Fusing modern materials together in one small spectacle design is an art, and one at which the finest of the independent labels excel. The modern style of the Edward frame by Fleye Copenhagen – one of Denmark’s leaders in fine frame creation – is an example of a combination in raw carbon fibre, colored wood and beta-titanium, where each material complements another, balancing lightness and comfort, alongside contemporary style and design. Above: model Edward by Fleye Copenhagen – a round eye shape with narrow beta titanium bridge and hinge detail
“Each frame is the intersection of craft and art, representing our vision for modern designs, crafted to last.” Fleye Copenhagen
Part of the Elements of Art collection, a range designed as a tribute to the Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen, achieved through a thorough and complex project of experimentation and creative research, this frame offers a shape suited to men and women, with exceptional refinement in the finish and the surface pattern of the wood and an interesting minimal colour palette, reproduced with skill and precision in different artistic combinations.
Continuing its roll-out of new stores with a focus on cities closer to home, MYKITA has opened their first Hamburg store at Neuer Wall 88.
Located between the city’s canals and shopping boulevards, the shop brings the distinctively modern design aesthetic of the Berlin brand to the heritage-listed Stadthöfe, a recently restored architectural ensemble steeped in baroque and neo-renaissance style.
The fourth shop to open in Germany, it offers MYKITA’s comprehensive range of optical services using state-of-the-art instruments from optical partner, Zeiss. The full MYKITA product portfolio is available – the ultra-light stainless steel eyewear designs, mixed material models, and award-winning MYKITA MYLON collection made with 3D printing technology – as well as the design collaborations with Maison Margiela, Helmut Lang, and Leica.
Neon signage marks the street-level shop location in the ‘Palaishaus’ built in 1881. Once inside the six-metre high doorway, visitors are welcomed into a modern, warm atmosphere with a seated consultation area, providing an unrushed and comfortable space to receive a personal and professional optical service. Eyes are immediately drawn to the open mezzanine level and the view of the optical lab and workshop used for in-store frame adjustments and lens fittings. Construction details and furnishings in a deep orange shade break up the reigning warm, neutral tones of wood and stone.
In addition to the MYKITA Shop Hamburg, the brand now has 14 shops worldwide, including locations in Bangkok, Barcelona, Berlin, Cartagena, Los Angeles, Monterrey, Munich, New York, Paris, Taipei, Tokyo, Washington and Zurich. For more information visit www.mykita.com
FRAME CHAIN – The pain of misplacing your favourite pair of glasses is something we can all relate to, Annie and Vanessa – the founders of FRAME CHAIN, are no different. It was after losing countless pairs of designer sunglasses that the epiphany of FRAME CHAIN came to light; not only an efficient and aesthetic solution to an everyday problem, but one that doubles as a high-quality piece of glamorous jewellery. This brand has given a resurgence to the glasses chain I once knew to be a “grandma staple” – now spotted on catwalks from Gucci to Chanel, and available across luxury department stores and retail outlets worldwide.
I would love to know a little bit about the founders of FRAME CHAIN, could you tell us a little about how you two came together? Annie: My path wasn’t really linear, I was obsessed with the entertainment industry for most of my life – a failed professional singer/dancer, so, I headed into marketing in the music and film industry. That was in-spite of studying biology, chemistry and maths beforehand – I wanted to be a surgeon at one point and a lawyer at another. It was my marketing degree that really kept me interested, though. I met Vanessa when I was working temporarily at Oasis – I had fallen up an escalator with a tray of cupcakes, and she was the designated first aid / Visual Merchandising extraordinaire. I consulted in a number of jobs – always in industries facing huge change; I was at Nokia and Microsoft before going to LOEWE. I have almost always had another job as well as FRAME CHAIN, topping up with consulting gigs along the way.
Vanessa: I started off by studying textiles at Loughborough University, as part of my degree I decided to do a year in industry working for a print fashion studio in London – here, I fell in-love with fashion and interior design. After I graduated I dabbled in different areas in the industry, which enabled me to set up my own business in interior styling. I met Annie when I worked in Visual Merchandising and I thought “Oh my life who is this girl?” – the rest is history, she is the best business partner and friend in the world. Above: Vanessa (left) and Annie (right) of FRAME CHAIN, London outside a FRAME CHAIN event at Cutler & Gross
Why do you think glasses chains, which are obviously a necessity to many of us, disappeared in the first place? We always say they didn’t really disappear – they just became less popular – along with trends like MC hammer pants, mullets, stone wash denim, smiley T’s or kick flares. Then, like all good things – they come back eventually; with the help of some tireless plugging, a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work.
Until recent years glasses chains were seen as something only grandmothers wore – my grandma wore fabulous gold chain ones and some with tiny freshwater pearls – I would kill for them now; what do you think enabled the resurgence of glasses chains as a popular ‘trendy’ accessory? We love this question – go Grandma! There are all kinds of theories about how trends start, and now there is social media to add to the mix; how many people carry a smartphone in their pocket? That brings with it an inevitable shift of behaviour and constant communication, plus there is also a complete democratisation of retail with ecommerce. Before things like Shopify or Instagram we had to solely rely on the taste levels of buyers to add products to a store – so the momentum was strained – now people can build a ‘direct to consumer’ brand in a matter of weeks. We were lucky that the independent eyewear business seemed to kick off around the same time we got started; people generally wanted to consume differently and independent eyewear brands became a much more visible thing. We found people who understood what we were doing and began to grow day by day, chain by chain, customer by customer…we restricted access and focused on fashion accounts. I think we really hit momentum when Browns and Matchesfashion approached us, then, about 2 years ago – Gucci, Chanel, and Berluti were just a few of the brands beginning to push glasses chains down the runway. Brands like those highly validate a trend indeed, now everyone – Gentle Monster, Kaleos and Linda Farrow are echoing what we have created.
One thing I find particularly interesting with FRAME CHAIN is the ability to use the glasses chain as jewellery; are the chains utilised more as jewellery or as chains? Annie: Our concept was to create a chain that could double as jewellery with 100% true equal use. Vanessa was a jewellery designer and really insisted on this feature as she didn’t wear glasses, even now she rarely even wears them; she really saw it as something else. I wanted something practical that looked good – Vanessa gave it a beautiful spin and a big point of difference from the very beginning. Judging from what we see on social and in the street, it’s probably 50/50 in terms of how our chains are worn.
The new VINTAGE DISCO collection is fabulous – it seems to encapsulate everything the young people are craving across the world right now; dancing, glamour, getting dolled up and having a good time. Was the inspiration for this collection ignited pre or post pandemic? Also, if you could dress as though you were from only one era of style, what would it be and why? Annie: I love this question. Without fail, it would be the 70’s for me; disco, denim, glam, slogan t-shirts, platforms, sequins, sexy, casual, feminine, suits – oh god I could go on! The inspiration was pre-pandemic, we plan our collections about a year in advance. The original idea was to wear these on a dance floor, so now that isn’t possible, it’s become more about having a little slice of that ‘disco’ mood even if the ‘disco’ itself is absent – a reason to celebrate.
Vanessa: Oh how exciting, I like this game; for me, my favourite era style-wise would be the 1920’s – I love the embellishment and pure decadence.
In light of the pandemic, the trend of face masks has erupted globally, has FRAME CHAIN joined in with this evolving fashion niche? Well of course – we are in it! We started showing masks on chains almost from the very beginning; all of our chains can be used as a mask chain. We also give reusable masks away for free with every purchase on the web – we are cooking up some other plans, but we can tell you about them later.
What accessories, other than FRAME CHAINS of course, can’t you leave the house without? Annie: I am generally wearing at least two FRAME CHAINS – one for reading glasses, one for sunnies and probably one or two as necklaces. I always wear my diamond ring that was a gift from my parents for my 21st, Manolo Blahnik heels, a LOEWE or BottegaVenetta Handbag and a spritz of BYREDO fragrance. Vanessa: I can’t leave the house without my rings that I have collected over the years, most as gifts from my parents, and at the moment – my mask, of course – with my FRAME CHAIN attached to it!
FRAME CHAIN has become such a well established brand – appearing in most of the major department stores across the UK, as well as across Europe and beyond; what can we expect next? Thank you for saying this – we still feel like we are building and growing – yet there is still so much to do. We do have more exciting new products in the pipeline for next year. We will let you know when we are ready to share!
FRAME CHAIN is a brand founded by two brilliantly diverse and creative women, and their innovative, stylish product range is a testament to them; with such a rapidly evolving brand, on the forefront of a trend that seems to be emerging more prominently in the catalogues of every major brand – I can’t wait to see what comes next for Vanessa, Annie and of course – FRAME CHAIN. Shop the FRAME CHAIN styles online at www.framechain.co.uk Interview by Victoria G. L. Brunton exclusively for Eyestylist.com
An experiment comes to fruition: The Good Quarantine collection 2020, produced in a virtual collaboration with opticians around the world
Sustainable principles, a shared human experience and a creative vision: Nina Mûr’s Good Quarantine collection has launched this season. Through a process of virtual consultation and an exchange of ideas during the isolation of lockdown in April and May, the concepts for each model grew out of shared experiences and design discussion, fueling creativity as an “escape” in difficult and uncertain times. Above: model Bux in blue steel / hammered gold. The imagery in the new campaign was inspired by haunting images of David Lynch
“We collected the cinematographic and surrealism of the moment that we lived during lockdown, while we created this very special collection together….” Lorena Serrano, co-founder and creative director
Participating opticians were eventually invited to submit their original designs to be voted on by a panel of professionals, among which Eyestylist was delighted to take part. The resulting collection includes 5 models – Alohe, Ansostyle, Ottificio, Bux and R&B, each one made to order in the label’s high-quality birch wood, a material that is flexible, lightweight and perfectly sustainable, with origins in a reforested cultivation in Finland.
In homage to the scholarly, distinguished appeal of eyeglass styles of the 1950s, new model 20-22 by Paradigm, part of a grouping of frames from this independent label, offers eye-catching eyewear chic in interesting, contemporary colours. Above: model wears 20-22 by Paradigm. The frame is one of four new optical styles and four new sunglasses from the brand – designed to complement a wide range of faces
The smart shape of 20-22 uses a popular metal/acetate combination construction successfully incorporating vintage lines and modern colours of sky, grey, and umber.
Paradigm’s focus on comfort, wearability, flattering shapes and predominantly light translucent colours is further enhanced in this series by delightful new detailing and something unexpected, particularly in the sunglass releases where playful tricks with acetate inserts and strong shapes are beautifully articulated. Our current favourite? This reimagined aviator (20-61) in the sunglasses series (it is also offered as an optical), a style which boasts a classically shaped lens enhanced by unusual acetate edging for a special style-driven statement. Find out more about Paradigm at https://www.eyestylist.com/2020/09/paradigm-emerging-trends-vintage-inspo/ www.kenmarkeyewear.com
New models launched: Ørgreen Optics’ ultra thin eyewear in advanced titanium
The Danish brand’s new Imaginary Lines collection pays tribute to the Ørgreen ethos of innovation combined with material quality, design precision and colour nuances. The seven new models announced are testimony to a label that continues to push boundaries with creative drive and a committed design attitude resulting in contemporary proposals in unique and refreshing colours. Above & below:Balancing colour and design in the Imaginary Lines collection: Model Hemishere by Ørgreen
The classically inspired shapes include model Hemisphere, a perfectly round frame, inspired by the imaginary lines that define the globe. A delicate but impactful frame, the design embodies the lightness of state-of-the-art titanium and the elegance of the brand’s colour world. The colorways range from a shiny rose gold to mat miami ocean green / mat white gold – a light, pure and delicate combination for natural skin tones.
Not to be mistaken with tropical islands, the Tropics frame is named after the regions of Earth surrounding the Equator. A fashion forward frame – distinct for its characteristic geometrical shape, this style is offered in a range of six colours, including mat deep space blue / mat rose gold, and mat brown / shiny gold.
A highlight for men, the Border frame is also the result of a meticulous design – with emphasis on an ultra slim and cool looking double bridge. A wide frame (available in size 56-16-137) and made to fit larger faces, it comes in a range of six colours, including trendy antique finishes of blue, gun or teal.
Ørgreen Optics is an innovator in the field of eyewear with collections which include acetate and precious metals – titanium and beta-titanium. Find out more about the new Imaginary Lines capsule collection highlighting combinations of 100% pure titanium and beta-titanium athttps://orgreenoptics.com/