A pledge to show support of independent retailers in the COVID-19 crisis with donation from online sunglass sales
Young Swiss eyewear label Einstoffen is taking immediate action in light of the global health crisis by donating a percentage of their online sunglasses sales back to their long-term optical partners.
Philippe Rieder told Eyestylist: “We have decided to support our customers in these difficult times as much as our strengths allow. From 18th March to 19th April 2020, 50% of the turnover of each pair of sunglasses purchased online will be credited to the opticians in the town where the purchase has been made.”
“We do not want to benefit at the expense of our partners. Our corrective frames will continue to be available only in specialist shops but we hope that this percentage of our online sunglasses sales could at least help alleviate our customers’ losses in some way…”
This spring, the brand has launched its biggest collection yet: ‘Stand Tall, Run Free’ with 40 new styles in titanium, wood acetate and steel. It celebrates independent minds and free spirits with forward-thinking designs, unusual materials and material combinations, with a focus on easy-to-wear design with the occasional ‘surprising twist’.
‘Stand Tall, Run Free’ stays true to the signature Einstoffen style, mixing natural resources with technical materials and easy-fitting shapes. New eye-catching details include very detailed micro-engravings, sprayed titanium, lenses in multiple colours and tiny wooden inserts. Find out more about the collection at www.einstoffen.ch
EINSTOFFEN is a young eyewear and fashion brand founded in 2008 by four friends from Switzerland. Inspired by nature, art, film and music, the brand has since created shirts, glasses, sunglasses, T-shirts and watches for cosmopolitan individualists with a sense of humour. “In our eyes, eyewear and streetwear, nature and urbanity, Swiss quality awareness and a pinch of extravagance go together very well.”
The eco choices in eyewear continue to widen and neubau eyewear from Austria – one of the young innovative companies focusing on eco-friendly design, has just added to its selection of materials with their own new 100% bio-based ‘natural3D’. A special edition sunglasses collection has been released to show off the fresh relaxed styling and fresh Spring-infused colours available, with 3 models – Romy (above on model), Maurice and Alain.
What is ‘natural3D’? The all-new material, natural3D by neubau eyewear, is created via an innovative and sustainable production process. The surface is skin-friendly with smooth sealed edges and vibrant colour intensity which will not fade. The material is formed using the oil extracted from the castor oil plant’s seeds. The resulting powder derived during this extraction is merged together layer by layer by a laser during 3D printing and any excess material is then reused for additional frames (ensuring zero waste).
neubau eyewear has also launched four new optical styles in the new eco-friendly material, available from April 2020. The frames are named after environmental activists. For mode details visit www.neubau-eyewear.com
Big, colourful and bright! Essedue’s acetate sunglasses for Spring/Summer are for those who love statement design and Italian finesse with quality UV protection. Model 360 has a wide enveloping square-ish shape and a sculpted ‘bevelled’ effect on the front, a charming detail which highlights the artisan skill. www.esseduesunglasses.com/en/product/woman-cateye-sunglasses-mod-360/
Collection 2020: re-edition of ‘favourite styles’ with elegant contemporary finish – a celebration of the sustainable label’s 10th Anniversary
One of eyewear’s innovative ‘treasures’, creative, pioneering, and committed to excellence in design, EOE Eyewear is celebrating 10 years in the optics business with inspirations in art and beautiful, wearable signature eyewear collectibles. Among the re-edition frames, each one updated with special nuances and nature inspired hues, are models Burträsk and Abisko – created in two special editions.
The EOE Eyewear brand started in 2010 when Erik and Emilia Lindmark were taking a snowmobile ride outside the small village of Ammarnas in northern Sweden. The white and softly rolling landscape gave birth to the idea of an eyewear brand that would combine inspiration from the barren nature of Lapland with the fastidious elegance so significant for Scandinavian design.
To mark the special Anniversary, EOE Eyewear has also been developing a special artistic collaboration. Finnish artist, Linda Linko has worked to translate some of the most evocative places and materials of their homeland which have inspired the EOE co-founders Erik and Emilia Lindmark throughout their first 10 years. Her work (above) will appear in packaging and cleaning cloths in 2020.
Burträsk is the cool cateye of the EOE Eyewear “family.” Inspired by Emilia’s grandpa, this dramatic feminine statement frame is now reissued in a new material, made entirely from waste products from inside the EOE Eyewear factory.
The light modified cat’s eye shape of the second Burträsk edition is a wonderfully creative interpretation of this dramatic shape, with a lightness achieved through the open sections above the lenses and the narrow semi-rimless structure of the smooth metal which frames the top rim.
Model Abisko is named after a village located north of the Arctic Circle, a place known for spectacular views of the aurora borealis. The newly updated aviator shape has a very fine chic profile and highlights the U-shape of the Lapponian Gate, a striking element of the local landscape. Produced in a wonderful trendy green tinted titanium, the new edition also has a graduated tinted lens, inspired by the colours of the Northern Lights.
Meanwhile the Abisko Round takes the concept further in an oval eye shape with a uniquely feminine yet minimal design. Inspiration for the subtle delicacy of the light pink-purple lens tone comes from the early morning hues of Lapland’s crisp winter skies.
“All of our frames are sustainably produced and fully recyclable and bio-degradable. EOE of today is considered a pioneer in sustainability. In 2019, we broke new ground when launching REGRIND, a concept which made us the first player in the global eyewear industry to produce new frames made from old ones.” – Emilia Lindmark, EOE Eyewear
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.
A Japan Edition by the exclusive Fukui label, TVR returns to Milan this month with all kinds of new eyewear treats for special release. They include the Arnel® Alumi Bespoke series, the first vintage style model in the line with Alumi (aluminium) temples combined with a 6mm Zylonite front. The Arnel® Alumi design has a three-dimensional line effect on the temple which also offers lightness and corrosion-resistance. Above: Alumi Bespoke in matt marmalade with light grey Alumi.
Frames featuring aluminium were popular in the 1940s and 1950s. TVR® has perfected the material by adding an additional coating, ensuring it is scratch-proof and elegantly finished with vivid colours. The aluminium construction makes the frame extremely durable and tough while providing a sleek all-metallic look.
The Alumi Bespoke frame, the shape of which is inspired by the classic James Dean horn-rim shape, is available five colour combinations and a new greenish-blue clip with polarised sun lenses. The design is the exclusive work of the master craftsman Sawada Yaemon from Sabae, Japan. www.tvropt.com
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
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 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
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 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!
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
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.
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
Emerging label We Are Annu represent the new-generation of innovators in 3D printed eyewear from Germany. Having created their brand amongst friends four years ago, they are now evolving their output and creative direction through shared values, commitment to quality and a genuine desire to innovate. The brand currently specializes in durable, lightweight 3D-printed frames and uses a screwless titanium “Clip” hinge which lends a flexible and robust structure to the design. They also offer a choice of temple size and nose pad, giving an adaptable fit for all face shapes and sizes.
We are Annu is a start-up with a particular design and philosophy. Can you explain how you set up and who the team is? We started in summer 2016, and over the past three years, the team has grown from a single person alone in a workshop, to a group of eighteen of us. Most of whom are also shareholders. We developed it this way because we wanted to create a team of young people who could make something happen together and at the same time, for themselves. Our sense of ownership and responsibility to one another is what makes our brand unique. And this approach has proved a success for us – over and over again.
As a young, creative company, what are your aspirations? Our focus is simple, we aspire to make the best possible product. That is why we spend considerable time on the details, working and reworking solutions. Our approach is that of continued refinement through an iterative design process because we want to continue to make it better. The end goal for us is design-simplicity, executed with intelligence and mastery – which isn’t easy to achieve. If we succeed, that will be another story. But for now, we keep hold of the idea as a belief and a working process to keep chasing – we push ourselves forward.
What has your experience been so far as a start-up in this business? It is a very competitive market, so we have to choose carefully where to put our energy. And for us, it’s the product, the customers and the opticians every time. These are the most important things to us. Good people and good products. We are now looking forward to establishing long-lasting relationships and forging new ones as we grow our business, and so far, it has been amazing.
It is incredible to think that we only launched in opti in 2019, so we are not even a year old officially. And we have found ourselves on this super exciting journey with so many great people.
From where do you draw inspiration? We are very passionate about creativity and culture and draw inspiration from many places. Art, design, music, the whole creative spectrum really. At the root of this, are the folks behind the work, this is what we are inspired by, people.
We are currently developing an exciting platform called Friends of Annu, and this is where we present the stories of interesting people we know and like. It is still in its infancy, but we hope to build it into something comprehensive. Eventually, it will become an editorial archive of real people and their stories. It is partly a labour of love, but we think a good one.
Are you working together in one office or are you in different places? Both really, we are a German company based in Nuremberg, and we have an office and workshop here, but we also have members of our team who work remotely out of Amsterdam, Tel-Aviv and Berlin.
We try to meet at least three times a year for full team workshops and to communicate daily through different communication and productivity platforms. It is incredible how connected we are by technology, it has revolutionized how we work and what we can achieve.
What are your plans for 2020? We are looking forward to each and every step along the way. Like I said earlier, we are dedicated to the details and are in a constant process of development – in all areas of our business. It could be design innovation, R&D, brand design, sales, manufacture, the team, everything. It’s all happening.
We have a new collection to present at the Munich trade fair in January. We will be showing what we believe to be the lightest eyewear on the market, and the frames are absolutely beautiful. Find out more: https://weareannu.com Clodagh Norton interviewed Iddo Zimmermann, Co-Founder, We Are Annu.
A brand new line with a youthful vision, committed to frames for everyday wear: Paradigm is offering a striking balance of style and value, with “something for everyone” in terms of details and tonal combinations. Launched in 2019, the collection offers a series of modern everyday basics, like the 19-11 geometric shape, in well-matched contemporary materials and colorations with a twist. Model 19-11 combines an acetate rim inside a thin metal structure – produced in gold or rose gold (as a sun or optical style). Top image: Model/stylist Garret Gooch (www.garretgooch.com) wears Paradigm model 19-11.
The independent Paradigm brand was designed by a team of creatives at Kenmark Eyewear (USA) – to be very diverse, fitting a wide variety of faces, ethnicities, ages and personal styles. For more details visit the Kenmark website at www.kenmarkeyewear.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.
Auerbach & Steele have moved to a new location, a few doors down, at 123 Kings Road, London
The prestigious optical store on London’s fashionable Kings Road – Auerbach & Steele – has moved to a state-of-the-art 3 storey architect-designed retail space just a few doors down from its original location.
Visible from the street, a vast minimal contemporary open space at ground level is now home to one of the UK’s most comprehensive and diverse selections of fine independent eyewear collections for which the practice has become a trendsetter and point of reference.
Distributed through the basement and two further floors beyond the main retail space, the practice also offers 2 private consulting rooms for eye testing and styling appointments, its own lens lab and one of the UK’s most unique dedicated spaces for beautiful, colorful kid’s eyewear. In line with its reputation for clinical excellence, the new location is fitted with cutting edge testing equipment, for the most comprehensive eye examination.
Curated by Gail Steele and a long-serving team of optics and design experts, the eyewear collections at Auerbach & Steele offer something for everyone including minimal design labels from Scandinavia, colorful British eyewear classics, exciting 3D printed frames and the most highly regarded avant-garde and statement eyewear from cities like Berlin and Zurich.
Gail Steele told Eyestylist: “Since we opened Auerbach & Steele in 1996, I have been dedicated to marrying absolute clinical and technical excellence alongside the dispensing of ever changing beautiful, cool and unusual frames which we source, and often have made, from around the world. We are thrilled to now be able to offer our special service from our beautiful new luxurious space spread across four floors.” Visit Auerbach & Steele at 123, King’s Road, London, SW3www.auerbach-steele.com CN
Florescence collection released: Jono Hennessy’s lively colours and patterns are an inherent feature of his new collections, inspired by the brilliance and delicacy of flourishing blooms. Colorful and playful with Liberty print fabric laminations and tone on tone combinations, the line also gives space to fashionable blocked tones. Mixed material designs in stainless steel and custom acetate are also a key feature.
Inspired by the 70s dancefloor, the modern square shape of Studio combines sharp edges in a bold metal front in IP plated colour with a custom glitter temple. The palette is expressive and typical of Hennessy’s creative studio. It brings fronts in gold, black, red or a lovely pale mint together with the glitter infused stone-toned temples. An oversized shape is perfectly tailored for retro impact and highlights the trend towards larger metal proportions in the latest collections as we head towards a new year. The Florescence collection is available from Sunshades, Australia. Look for the brand at selected optical retailers. Find out more: www.sunshadeseyewear.com.au
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
The unique, authentic design of aviator sunglasses continues to be attractive to men and women searching for timeless frames and excellent cover up from UV rays. Its iconic teardrop lens and minimal frame construction is an easy fit for most face shapes, and with so much choice in terms of colour and detail, it’s easy to find your go-to design.
For a luxe experience, the iconic thin rimmed metal design is hard to beat and we would always choose top-notch sun lenses and the most fashion-forward colours we can possibly find. Lens tones vary hugely in the aviator styles, from mirrors to very dark or very light “graduated” hues – so trying the styles is essential.
A design such as Francisco – part of a new collaboration collection by SALT. Optics and Fred Segal – focusing on elevating timeless basics – represents the ultimate “contemporary classic”. SALT. has taken the notion of timeless basics and gone back to the roots of hand-crafted eyewear using fine Japanese materials and working with third-generation Japanese artisans.
This unisex style is beautifully crafted in titanium/beta titanium – premium metals that guarantees comfort and a smart, luxury finish and finesse, and the lenses are polarized CR-39, with a backside A/R coating to further reduce reflection. The style is also offered in black sand with grey gradient lens and silver with blue gradient lens (below).
The FSLA X SALT. Optics capsule collection consists of three smart yet laidback unisex sun styles that come in three colorways and mix classic design elements with a retro vibe. The styles are now available at Fred Segal’s Flagship location at 8500 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, FRED SEGAL LAX as well as fine eyewear + optical locations worldwide. Purchase online at: https://saltoptics.com/products/francisco-fred-segal-gold?_pos=5&_sid=549532105&_ss=rCN
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of her eponymous label, a new book is launched following the unique and fascinating journey of Fabienne Delvigne, Belgian entrepreneur and milliner. The book recounts the designer’s story and many commissions for members of the royal families of Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands, professional women, or men “with a sense of style”.
“All my clients have in common a love of beauty,” says Delvigne, whose extraordinary designs are produced according to superior traditional craftsmanship in the Maison’s Brussels boudoir workshop. The creativity and modernity with which they are carefully brought to life mean that they always remain a source of surprise.
“Fabienne is a daring woman who has more than one string to her bow and who has put her fiery lust for living at the service of her art. Fabienne is a true magician!” Diane Von Fürstenberg
The Reedition collection by Lafont Paris has special significance this year as the historic Parisian eyewear company celebrates 40 years of artistic eyewear, design and colour. Since 1923, when Louis Lafont opened the first Lafont boutique in the French capital, Lafont Paris has produced classically chic eyewear designs conceived with artistic flair and passion for heritage, achievable through a combination of state-of-the-art manufacturing and traditional French craftsmanship.
Over the years the Reedition collection has highlighted some of the quintessentially iconic designs of each decade at Lafont. Fairplay, a new addition launched last month, is a reminder of the company’s expertise in metal, where classical design meets advanced technical precision and modern detailing.
A narrow metal structure with a square eyeshape, the frame expresses the meticulous refinement of the Lafont finish with a distinguished upper rim shaping and narrow temples integrating a small hinge mechanism with absolute precision.
Today Lafont Paris produces frames in acetate, stainless steel and titanium and is well-known for its expertise in fabric inlays and advanced applications in materials which include carbon fibre. Find more designs at www.lafontparis.comCN
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
Creative energies are running particularly high at theo this year, in preparation for 2020. SILMO saw an ingenious spread of collections, among them a fresh collaborative series – the third of its kind for theo – with designer Matali Crasset. ‘Dialogues’ explores conversation and chat, with focus on the two eyewear basics – the lens and whatever goes around it; how the two interact together or relate beyond the classic ‘glasses’ form becomes a feature and a “talking point” – without constraint in the construction or the technical finesse (of course!). Above: Model Debate, in fluo pink, by theo X Matali Crasset
“The shape of the lenses is radically different from what Matali has created before” theo eyewear
Expressive, comfortable, surprisingly easy to wear. The result is six titanium styles with Crasset’s “signature” which bring a unique focus to the eyes of the wearer. Single colours emphasise the drama of the openwork and “floating effects”, exploring a bold vision, in theo style – with exquisite tones of fluo pink and orange through to sophisticated monochrome black or white – the two colours that Crasset wears herself.
Dialogues by theo X Matali Crasset was launched in Paris in September 2019; the frames will shortly become available in theo opticians worldwide. The collaborators have simultaneously launched ‘Blurred’, an even more ‘rebellious’ limited edition related to the Dialogues designs and created solely in black and white.
Matali Crasset is an industrial designer from France. She has become known for a refusal of pure shape in her work and develops new typologies articulated around principles such as modularity, appropriation, and flexibility. She has worked on far-reaching projects in different disciplines and with leading brands including Alessi, Nodus and Le Buisson. For more information visitwww.theo.be / www.matalicrasset.comCN
A fresh, luxury sunglasses collection, produced in premium materials from young LA-based female designer Morganne Leigh takes inspiration from the Galápagos Islands and its untamed flora and fauna. Highlights include model ‘Las Iguanas’ a timeless, unisex oval shape with creative details that simulate the textures and features of the islands’ most prominent lizard species.
“The Marine Iguana species can only be found on the Galápagos Islands. It is the only lizard species on Earth that lives on land, but swims in the sea to forage and feed on algae. Through evolution, it’s snout has been perfectly formed for this task; this inspired our nose bridge shape.” Morganne Leigh, Tyche & Iset
Her third unique collection to date, Leigh has a fresh, innovative touch in eyewear design and an experimental creative vision, coming from other arts disciplines and having trained as a painter and graphic designer. The new collection is a beautiful representation of her work, with details and finishes that are subtly tied to the magical natural volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.
A little less sunshine (and fewer sunglasses on the street) but just as beautiful as ever, Paris Fashion Week’s street style looks were bold and breathtaking or deeply influenced by tradition. In eyewear, a sincere love and respect for heritage and classic couture was evident across the city with vintage designs and clean architectural shapes in muted tones being most popular with all generations. Above: Anna Dello Russo wearing an oversized mask in black. Photography by Gennaro D’Elia for Eyestylist.com.
The cat’s eye continued to enjoy a spectacular showing at Paris, as in London and NYC – with all versions, from small and sleek to large or elongated worn by women – and increasingly, men too.
The elongated and sharply pointed cat’s eyes worn by many celebrities are still in vogue with the darker colours remaining the most elegant trend-driven statement for a striking finish or unique look – above, worn by Jessica (@kandelissa) with Mikhael Kale (SS20).
Metal frames have really taken off with a few particular shapes such as small rounds and ovals doing well. Our sightings of these styles indicated that this trend is strong and still growing.
With less rays throughout the week there was a chance to catch some models and influencers in glamorous glasses. Caroline Daur (influencer, blogger and entrepreneur – www.carodaur.com) wore a classic black cat eye with head to toe Valentino for the @maisonvalentino show by Pierpaolo Piccioli. Photography by Gennaro D’Elia exclusively for Eyestylist.com. CN