EYE Q Stylist Optician, Barbados

Alicia Hartman opened Eye Q in 2011 at the luxury location Limegrove Lifestyle Center on Barbados platinum west coast, a shopping hot spot featuring luxury fashion stores – Vuitton, Burberry and Ralph Lauren. Despite a worldwide recession at the time, the shop quickly became the leading independent optical boutique on the island. In 2018, the owner launched her own independent sunglasses label, PFB (Peoples from Barbados) dedicated to the Bajan community and its unique all-embracing lifestyle, filled with warmth, colour and natural style. 

“Many people thought I was crazy to take on a project of this scale with no experience in retail, marketing and management,” explains Alicia Hartman with  a smile. But with the support of her husband Sam and family she achieved what she set out to do,  “with passion and love”.

Alicia set out to offer personalized stylist consultations offering the best eye care with a stylistic approach and a laid back yet professional atmosphere. “Initially we brought the world to Barbados through a combination of designer and independent brands,” she explains. “From day one, I preferred independent brands,  but I did incorporate some of the well known designer brands as crowd pleasers.”

Over the years she gained the trust of clients and was able to focus on creative independent brands. With this came Peoples from Barbados in 2017, Alicia’s own collection of sunglasses. “The shop has a real purpose beyond eyewear and I’m excited. It’s as if we’re taking Barbados, the people and the culture to the world through a truly unique colorful understated and glamorous collection!”

Attention to detail: EYE Q / “Peoples from Barbados” sunglasses

The store itself offers a clean minimal space designed to showcase the frames – with Caribbean flair, and a personal playlist of music that reflects the owner’s love for travel and other cultures. “Initially there were wall decals of different people in glasses. We referred to them as the #eyeqpeoplez with a “z”. In Barbados “my peoples or my people” is a connecting phrase, to make someone feel a part of something special. The idea was always to have a personalized stylistic approach bringing people together in Barbados, regardless of there class or colour – and with one thing in common: “great taste in glasses and the desire to be unique and stand out from the crowd”.

Today a few things have changed. “To liven up the minimal space there are life size black and white portraits of beautiful Bajan faces in PFB eyewear by local photographer Adrian Richards. We wanted to showcase the real Barbados – not just the “postcard images”.”

Personalised eye styling: Alicia fits PFB sunnies on carnival dancer

This season, the collections in the store include independent brands from different cities around the world. “On an island, it’s important to do that! The demographic here ranges from aristocrats to fishermen to artists and celebrities.”

When I select designs I have a specific client in mind. I must offer glamour (Linda Farrow / UK), colour (theo /Belgium) , and technological sophistication (Mykita / Germany). With the Peoples from Barbados collection, we can also offer our own distinctive DNA ‘with Bajan Soul’. “I have aspirations for PFB, to make my Bajan people proud of who they are. I plan to promote Bajan artists and local talent and to encourage them to think independently – to live their dreams!”

Peoples from Barbados Eyewear is available at EYE Q and Selima Optique, New York. Find more details at https://peoplesfrombarbados.com/ CN

Eye Q Stylist Opticians, Limegrove Lifestyle Centre Holetown, Barbados

 

LINDBERG Precious: Refined elegance

LINDBERG Precious embellishes winter festivities with the opulence and beauty of their handcrafted eyewear. The award-winning Danish label – who just received the German Design Award for 2019 in the Lifestyle and Fashion Category – celebrates this wonderful season with frame designs in 18 carat gold with splendid diamond highlights.(Above image: 18 carat solid rose gold with a 0.33 carat baguette cut pink diamond, and a 0.38 carat baguette cut purplish pink diamond) 

LINDBERG Precious 18 carat gold design with pink diamond.

The frames exude masterful engineering with silhouettes that are exquisitely shaped to the contours of the face. Pink is fashion’s energetic and spirited colour of the season, and LINDBERG extols its virtues with the highest quality diamonds in alluring pink – as well as exclusive options in black, and raw uncut, clear diamond accents.

Merry and bright: shimmering diamonds by LINDBERG Precious

With minimalist construction, the frames are featherweight, yet durable, and each frame is individually crafted. The distinguished collection includes designs for men and women.

LINDBERG Precious tiny treasures: sparkling pink diamonds

Treat yourself this holiday season, and just as importantly – your eyes – to the dramatic brilliance of a LINDBERG Precious design – a gift that truly keeps on giving – with its timeless, sophisticated beauty. www.lindberg.com JG

 

 

Von Arkel: Timeless and traditional elegance

Simplicity is sublime and nobly emulates in the streamlined eyewear designs by Von Arkel in Switzerland. Complex engineering by master craftsmen combined with traditional spectacle making techniques, ensure that Von Arkel frames accentuate innovation; lightness; unparalleled flexibility; and comfort.

Von Arkel Calibre 4 Outline Sunglasses

Switzerland excels in watchmaking, and certain elements unique to that industry are also reflected in Von Arkel designs – such as chamfers (cut-aways to make a symmetrical sloping edge) and the intricate, meticulous polishing – so respected and renowned for Swiss watches. These characteristics are beautifully expressed in Calibre 4 Outline designs.

Buffalo horn Calibre 7.95

Buffalo horn has long been considered amongst the most regal of eyewear materials; used in spectacle making for centuries. However, Von Arkel has a modern, environmentally-aware take on Buffalo horn – using only horn from domesticated Indian buffalos that have passed away. Warm, rich tones of Buffalo horn united with Von Arkel’s intricate, precise crafting results in a luxurious design that will be appreciated – and enjoyed – by the discerning wearer.

Von Arkel Steelmaster Gemstone

Superb gemstones opulently accent frames that are exquisitely crafted with unprecedented quality and distinction. Shimmering diamonds sparkle on a Calibre 8 Steelmaster design that embraces the apex of sophisticated gracefulness.

Von Arkel Calibre 9 Entourage Sunglasses

The Calibre 9 Entourage collection includes sleek silhouettes with enticing details: no rivets, no soldering or setting – and no screws. The Calibre 9 has a complex, hidden mechanism featuring a friction-controlled movement – a hinge that is durable, and a frame exceptionally comfortable to wear. Discover more of the illustrious and exquisite spirit of Von Arkel Switzerland at www.vonarkel.com JG

At work & home: Annette Esto at Fleye

Annette Esto, Head of Design at FLEYE Copenhagen, warmly shares her perspectives with Eyestylist, and highlights her design concepts that transcend eyewear itself…and into the beautiful FLEYE Headquarters and her homes.

What qualities and character of Danish design history – with its simplicity and subtle details – have been the most important influence for your eyewear creations and home interiors? “Danish design is renowned for its clean lines, functionality and timeless approach. I like when classics come with a twist: a bright colour or an edgy detail, despite the clean simple lines of the Danish aesthetics. This is highly reflected in my home, where for example, I have a classic Scandinavian ‘smedker’ kitchen – I combined the traditional wood work with a bright, modern orange colour. Also, in FLEYE’s eyewear design we mix classic simplicity with a twist, where tradition meets the modern in innovative ways.” (Top image: Annette Esto with art by Inka Sigel)

“I like classics with a twist” Annette’s kitchen

Enriched cultural concepts ostensibly filter into your eyewear designs – like the Smorrebrod. What other perceptions filter into your home decor, as well as frames, such as travel or other artistic inspirations? “I love artworks – especially abstract art and abstract paintings that play with powerful colours, sharp contrasts, and different materials. My favourite painting is the one I have in our entry – an oil painting by Inka Sigel where different materials are sewn through the canvas. I have always been creative beyond what has become my profession, and personally I love to make flower creations and bouquets. For FLEYE AW18 eyewear, we have actually found inspiration in Flora Danica – an iconic collection of botanical illustrations from the 18th century. Taking a fresh look at the subject, we created our own floral portraits using flowers, trees, and shrubs often seen in Danish gardens. In order to set the right mood for an Autumn & Winter campaign, we decided to freeze flowers in ice blocks, leading to rich and dense colours, as well as the structures and shapes of our newest eyewear.”

Painting by Inka Sigel – a German designer who has worked in Denmark for nearly thirty years. Different materials are sewn through the canvas.

You have a great interest in architecture. How has this inspired and cultivated interior creations in your home? “My home is a balance of traditional and modern furniture. In the dining room, I have a nice classic dining table where I have mixed Eames chairs in all kinds of different colours to give it a more personal and contemporary – yet timeless look. The same goes for the FLEYE office building, which is an old architect-designed manor house from the beginning of the 18th century. The building is protected and preserved in an old-fashioned style with high ceilings, but I have combined it with modern furniture in contemporary colours to give it a personal twist.”

Barfredshoj – the historic manor house for FLEYE Headquarters

Please tell us a brief history of the FLEYE offices and the intriguing building where frames are designed blending “urban impulses with classic simplicity.” “The FLEYE office is a historically beautiful manor house – Barfredshoj – built in 1800 by a German architect Peter Hetsch. Barfredshoj’s architecturally unique rooms and idyllic location form the setting for FLEYE’s creativity and inspiration. To me it is very important to be surrounded by nature and to have a wide and beautiful view – this is reflected in both the eyewear design, at the FLEYE office, and in my home.”

Annette with her team at FLEYE HQ

What designers most influence you in today’s constantly changing, dynamic and tech-savvy environment? “Issey Miyake because he is timeless and classic. I can wear a ten-year-old piece from Issey Miyake at a fair and still receive compliments. His clothes are designed in amazing shapes and structures, and he mixes clean lines with patterns or fun colours. It is also very functional at fairs because the clothes don’t crease or wrinkle.”

Open and airy – the kitchen in Annette’s Summerhouse

In the future, what is a design project that you would most like to create and pursue? “I will continue to work within this nice path, which my team and I have worked so hard to get to, where we keep on surprising and challenging ourselves positively as well as our customers. The next project will be to transfer this beautiful flower concept into a Spring/Summer setting for our SS19 eyewear.” www.fleye.dk JG

Frame Chain: how will you wear yours?

The rise of the eyewear chain continues as our love affair with decorative details, chunky gold jewellery and semi-precious stones moves forward into the new season. The UK’s no. one company in this department – Frame Chain – has come over all glam for 2019 – proposing a wide selection of new designs as the finishing touch for any outfit – for women, and yes, men too. Above: Classic pearls are a feature of the new season collection at Frame Chain.

The Diamond Geezer from Frame Chain

With the launch of their new campaign, designers Vanessa Harrington and Ann-Margret Kearney demonstrate the complete versatility of the chains, which are equally as beautiful worn as a necklace (top image) or suspended from the frame itself (see above). We also love the bling effect of two or three worn together!

The Golden Balls: an original design by Frame Chain

All the designs come with two sets of attachments in black and white, to coordinate with your chosen eyewear, and feature a small statement Frame Chain logo plaque. More styles can be found at www.framechain.co.uk as well as Selfridges, Matches and Liberty of London. CN

Campaign Credits: Photography by Alastair Strong / Stylist Ailsa Jane Miller/ MUA Anna Gibson / Creative WE ARE DISCO/ Models Nejilka & Paige Saffron.

Zack Tipton, Vinylize + Cinematiq

Zack Tipton is the founder of VINYLIZE Eyewear – the only high-quality independent frame brand to create iconic sun and optical designs from old records – and CINEMATIQ, a collection that features old film footage inside the frames. He lives with his family in Budapest, Hungary.

Producing eyewear from vinyl has had its own peculiar challenges, but over the years, through perseverance and hard work, TIPTON Eyeworks has achieved much success since the first vinyl prototypes were created in 2000. Today the team and their artisans work out of an impressive established boutique and studio in central Budapest and boast an enviable and extraordinarily diverse list of VIPS wearing their designs – both in and outside the music + film industries. Their most recent limited editions were produced for Lana del Rey and Kendrick Lamar for the summer festival Sziget: https://www.eyestylist.com/2018/08/vinylize-for-lana-del-rey-kendrick-lamar/

Tipton in Budapest

Asked to reflect on his most exciting career moment so far, Zack refers to their constant efforts to make customers happy, which has driven him from the very beginning. He tells this story with pride and humour. “We had launched our Erotic Cinematiq collection which featured frames decorated with strip tease movies. It was selling like hot cakes and an order came in from London for a custom piece to feature details of male strippers. I wasn’t able to get suitable film for the delivery date so I improvised taking selfies with an old SLR camera and some reversal film…we used this footage for the Cinematiq design and that is the piece that Elton John is wearing.”

CINEMATIQ: re-released in 2018 with a stunning finish, the film appears in the temples

As well as the main collection Vinylize – produced from old records – the Cinematiq line today continues to attract a new following. “We re-launched this line this year with a 10-piece collection in three colours. Like the original collection, this one uses film stills in the temples, but we have managed to hugely improve the quality. The film strip is now laminated which protects it and the temples hold the film securely. We will soon be offering film choices.”

“Tipton has always had recycling at its heart”

And as with many of the most creative and innovative of the independent labels in this industry, there is always something new in production, or a special collaboration underway. One of the latest at Tipton, in production when Eyestylist was invited to Budapest in May, involves Nespresso. “Tipton has always had recycling at its heart. Vinylize transforms old vinyl records into eyewear. Cinematiq uses old film strips. Recycling is one of the brand aspects Tipton is known for and this is why Nespresso approached us to make frames out of their recycled aluminium capsules. We have designed and produced a three-piece collection – available in four colours. The material for the frames is produced from their used capsules. A trial run was launched in May and the response was astounding. We expect to see it released for purchase from January 2019.”

“Shook” : VINYLIZE x AC/DC

Similarly, Vinylize has a link up with AC/DC in a special edition collection that’s fresh, young and already sported by some huge stars in the music business, including Shawn Mendes. This collection, along with other one-off -new editions, will show to international buyers at SILMO Paris this month. It’s already available in specialist optical boutiques, in Europe and further afield. “The expanding Vinylize x AC/DC is coming to Paris. We will also release our colored vinyl collection – and a very special CINEMATIQ edition with footage from the “The Godfather” and some vintage erotic film. It’s an exciting time!”

Tipton Eyeworks is located at Iranyi utca 20, Budapest 1056, Hungary. The showroom and studio welcome visitors to see how the frames are created. VINYLIZE Eyewear is available worldwide at selected stores and online at www.vinylize.com CN

Celebrating photographer Bill Cunningham

On the streets of Manhattan, he was a familiar sight, his slim, lithe figure gliding skilfully amidst the raucous city traffic on his battered bike; trusty Nikon camera dangling from his neck. Bill Cunningham was an amazingly influential style authority and trend-spotter in the late 20th century. He was a beloved figure on the city’s streets, and in 2009, Cunningham was designated a New York living landmark. He captured the fashion icons of the day; attended museum openings and benefit dinners, in order to document the latest craze. When Bill Cunningham noted an item of fashion interest, headlines followed. (Photo above: Bill Cunningham on his bike – photographing Tziporah Salamon, 2011 Photo courtesy Antonio Alvarez)

Toni “Suzette” Cimino in New York City, 1974 New York HIstorical Society Library, Melanie Tinnelly Collection of Photographs of or by Bill Cunningham and Toni “Suzette” Cimino

Celebrating Bill Cunningham at the New York Historical Society is a wonderful tribute to his eclectic creativity, with a selection of objects, personal correspondence, photographs and ephemera that reflect his life and work. His career began as a milliner with stylish “Willian J” hats, as he described his label. On display at the museum is a beach hat – which even Cunningham described as “a bit outrageous.” His photography stint started in the 1960’s and for fifty years, he photographed and catalogued what New Yorkers wore on the streets. His favourite vantage point was 57th Street and Fifth Avenue – where gilded fashion emporiums Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany and Bonwit Teller (until the latter was demolished) were certain to attract the “fashionistas” of the era, and Bill could capture the moment with his Nikon.

Ciel Bicycles New York City retailer, Biria Germany est. 1976 manufacturer Bicycle used by Bill Cunningham, ca. 2002 New York Historical Society, Gift of Louise Doktor,

The New York Historical Society has acquired his iconic Nikon camera; the French workers jacket that Cunningham adored for its numerous pockets; and one of his many bicycles. It is estimated that he owned at least thirty bikes over the years; frequently the bikes were stolen.

French workers Jacket worn by Bill Cunningham 2000s Cotton New York
Historical Society

A transplanted Bostonian, Cunningham evolved into the quintessential New Yorker, who was passionate about the city, art and politics. This touching tribute to Cunningham is a reminder of what a revolutionary he was at the time…and how much he is missed. Celebrating Bill Cunningham New York Historical Society Museum & Library through 9th September. www.nyhistory.org JG