Eyescan Toorak, Melbourne

Constrasting materiality with a refined finish at new practice, designed by Studio Edwards

Eyescan, Melbourne opens its new architect-designed store just next door to its well-known location on Toorak Road. The design, by award-winning practice Studio Edwards, presents an immersive and refined experience for the customer with a bold display of more than 300 frames throughout the distinguished contemporary retail space.

Interior at Eyescan: “a design language taking inspiration from the glasses themselves”

The interior makes use of existing raw brick work walls – in white – revealed to contrast with floating shelving. Blackened raw steel and walnut cabinetry form functional vertical frames supporting the shelves and highlight specific zones within the store. A walnut island display bench adds focus to the front of the store while to the rear, the ceiling is subtly angled downwards to define the waiting area and consulting rooms.

Eyescan offers a unique mix of fine eyewear brands ranging from the avantgarde styles by Lool Eyewear (Barcelona) to fine classics such as Persol, Moscot, Maui Jim and Garrett Leight. The Eyescan team is lead by Dr Harry Unger, ophthalmologist and Dr Natalie Savin, optometrist.

Eyescan, 467 Toorak Road, Toorak Victoria 3142 – www.eyescan.com.au – An architectural project by www.studio-edwards.com – built by Yarra Valley Commercial. Photography by Mike Baker

Streetwear style…in eyewear

Sunglass trends for streetwear aficionados

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 & Bernhard Willhelm: LOST – in stainless steel (Glossy Gold)

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

MP4 by Covrt Project – from _MissionOne collection

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

Feline with sparkle: Vera Wang model Diana

Cat-eye sunglasses, and even the sparkly varieties, are much more versatile than you might imagine, looking beautiful and stylish with swimsuits or boho flares – as much as with wedding or special occasion wear. For SS20, the classic styles are strong and statement-driven, with pointed corners and angular contours; colours continue to pop, from dreamy and classic  (black, milky white, crystal), through to bold or extreme – if you wish (neon pink, baby blue, canary yellow). Above: @pamelatick wears model Diana by Vera Wang in black with Swarovski decoration. Photographer: @findyourcalifornia

Diana by Vera Wang: a classic retro silhouette available in tones of black and dove

Model Diana by Vera Wang endorses the full classical shape of the cat’s eye, whilst also playing with the uplifting shimmer of Swarovski crystal clusters, a much loved detail borrowed from the 1950s when jewellery-style detailing was ‘a la mode’. The new collection by Vera Wang includes feline cat eyes, square oversized sunglasses and trendy geometric metal-rimmed aviators – styles that will trend for Spring 2020. Find out more at https://www.kenmarkeyewear.com/Frame/Vera-Wang-Eyewear/Diana/DIAN

Brand storytelling: Blackfin, Italy

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.”

Blackfin 2020:  a campaign linked to values through an intensely emotional “memorial”  + art work – photography by Giovanni De Sandre

“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.

Blackfin 2020 eyewear collection: on location at the Grand Cretto

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 Timeless Memories and the new SS20 eyewear releases, visit www.blackfin.eu

Andy Warhol, Tate Modern, London

A new exhibition of Andy Warhol’s work (12th March 2020 to 6th September 2020) at the Tate Modern, London promises a new look at the life and work of the pop art icon. Warhol (1928-87) was one of the most celebrated artists of the end of the 20th century and his life and work continue to inspire continued discussion and new interpretations. The unique nature of his work continues to inspire artists and creatives around the world.

This major retrospective, the first of its kind for almost 20 years, will feature iconic pop images of Marilyn Monroe, Coca-Cola and Campbell’s soup cans, as well as work never shown before in the UK.

Twenty-five works from his Ladies and Gentlemen series – portraits of black and Latin drag queens and trans women – are shown for the first time in 30 years. Visitors will also be able to play with his floating Silver Clouds and experience the psychedelic multimedia environment of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, dated 1966 and featuring musical performances by The Velvet Underground.

Image above: Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987) Self Portrait 1986 – © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc / Artists Right Society (ARS) New York and DACS, London. The Andy Warhol Exhibition is organised by Tate Modern and Museum Ludwig, Cologne in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and Dallas Museum of Art. For more information visit www.tate.org.uk

 

Tim Williams, YR

Globally known as the ‘kings of customisation’ and the go-to fashion tech company for all things personalised including apparel, footwear and accessories, YR was launched seven years ago by Welsh school friends, Tim Williams and Tom Hogan. The company has worked with a wide spectrum of brands, as well as high-profile fashion labels – Michael Kors, Nike and Ralph Lauren are among their client list – and has offices in New York, LA, Hong Kong and Tokyo.  They are on course to turnover £10m this year. Eyestylist spoke to Tim Williams, Co-Founder.

Customisation continues to be a very hot topic in fashion. Can you outline how YR started and how the business has evolved? We started in 2013 as a custom fashion brand – a consumer brand that enabled anyone to come into a YR store and easily create designs on tees, sweatshirts and accessories and then watch as they were printed in just a few minutes. We were very early adopters of experience first retail – no printed inventory in the store, so everything was made on-demand, and the whole theatre and excitement of creating the item and then seeing it come to life live, in-store was really something unique.

YR opened multiple stores all over the world – but sadly it was a difficult business, none of us were experienced at fashion retail and it was tough without serious investment. So, we repositioned what we did and went B2B – helping other brands bring on-demand and customisation to life in-store, at events or online. Now we have 5 offices in London, LA, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong and work with brands on all manner of projects – big and small – all over the world. It’s quite the evolution!

You have worked with global fashion retailers including DKNY, REEBOK and L’Oreal. What has been your most exciting creative project to date? That’s a really hard question and actually the answer is, the most creative time was when YR was a consumer brand. It was exciting that we could make decisions and release artwork packs and see how customers liked them, with live feedback talking to them and seeing their reactions. We worked with some great artists in our London stores; one personal favourite was LA illustrator Bob Motown who loves pizza and cats. Commercially my favourite creative project was working with Liberty where we brought Liberty prints to life on scarves and t-shirts in the iconic London store. Customers could use the patterns to make new designs and add their own touches, it was really incredible to be able to delve into the archives.

YR x Lagerfeld: A tribute to Karl: The White Shirt Project

Are you a creative or a tech geek? Who brings the creative direction to YR? I think I am creative, it would be hard not to be and get where we are. But, I don’t think its either/or when it comes to tech – there are plenty of creative techie people. I guess I am one of them, I understand the technology but also have a love of creativity, art and design. My business partner and long term friend, Tom, is both creative and highly technical – so not only is Tom heading up our software side but he also drives the creative concept of the business alongside me.

What is your view of how this direction in customisation will further evolve? Made-to-order, bespoke and custom products date back hundreds of years – the great tailoring tradition used to be the preserve of the rich and now, YR, and many others are working hard to make customisation and ‘one of one’ manufacture a reality for mass goods. So I think this is just the beginning. Evolution will take many forms – today, in-store you use touchscreens to make or tweak designs, maybe that will be more gesture or voice-controlled in the near future. The production techniques are moving forward rapidly as machine manufacturers understand this new need for smaller, more nimble machinery. I think there are lots of new production techniques and customisation options on the horizon, not previously possible. Jewellery and accessories are a large area that has a lot of potential. I think 3D printing will come of age and be quicker and better than ever. More importantly, I think consumers will cherish their custom made products more than ever as we strive to have less ‘stuff’ but better and more meaningful relationships with clothing and accessories. The future is exciting!

YR: Collaboration with Bathing Ape in Selfridges, London

As a company, with offices far afield, what is your key focus? Is sustainability something you think about? Of course, the global nature means there are some elements of travel that are not good for the environment. That is an issue for us as a business. But, we are enabling a more sustainable future – one reason is the answer above – we want consumers to fall in love with their items and cherish them, something that bespoke and customisation really encourages. As we start 2020 on-demand production and a move away from just customisation is key for YR. That means that instead of a customer choosing a pre-made item, the item is made just for them when they want to buy it. This hugely reduces waste and eliminates stockpiles over time. Sustainability and reduction in oversupply is a key reason we do what we do – we are working alongside some of fashion’s biggest brands to make them more sustainable whilst improving the customer experience.

What inspires you personally? I love building the company and doing something that people love. At YR we put our team first, which means we grow and learn and get better, together. That’s inspiring. Also, I love new ways of doing things and being creative with finding solutions. I’m passionate about turning the traditional business model of fashion on its head and I am constantly inspired by the people I meet.

Do you enjoy being in the fast lane of the new directions in fashion and on demand production? Sometimes. Ha. That’s the truth, really. It’s great when it’s great, but being in the fast lane or on the leading edge of anything opens you to issues and there is no proven path for what we are doing. That can cause customers to have very high expectations – which is not always fun. However, for the large part, it’s great – thinking we have helped shape a market that didn’t exist before us (in-store design via large screens) is interesting. Having our tech running all over the world feels good, and most of the time cancels out the stress of the demanding side of being in the fast lane. Find out more at https://thisisyr.com

Interview written by Clodagh Norton