‘contrasts and hybrids’. The frames feature two contrasting materials – acetate and and polyamide, achieving a mix of traditional Italian craftsmanship with high-end Belgian technology, created and coordinated from Berlin. www.leinzeyewear.com
Lunettes Alf was present in the opti BOXES. This young French brand is attracting much interest from top level European independent stores who identify with its beautiful classical focus on restrained colours and shapes inspired from the past. www.lunettes-alf.com
Coblens Eyewear from Germany showed its latest titanium styles and a chic new line in Japanese acetate paired with titanium temples called Stadtgarten, coming into stores this season. The Coblens collection has expanded dramatically with intricate finishing and colorations and very elegant shapes in the Endlos “rimless” series. See the latest styles at www.coblens.com
We were delighted to see a new theo frame family for January 2020, inspired by the powerful beauty of the contours and folds of sand dunes around the world. Tottori (above) – named after a dune system on the North West coast of Japan – is one of five shapes in this group of designs that explore soft sloping forms, steep angles and delicate dips. www.theo.be
Neon Berlin showed their new 3d printed collection on an impeccably stylish sustainable exhibition stand that packed into two small hand held boxes – for easy transportation by train. The brand is consistently creative with their style and DNA and explore new materials, groundbreaking manufacturing methods as well as sustainable concepts – an area that was a particular focus at the opti fair this year. Find out more at www.neonberlin.com
In 2021, opti takes place from 8th to 10th January in Stuttgart, Germany. To find further details about the new location visitwww.opti.de
Oversized full-wrap visors (we prefer them slightly retro), geometric statement sunglasses, edgy 70s, 80s or 90s shapes and all the classics we’d expect in metal or acetate. Large or small. Chunky, subtly sporty, and even rimless. Not forgetting the many different versions of the aviator. The streets of Milan are always notable when fashion week takes off and everyone’s in town…and for eyewear, all manner of styling showed up outside the shows, with the emphasis on statement-making via redefined classics. Above: Alex Badia (@thealexbadia) in leather with angular, dark tortoise visor. Photography by Gennaro D’Elia exclusively for Eyestylist.com at Milan Fashion Week (FW2020).
The 1990s continues to play a role in 2020. We expect more focus on angular styles for men with a penchant for classic black edgy looks and dark tortoise tones.
The round traditional eyewear styles are still with us, of course. Classic tortoise designs with the key hole bridge are always a go-to option for the best-dressed in Milan.
Off the catwalk, River Viiperi’s street-vibe look is made easy with a solid metal frame featuring an angled oval eye shape. For more images from Milan, visit our Instagram page @eyestylistmagazine. Photography by Gennaro D’Elia for Eyestylist.com. All rights reserved.
Budapest’s eyewear innovators, Vinylize continue their work in recycling and repurposing material for eyewear with the 357 collection – showing at the opti fair in Munich this weekend. The first line in a new performance collection, 357 incorporates spent cartridge cases as a functional element of the frames. This is the first time an eyewear brand has reused spent ammunition to create wearable frames suitable for everyday. Designer, Zack Tipton said he expects a ‘love it or hate it’ reaction, owing to the controversial nature of the upcycled material’s provenance. “I want to call attention to the casualization of destruction with this collection” he explains. “Not just of humans, but of our planet in general. We have casualized destruction to such an extent that the necessary tools can be easily acquired. And we don’t have the power to stop ourselves from using them.”
The cartridge, also known as ‘casings’ or ‘brass’, is the element that holds the bullet, gunpowder and primer. Casings are made from brass, one of the most well-known metals in jewellery making. According to Vinylize, more than 12 billion cartridges are produced globally per year. In this process, each casing is machined to fit the temple tip and then washed before being incorporated into a 357 frame.
357 is inspired by a philosophy of balance, durability and design. The frame front is made from stainless steel and uses a semi rimless construction to hold the lens in place – designed to reduce frame front weight. A compressed spring is discharge machined into the beta titanium temples for maximum flexibility and comfort. A 357 Magnum cartridge is fitted into each temple tip to create the counterweight and a visible detail for the frames. For more information: www.vinylize.com
2020 will be a year that celebrates timeless classics in eyewear, frames that work with traditional forms and shapes, in high quality materials with an attentive respect for artisan techniques and meticulous hand finishing. In a series focusing on classic style in 2020, Eyestylist will highlight notable new labels and icons of eyewear through the year.
The past few years have seen a flow of new artisan eyewear labels, fascinated by quality, traditional spectacle-making processes and an aesthetic that updates classic design with delicacy and style. One of the finest and latest to arrive in France is Lunettes Alf, who launched their first line in early 2018. “Whether sun or optical, alf glasses are synonymous with high quality,” say co-founders and brothers, Germain and Alexis. Above: introducing new shapes for 2020.
Alf frames are inspired by the early decades of the 20th century, and more specifically the elegance of the rimmed spectacles of the 1920s to the 1950s with beautiful yet restrained colorations, and hand polished surfaces with an eye-catching shine. Designed in Paris and made in Normandy in France, the frames are identified by a small red thread woven by hand into the end tip – a reminder of their artisan provenance and alf’s dedication to quality and considered design.
Lunettes Alf will show their full collection including four new styles at opti 2020 (10th to 12th January 2020) in the opti BOXES (www.opti.de), an area dedicated to new and emerging trendsetters. Their collection is now available in 50 independent optical stores.
About the brand – Alf is a French family business, created in early 2018. Alexis has worked in optics for many years and trained at l’École des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Lunetiers. Germain is an expert in business and works within the luxury sector in France. Designed in their Paris studio and made in Normandy, Lunettes Alf use Japanese acetate and mineral photochromic lenses in designs with a classical elegance, respectful of tradition with a clean, simple aesthetic and predominantly sober, clean lines. Find out more at www.lunettes-alf.com
Iconic designers side by side with emerging cutting-edge labels and the innovators of the industry: the first opti Munich of the new decade takes place this weekend from 10th to 12th January and will provide an exceptional overview of eyewear trends and innovations, with packed halls featuring over 600 exhibitors presenting themselves and their new offerings.
Pushing forward with their long-term commitment to sustainability – one of the most talked about topics in fashion as the new year begins – Swedish innovators EOE Eyewear will present their frame edition made from old eyewear – Regrind. Also showing is the new EOE biodegradable acetate collection – named after Swedish slang words, which has a new ‘chunky-effect’ design expression, and the latest intriguing styles in the Titanium collection. Two of those frames, Krycklan and Ramsan, have a unique design detail which allows jewellery to be attached and suspended as a decoration at the temple. The jewellery pieces are handmade in Stockholm and produced in recycled silver with a tiny gemstone from Swedish Lapland. Find out more details about EOE at www.eoe-eyewear.com
Res/Rei is heading to the fair with new thin acetate designs fitted with multicolored gradient lenses, a tempting glimpse of what’s coming for summer. The touch and feel of the brand’s beautiful styles for the season are key to understanding their artisan quality and refinement. The company has just announced that a new collection will also be released at the show. Watch this space! www.resrei.com
SALT. Optics will show the latest additions in their main line for 2020 and beautifully finished ‘made in Japan’ acetates launched in collaboration with Second/Layer – the Californian fashion brand. The quality and finish of these designs owes much to the brand’s impeccable attention to detail and ‘best in class’ Japanese production. www.saltoptics.com
Spectacle Eyeworks travel to Munich from their hometown of Vancouver. Designer Mehran Baghaie combines stainless steel and acetate in his latest designs which balance inspiration from nature, history and indigenous art. Founded in 1996, this small independent eyewear company has stood the test of time maintaining creativity and technical precision in its lines with bold ideas in shape and colour. Their success and innovative endeavours continue. See the latest designs at www.spec-eyeworks.com
For anyone looking for classy newcomers, Covrt Project promises a new style of eyewear for connoisseurs of street style. The 2020 sunglasses collection _Mission One balances technical details and an authoritative fashion style born in London and realised (according to exacting levels of production) in Italy. The brand exhibits its sunglasses and eyewear accessories for the first time in the opti Boxes. Find out more at www.covrtproject.com
opti – the international trade show for optics & design, takes place at Fairground Munich from 10th to 12th January, 2020. Registration is open to trade visitors at www.opti.de. Written by Clodagh Norton.
Handpicked by Eyestylist.com: The start of a new decade is good reason to showcase our pick of the emerging labels in independent eyewear – from around the world. Here are five we think deserve special attention for their unique design approach, experimental character or dedication to research and genuine aspirations to produce good design with creative inspiration.
1. LAURENCE D’ARI, Antwerp, Belgium
Combining chic styling and made in Italy quality in sunglass designs for women, designer Laurence Bourguignon comes to eyewear having collected frames for most of her lifetime. Her unique style is beautifully represented in the sunglasses collection 2019, where oversized shapes with organic “wavy” details are proposed in beautiful minimal and classical colours with feminine grace. We look forward to seeing more from the brand in the next 12 months. See the Eyestylist 2019 post at https://www.eyestylist.com/2019/08/chic-with-character-laurence-dari-antwerp/ – www.laurencedari.com
2. WE ARE ANNU, Germany
The team at start-up We are Annu are inspiring, enthusiastic and quietly confident and with good reason. Their products speak for themselves – mixing technical precision, minimal design and comfort. They launched at opti in Munich in 2019 and since then they have grown quickly to a team of 18. Find out more at interview at https://www.eyestylist.com/2019/12/we-are-annu/
3. TYCH AND ISET, Los Angeles
The new collection by young designer Morganne Leigh – and specifically the Las Iguanas design – is one of the frames currently our wish list for 2020. Inspired by the flora and fauna of the Galapagos in the Pacific, this is a bold and beautiful statement range of sunglasses by a female creative to watch out for in the New Year. We happen to know there are exciting new things in the works. Find out more at https://www.eyestylist.com/2019/10/the-galapagos-collection-by-tyche-iset/
4. VAERK, Copenhagen
This new label from Denmark is getting good reviews for its balance of style and technical precision, proposing designs that have a lovely Scandinavian minimalist feel achieved in high-class materials such as carbon and stainless steel. The beautiful technical hinge is a collaborative design with industrial design duo Harrit-Sørensen. See our first feature on Vaerk Copenhagen at www.eyestylist.com/2019/10/silmo-paris-notes-on-whats-to-come/
5. LIEN ATELIER, Hong Kong
Film director Jenny Suen has launched this new accessories label, designed exclusively for women. Determined to bring a fine jewellery style to the eyewear chain, Jenny’s first collection offers chains in 18K gold with pretty freshwater pearls. The chains are already stocked in some very unique fashion stores and opticians in Europe and Asia. Find out more at https://www.eyestylist.com/2019/10/exclusive-lien-atelier-jewellery-chains/
While anticipation rises in December for what’s to come, it’s also a good time to look back at what’s caught our eye…here are five frames by independent designers we think you’ll remember for some time to come. To see more of our selections visit our Reviews at https://www.eyestylist.com/category/reviews/
Kirk and Kirk have been flying the flag for colourful eyewear yet again in 2019 and their tones of hot pink and fuchsia or elegant sage (above, cat’s eye model Esme in the Centena collection in sage – https://www.eyestylist.com/2019/03/kk-expressive-video-centennial-celebration/) have helped pave the way for another brightly colored year of independent eyewear in 2020. Model Jasmine in the Spectrum collection was also a particularly outstanding statement design in eye-popping hot pink and we’ve spotted it in stores, far and wide. www.kirkandkirk.com
You Mawo produce made-to-measure 3D printed frames with everyday qualities such as lightness and comfort and a style that is minimal and modern. Alongside the collection they produce some spectacular limited editions – Malina, from early 2019 (featured by Eyestylist at https://www.eyestylist.com/2019/02/you-mawo-limited-edition-malina/) was inspired by the Inuits and has a narrow oval lens shape with eye-catching black Polyamide rim. Find out more at www.youmawo.com
Mask A1 ‘Pretty Vacant’ in the Sid Vicious Capsule is one of eight terrific, creative, rebellious frame designs decorated with safety pins, spikes, metal studs and stacked piercings, achieved through very committed artisan techniques and carving, burning and painting, turning the surfaces “into raw foundations of graffiti splashed walls” to echo the Sex Pistols’ lyrics. This Kuboraum collection is outstanding, good fun, and one of several series we’ve had an eye on this season. www.kuboraum.com
Bocca Song is a titanium frame by FACE A FACE. The Bocca frames are well known for wearing shoes or boots, and on this occasion the boot design is achieved with a cut-out design. The detail makes a perfect companion to the double upper rim of the front which provides a flattering “airy” look when worn on the face. A truly unique design from Pascal Jaulent. www.faceaface-paris.com
By Clodagh Norton – The 100% trade fair in London promises a huge display of eyewear collections in January, alongside the latest tech, lens releases and state-of-the-art optical equipment for opticians and optical practices. Their growing “studio area” for independent labels will welcome new additions for the 2020 show – among which the fair organisers highlight Coral Eyewear (www.coraleyewear.com), an eco-friendly frame producer, and Kaleos, the Barcelona brand offering innovative fashion frames at affordable prices. Above: model Pollitt by Kaleos – released this month in new colours. Find out more: www.kaleoscollection.com
Titanium frames remain hugely popular this season and Ørgreen Optics will showcase some of their highly successful minimal modern styles – named after infamous rap tunes. The strong lines and contemporary details of these frames exude originality and freedom of expression. Find out more at www.orgreenoptics.com
Returning to the London show for 2020, Gotti Switzerland is one of the fair’s prestigious luxury exhibitors and a key innovator in eyewear design: their ultralight, minimal Perspective collection was launched in 2017 and has seen some original new editions including the Perspective “Loop” series (2019 launch) with delicate 3D printed matt polyamide rims – a must see at 100%. www.gotti.ch
Woow is already a favourite French collection at 100% – much loved by the UK market for its bright quirky designs and creative colour combinations. The latest limited edition was the Bolly Wool capsule, inspired by “Bollywood” with Mandala patterns on temples and spiced-up tonal mixes of cardamom, saffron, mint and red pepper. Frames from the collection can be seen at www.wooweyewear.com
SALT. Optics is one of the most distinctive of the US brands attending the 100% fair for 2020. SALT. enjoys a strong relationship with the UK, with the ophthalmic and sun collections available at some of the most unique British independent optical retailers. Their latest designs will go on show at the exhibition, packed with wonderful classic shapes re-interpreted with modern elements and uplifting nature-inspired colours. Find out more: www.saltoptics.com
Lara D’ by Lara D’Alpaos comes to London from the Italian spectacle-making region of Belluno. The latest range includes laminated acetate frames characterised by clean, well defined lines and lovely colour combinations that offer a bold and fresh perspective for the New Year. Find our more at www.laradeyewear.com
100% Optical will take place from 25-27th January 2020 at ExCel exhibition centre, London. The event is exclusively for trade and showcases an overview of eyewear, lenses, optical equipment and business services. A selection of independent brands attend the event each year. A sustainability angle has been added to the fair in recent weeks. The organisers have promised to plant a tree in the name of every optical professional who signs up for the show between now and 8th January and who attends the show from 25th to 27th January, “to recognise and do something positive about the climate emergency.”
Poised. Self-assured. And elegant in its simplicity. Pantone also describes its colour of the coming year as multi-sensory, suggestive of the sky at dusk and reassuring in its qualities, while encouraging us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking.
In eyewear, blue has always held its own, across a spectrum of dark to light tones, from sky to indigo, and turquoise to lapis. Just because the classic blue is back on trend, all blueish hues are likely to see a revival or revamp, through mono, combo and gradient proposals, all of which will have a different style and look for the face. Above: acetate model Brian by Ørgreen Optics. For some of the acetate frames in this new line, colour designer Sahra Lysell says there are as many as three different tones in one single frame. The subtle colour pictured is called ‘Gradient Blue Sand Grey’. www.orgreenoptics.com
The new Get Hired frame at Woow proposes an artistic mix of tones with a translucent effect in the blue acetate. See more styles at www.wooweyewear.com
The Layer Cake series by theo is inspired by the sweetest desserts you can imagine, from Black Forest gateaux to Coconut Cream. The colour combinations subtly hint at the effect of the layers (as above in solid blue with a dark inner rim on the eye shape) or combine very different tones to ‘really stand out!’ Find out more at www.theo.be. Pantone’s colour of the year 2020 is 10-4052 / Classic Blue. By Clodagh Norton
Art Deco Vintage Oxford: TVR® (True Vintage Revival), Japan
Inspired by the classic pince-nez spectacles from the early days of the Renaissance and the late 1800s, when eyeglasses became a highly popular style statement amongst the bourgeoisie, the two new models from the Japanese independent label TVR® work on transforming much loved antique styling into 21st century wearable design. The frames are made in Sabae, Japan, the heart of eyewear production in the country and a place that is revered for its level of artisan quality, workmanship and traditional handcrafting. Above: The new TVR® 525, a round eye shape available in a selection of colours, including antique gold or silver.
Both TVR® 525 (top) and TVR® 526 are also the brand’s first collection made entirely in pure Japanese SPM. From the frame to the temples and bridge, the exquisite round and Panto shapes are patented in the material for exclusivity. The metal temples are also engraved with intricate gold-filled design akin to original vintage Art Deco patterns, worked upon by master craftsmen with exceptional skill and know-how.
Developed by Shintaro Kato in 1930 in Japan, SPM is a precious metal alloy. It was a rare commodity at that time, and cherished by Japan’s Showa royal family for its hardiness, resistance and compatibility with human skin. As such, the export of raw SPM material was not permitted at the time. Today, its remarkable characteristics make it popular in dental accessories and tools for plastic surgery, and TVR® is one of few labels who use it with creativity and passion in eyewear. Despite the name, SPM doesn’t contain platinum — instead, it refers to the soft platinum colour after it has been polished. More importantly, the material retains its shine even after a long period of time. The 68-year-old master craftsman Kanamaru Harumi is behind the production of the two new SPM metal frames from TVR® (True Vintage Revival) – Japan. Find out more about the brand TVR® atwww.tvropt.com
Must-sees at the Munich fair – a packed fair is coming for January 2020
The Munich fair is expecting a busy turnout at the start of 2020. From emerging labels right through to historic eyewear brands, the showcase of eyewear collections at this important event gives a thorough overview of design developments, shining the spotlight on young innovators, creators as well as a host of high-profile fashion eyewear designers.
One of the standouts every year at opti – for artisan frames – is Res/Rei Italy, a small label with a dedicated following, owing to their creative style and close collaboration with Mazzucchelli which results in some very unique and detailed acetate materials. Their products are excellent with many unique and creative shapes and timeless qualities. We also particularly enjoy their covetable jewellery line – made from the leftover acetates – and offering a very chic and special design, with colours that match up with frames. Above: model Begonia from the nature-inspired Flowers collection at Res/Rei – different acetates combine and overlap with each other like the petals of exotic flowers. The frame is pictured in a pink/light pink colorway matched with plain grey lenses. Find out more at www.resrei.com
Belgian design innovators theo have had a particularly spectacular raft of designs launched through 2019, with highlights including their mouth-watering Layer Cake series – featuring titanium plate designs created with two different layers.
At opti, theo will release a completely new “typically theo” eyewear family which they tell us is “warm, soft and comforting yet strong, powerful and unyielding, like….sand.” Check their new website at www.theo.be for more details about their collections.
The Alium collection is always a must-see at the FACE A FACE stand. This is a very distinctive line with focus on men’s eyewear where a balance of technological excellence and a modern approach to colour offers something quite beautiful and different to wear. See more Alium frames at www.faceaface-paris.com
SALT. Optics travels from California for the opti event, with a collection inspired by nature and produced with rigorous Japanese quality driven techniques. Alongside the main line collection, the brand has launched some must-see fashion-focused collabs, which include SALT. + Second Layer and SALT. + Fred Segal where attention to detail and shared values such as quality materials have resulted in exceptional limited editions. www.saltoptics.com
opti – the international trade show for optics & design, takes place at Fairground Munich from 10th to 12th January, 2020. Registration is now open to trade visitors at www.opti.de. Written by Clodagh Norton – all rights reserved.
Sources of inspiration include ancient mosaics, 19th century eyewear + Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
A second collaboration series between artisan fashion designer Uma Wang and the avant-garde eyewear innovators from Hong Kong, Rigards caught the attention of Paris Fashion Week at the fashion designer’s much talked about RTW Spring 2020 catwalk show.
The two designs – UW5 and UW10 – are intentionally closely linked to the previous models, with an aesthetic derived from 19th century eyewear. Above: backstage at Uma Wang, Paris Fashion Week – collaboration design UW10
UW10, (a codename for the 10th anniversary of Wang’s brand) was undertaken as a follow-up design to the successful prior collaboration design, the UW1.
Conceived from a thread that runs through Wang’s latest collection (the golden age of Pompeii), Rigards’ Ti Kwa says they “zoomed in on the smallest element of the decorative arts of the Roman Empire, extrapolating it into something uncommonly inventive.” An eco-friendly bio-acetate is used for the side shield inspired by ancient mosaic glass tiles—” these are as vivid now as they were 2000 years ago, relicts of Pompeii preserved by Vesuvius and the passage of time.”
A further historic inspiration came from the extraordinary stained glass windows at Barcelona’s Sagrada Família, conceptualized by the great Antoni Gaudi and designed and produced by artist Joan Vila-Grau, a highlight of Kwa’s recent tour to Barcelona.
This frame, nicknamed “The Shanghai”, honors another artistic treasure, particularly dear to Wang. The exquisite Old Shanghai Art Deco stained glass windows are a legacy of the once-flourishing, now forgotten Jesuit Tushanwan Orphanage and its exceptional young foundling apprentices. The frame is produced in five spectacular shades, each one a literal rendering of seeing the world through tinted specs.
With an aesthetic derived from 19th century eyeware, UW5 (The Victorian II) reflects the design vocabulary of UW3, a prior collaboration with a minimal silhouette.
The so called “owl-eye” style has been increased in size and thus works ideally for wider faces. “Building with copper allows the application of our exclusive, proprietary ‘Time Machine’ hand-aging process,” says Ti Kwa. “What emerged wer the most beautiful examples of metal coloring—expressive, painterly patina that further enhance the personality of the frames, as though weathered by the passing decades.”
Uma Wang’s Pompeii inspired show took place in Paris in September featuring the collaboration frames with Rigards on the catwalk. For more information about the two brands visit www.rigards.com and www.umawang.comCN
Warm red wine tones, natural eggplant and deep bordeaux have returned to eyewear for the winter season. This flattering array of hues are an elegant lift for winter complexions and cold weather wardrobes, and an easy accompaniment to work or formal attire – and will spruce things up for everyday. Above: Falvin Eyewear, model Equator in matt amethyst with precious rose gold detail. An all-rounder (for work and weekends) where the purple amethyst colour looks beautiful with a touch of gold. An excellent accompaniment to gold jewellery and accessories. www.falvineyewear.com
Style Miriam, in Bordeaux, is a newly released frame from the British brand Kirk & Kirk; made in France it is produced in an acrylic material with a translucent quality that catches the light. The frame has been bevelled or “sculpted” on the edges which gives it a notable artisan finish. Find out more about the Centena collection by Jason and Karen Kirk at www.kirkandkirk.com
Parisian designer Caroline Abram combines colours in her new bold, feminine collection for winter, which highlights burgundy tones and chic shades of pink, adding hints of indigo, dark ruby and bright raspberry or fuchsia. For ophthalmic model Wisdom, the choices include burgundy/marsala (above) and indigo/purple, with the second colour in the pairing outlining the frame shape and providing definition at the brow. www.carolineabram.com
Italian eyewear designer Lara D’Alpaos is also creative in her combinations of colours and layering effects. In the new model Kristel from the Unique Collection at Lara D’, she matches black with deep bordeaux as a couture trim on a sumptuous statement cat’s eye that plays with art nouveau shapes and blocked 3d acetate. Find out more at www.laradeyewear.com
British brands highlighted: Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses, the iconic eyewear company, founded in 1926 and Covrt Project, a streetwear label launched in 2019.
In a London style focus by Eyestylist, we brought together two of the city’s finest street photographers with two British brands that define quality, individuality and eyewear attitude. Above: photographer @boyfromdagbon wears style Winston by Claire Goldsmith at Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses. https://www.olivergoldsmith.com/product/winston/Photography by David Nyanzi (@davidnyanzi) for Eyestylist.com
Model Gopas by Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses is ideal for winter light conditions with lightly tinted sun lenses which remove the brightness of interior light or glare from the sun on a winter’s day. The style is derived from an aviator with a flattened top and angular silhouette. For further details or to buy direct: https://www.olivergoldsmith.com/product/gopas/
Covrt Project’s MP4 from the _Mission One Sunglasses Collection defines this new brand’s ambition to balance innovation and a different design style with cutting-edge quality. MP4 is a hexagonal sunglass with a notable high double bridge and acetate bar. The design has undergone fine machine work to create the bridge and detailing and offers high-level functionality and comfort. This new label’s sunwear and accessories have launched at www.covrtproject.comCN
There’s something about eyewear chains that has captured our attention over the last few years. Big brands and independent designers have re-worked their look in nice materials, and with jewellery details and decorative concepts that have turned them into a desirable must-have statement. Above: Brand new from Oriss London: Spaghetti chain in light Tokyo tortoise made from a biodegradable bio-acetate material
At Orris London, the chic styling of the chains goes hand in hand with a focus on sustainable design and biodegradable materials. Their two chic new styles – previewed at Premiere Classe in Paris in September – are made of bio-acetate, comprising wood pulp and cotton fibre; the Chunky Chain possesses luxuriously oversized links, while the Spaghetti Glasses Chain is defined by a super-sleek silhouette and a completely new concept in styling – one of our personal favourites of the season.
About Orris London / Founder Tara Shen created Orris London after enjoying a career in fashion in Shanghai. A London College of Fashion graduate, Tara’s frequent travels in Europe and Asia inspired her to create beautiful, everyday accessories for modern living, work and travel.
As well as new bio-acetate chain styles, Orris London is committed to using recycled paper instead of virgin paper for stationary and wrapping tissues, as well as unbleached cotton for gift pouches. “We are always looking for ways to improve our eco footprint, and will continue to research new materials and technology for a more sustainable future,” says founder Tara Shen.
Orris London Chains are available at Liberty of London, Le Bon Marché in Paris, and online at www.orris.co.ukCN
It really never went away. But with the resurgence in influences from the 1980s, 90s + 00s, a return of punk, grunge and gothic nuances, and the reemergence of specific iconic items from those decades including the classic black Dr Martens first created in the 1960s, consistently returning as a style piece, black eyewear is on cue to do particularly well in the next weeks and months, in many forms and with the quirkier of statements.
Part and parcel of the genre are the 1990s inspired narrow retro mask sunglasses, much hyped but always evolving thanks to some of the most creative designers in the eyewear business. Above: 90s style reimagined by Factory 900, Japan: model FA-380. Made in Fukui. For details: www.factory900.jp
At Italian artisan label Essedue the inspiration is on the 80s with a nod to David Bowie and a chic “on point” style. Model Saturn, from the PRIMA line, has a strong round lens shape with pointed outer line in black, underscored with a white lower rim. Find out more at https://www.esseduesunglasses.com/product/saturn/
Made of unpolished acetate, model MMRAW016 – in the Mykita x Maison Margiela collection comes in a Raw Black Havana with Black – illustrating that all types of finish and coloration based on black make up part of the season’s new looks. The panto-shaped optical frame with a raised bar highlights visible traces of the milling process, making each model slightly different from another. For more information: www.mykita.com
We have selected a few examples of the black styles now available for A/W 19/00. For more inspiration visit our Instagram page @eyestylistmagazine.
At an impromptu meet in Paris, surrounded by luxury chain designs, more akin to jewellery than most collections we’ve come across, film director Jenny Suen tells me she found her first vintage eyewear chain at a flea market in Paris. She has worn it ever since as part of her signature look. “Over the years, so many people asked me where they could buy one,” she explains. “It occurred to me that there were no chains produced in fine materials or designed with the modern woman in mind. So when I finished my last movie, I decided to create my own.” Above: model wearing Coco (18K gold plated with freshwater pearls)
Launched this year, the debut collection is made with 18-carat gold and freshwater pearls, a tribute to the filmmaker’s/designer’s hometown of Hong Kong, a city known as “Pearl of the East.” Offering sleek lines evoking the city’s iconic skyscrapers, and a romantic modern feminine design, the three launch pieces are named after women for whom Suen has special admiration: Marguerite (Duras), Coco (Chanel), and Faye (Wong).
“Long associated with secretaries, forgetful grandmas, and stuffy librarians, Lien re- imagines the eyewear chain for the modern woman. Once a practical tool to keep optical glasses and sunglasses from the lost and found, the eyewear chain is now a statement-making piece of jewellery for visionaries who imagine, travel, and create….”
Lien Atelier is stocked at Kite Shoreditch (UK), Marc Le Bihan (France) and Kapok Sun Street (Hong Kong). The name “Lien” means “link” in French and Chinese.
About the founder: Jenny Suen is a Hong Kong director. She wrote, produced, and co-directed The White Girl with legendary cinematographer Christopher Doyle. The film stars Joe Odagiri and Angela Yuen in a tropical-noir love story set in the last fishing village of Hong Kong. It screened at festivals worldwide, including a world premiere at at the BFI London Film Festival, was nominated for a NETPAC award at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, and had a special premiere at the Singapore International Film Festival, where it was lauded as an “accomplished first feature from Suen, [heralding] the coming of a new director with the potential to add truly unique offerings to the Hong Kong film canon.” Suen also produced Hong Kong Trilogy, a portrait of the city’s residents in childhood, youth, and old age, which was directed by Doyle. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015. Her next film will be a widely-anticipated Chinese remake of Vera Chytilova’s 1968 Czech New Wave masterpiece Daisies. For more details visit www.lienatelier.comCN
The popular annual eyewear fair Hall of Frames (Zurich, Switzerland) has issued imagery from its new season shoot which took place on site at Papiersaal over a sunny weekend in September. The frames featured include a mix of advanced materials, from lightweight titanium to 3d printed designs, with state-of-the-art details, classically inspired shapes and interesting finishes and treatments. Above: Ørgreen Optics Coeda 964, produced in 100% pure titanium and beta-titanium. www.orgreenoptics.com Photography by Nina-Maria Glahé
Dieter Funk’s acetate frames, produced in Bavaria, Germany, lean toward classic or timeless design principles, with modern updates taking the form of special colorations and material/tonal combinations. For more details: www.funkbrillen.com
The Endlos series by Gmerna-based company Coblens combines titanium temples with modern rimless fronts; the frame front and sides are attached to the lenses with small antique inspired screws with a hexagonal shape. www.coblens.com
Quantum spectacles have an outstanding spherical hinge design and light construction in 3D printed polyamide. The innovative choice of subtle and bright colours is one of many highlights of the Danish brand’s eyewear expertise. www.orgreenoptics.com / Photography by Nina-Maria Glahé for Hall of Frames:https://www.ninamariaglahe.com/All rights reserved.
The next edition of Hall of Frames will take place on 13th and 14th September 2020. For more details, visitwww.hallofframes.chCN
The metal frames of the moment are a sign that 2020 will be another good one for a more minimal style in eyewear. In Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks, the coolest metal frames worn out on the street were neither mini nor oversized, fitting the face to perfection with interesting shapes, angled or geometric forms (octagons and hexagons) in metal tones, and particularly shiny steel, gun and black. Above: fashion influencer Megan Adelaide Schaefer in a black metal frame photographed at Paris Fashion Week by Gennaro D’Elia for Eyestylist.com.
Very, very narrow rimmed frames – whether sun or optical, as above at Mykita, deliver a sharp yet simple style softened with the subtle vintage inspired engraving, in a successful blend of nostalgic and futuristic elements. www.mykita.com
Clean, pared back designs with dark grey or black lens for sunglasses provide streamlined modes that are visual but less showy that in previous seasons with attention paid to craftsmanship and finesse for a simple unembellished but elegant way of dressing.
Cat eye inspired metal shapes, such as Monarch by L.G.R (www.lgrworld.com), are contemporary and striking, balancing glamour and a feminine identity in the shape; the colours of the Monarch are in line with the minimal mood and include matt copper (above) matt black and grey with flat zero base sun lenses made from mineral glass for 100% UV protection and comfort. For more on trending styles, visit https://www.eyestylist.com/2019/10/paris-fashion-week-ss20/CN