The first stylish eyewear wallet, by Quentin Stubbe
For those of us who love our frames, and travel or move about regularly, Beaumour Paris is an exciting new accessories entry, with products in leather produced by hand. The star of the line is an eyewear wallet – the first of its kind, designed to accommodate all the essentials: while it has the form of a “classic” specs case it opens neatly into a wallet with space to protect your glasses or sunglasses.
The wallet can hold a frame and up to 10 cards, with space for banknotes, tickets or an ID card. Built inside the lining is an RFID system, an effective protection against contactless credit card hacking.
About the designer: Quentin Stubbe is passionate about style and quality, and has studied luxury leather production and bootmaking. He launched Beaumour Paris in 2019 and has quickly received orders for his innovative leather goods, and the first good-looking Eyewear Wallet. The product range, which also includes a card holder glasses case, is available online at www.beaumour-paris.com and through over 150 opticians in Europe. Beaumour Paris will exhibit for the first time at Mido in Milan in February. For more information about Beaumour visit www.beaumour-paris.com
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.
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.
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 with 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!
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
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
Opened in 2007, the exquisite Tokyo store offers an impressive architect-designed interior and one of the widest selections of frame collections we’ve ever seen.
Decora, Tokyo is located close to Tokyo Station in a tasteful shopping centre inside the Shin-Marunouchi Building. Their name means “deconstruction” – and refers to their focus on individuality and service “to help pick the frame most suited to your desire and needs.” Huge glass windows welcome the passer-by, who can see straight inside to the back of the store and its light, minimal interior.
The wide choice of frames available is mainly not out on display. Shop manager Takayuki Okabe, told us that like European stores, Decora has been designed like this to buck the trend in Japan and put greater importance on the personal consultancy with the customer, before the eyewear is picked out – in a peaceful and pleasurable atmosphere.
What is highlighted, is on show in architectural displays behind the main area of the shop, arranged with care and subtlety, honing in on the designs and shapes and less focus on bright colour or showy styles. The extensive choice of well known and lesser known brands from Japan available here include Yellows Plus, Yuichi Toyama, and the elegant Propo Design collection; European brands represented include LINDBERG from Denmark, Mykita from Germany and from LA, Jacques Marie Mage and Ahlem. Shapes like the classic round metal rims and the Boston, Panto and 3P shapes extend across the displays of eyewear to a beautiful, mysterious chest containing examples of rare vintage spectacles. The distinctive Diffuser Tokyo silver and leather glasses holders and accessories – the ideal accessory match for these luxurious frames – take pride of place in the window presentations of the shop.
For those who would like to see an example of one of the finest independent stores in Japan, Decora is a haven of minimalism and luxury style while maintaining an unpretentious and friendly atmosphere. It’s a rare example of a retail environment in which to choose a unique timeless pair of spectacles in the hands of experts with a deep knowledge of the history and culture of eyewear and its most directional and refined representative collections of today.
Shinmaru Building 2F, 1-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-Ku – www.glasses-co.jp Decora owns a second store in Kobe, Japan. The store stocks similar brands including Mykita, Yuichi Toyama and Native Sons. Special thanks to Takayuki Okabe, Decora and Masaki Hirose, Diffuser Tokyo.
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