Milan Design Week 2019: Palermouno renewed – concept studio focuses on chromatic research and international design
PalermoUno, the studio of Sophie Wannenes inaugaurated last November, has been filled with shapes and new artworks for Milan Design Week 2019. The exhibition – which includes limited editions and unique products have one common thread – colour that redefines spaces, choreographies, which completely change the look of the environment – give a new image to all eight rooms in the studio. The exhibition will continue through until July.
The space located in Brera confirms an original concept: each room keeps its functional connotation, revealing the desire to create a place that is in constant evolution. The product is part of the space, as well as an invitation to “please touch and bring me with you”. Attention is paid to the selection of furnishings made for PalermoUno in the customization of the shapes and in the colours and their gradients.
From 9 April the new exhibition, which will remain on display until 15 July 2019, will be accompanied by the launch of the ecommerce site Palermouno.it where it is possible to buy the objects and furnishing accessories present in the different spaces. For further details visit: www.palermouno.it – Images: Andrea Pedretti CN
German design label Mykita has moved its New York store to 458 Broome Street into the heart of the fashionable Soho neighbourhood of the city. After five years on Crosby Street, the new two-floor space comprises a large area of 1590 square feet where the full collection is now presented alongside a state-of-the-art lab and workshop.
The company says it is the first shop to allow a full view into the optical lab and workshop showing the combination of handcrafting and high-tech that defines what the company refers to as “Modern Manufactory”. It also means the shop can offer a comprehensive optical service including in-house lens cutting, glazing, adjustments and repairs.
Mykita currently has a large and growing number of shops around the world, with further openings already slated for 2019 and a new store just opened in Carrer de Valencia, Barcelona. www.mykita.com CN
As our attention as consumers is drawn increasingly to sustainable, eco-friendly innovations, eyewear companies across the business are exploring an eco-conscious path with creativity and resourcefulness.
Vinylize, the independent Budapest brand that turns old, unwanted vinyl records into beautifully made ‘upcycled’ artisan eyewear, has moved on its own potential in eco-friendly eyewear production in a special project with coffee giant Nespresso, in Hungary.
“This was a pilot project,” says Zack Tipton, founder of Vinylize. “The limited production run sold out within a few days. We used a material produced from Nespresso capsules, recycled by the coffee company in Hungary. The used coffee grinds are separated from the capsules and sent to composting. The capsules are then smelted and turned into aluminium sheet which we can then use to produce the frames. The entire process is documented and certified.”
The result was an eye-catching limited edition glasses collection for Nespresso with designs inspired by the tones of the Nespresso Kazaar, Dharkan, Roma and Livanto capsules – in tones of satin midnight blue, gold and chocolate. “The coloration and finish were determined by Nespresso. They wanted a perfect match with the original colours of the capsules,” explains Tipton. “The durability we were able to achieve surpassed expectations. The frames were also prescription ready.”
The shapes produced in the first edition are inspired by the classic oval, butterfly and square designs, with a contemporary interpretation.
Vinylize-Tipton x Nespresso is ‘a salute to recycling’, designed to remind consumers of the infinite durability of aluminium which can be re-melted and reused, again and again. The project also aimed to further boost the recycling of Nespresso coffee capsules by showing the infinite potential of the recycled aluminium material.
The sophisticated matt finish of the frames is achieved through a tumbling process and hand-lacquering treatment at a German facility, while the eco-friendly felt case and paper box the frames were packaged in underscore the eco-credentials of the special edition. Further editions are planned for 2019.
Tipton Eyeworks and the Vinylize brand were founded in 2004, and have become world-renowned for their handmade production using vinyl to produce fashionable sunglasses and eyewear in Hungary. For further details: https://vinylize.com/CN
Michael Stoffels has transformed part of the historicZunfthaus zur Meisen in the Lindenhof Quarter, Zürich, into a state-of-the-art designer optical boutique.
Michael Stoffels opened his eponymous store in November 2018, replacing the well-known store on Storchengasse which had been run by the family in this location since 1983. The new prestigious boutique is located in the Zunfthaus zur Meisen, an historic 18th century building celebrated for its Grand Guild Hall and its exceptional central position overlooking the river Limmat. The interior of the shop merges contemporary and traditional features with striking colours and an artistic style with elegant, one-off pieces of furniture and art works.
Stoffels, who created the interior design for the store with Jaqueline van Maren, architect and interior designer, said the aim was to open a hip optical store in the very traditional historic setting, with a unique experience compared to other stores and an open and appealing outlook for young people. “We wanted to attract attention in a well-known location,” he added, “where thousands of people walk by every day. The brilliant colours are inspired by Yves Saint Laurent and his love for Marrakech, and the vibrant “Blumlihalle” (hall of little flowers) in Zurich, painted by Augusto Giacometti, nephew of the famous Swiss sculptor.” The exotic interior and its elegant furnishings create a setting that is more like a luxury living room than an optical retail space.
The shop has opened with a selection of handpicked niche collections which include Eyevan, Lucas de Stael, Retro Specs, Moscot, Carin and ‘Stoffels Own’ collection which is handmade in Switzerland.
Other outstanding features of the interior decoration include an impressive wall painting created with a bespoke wallpaper, designed especially for the wall and the colour scheme of the shop, by Jakob Schlaepfer from St. Gallen. Stoffels explains: “Jakob Schlaepfer is one of the most famous producers of haute couture textiles. The wallpaper is covered with a hologram foil, which is illuminated at night and gives a beautiful glittering effect visible from outside to passers-by.”
60s fever, and gold and silver retro metal rims, are challenging the elongated It-Girl cat’s eye as one of the most popular sunglass looks as we head into Spring, and we’ve seen it on the streets at London Fashion Week, and again in Milan. The lens tints are fun and colourful or very delicate, so they don’t completely hide the eyes, while the rims are extremely narrow, closely representing the styling of the past. Above: Em . The Lipstick Fever, wearing metal rim sunglasses at London Fashion Week in February. https://thelipstickfever.com/ Photography by G. D’Elia – exclusively for Eyestylist.com
Austrian label Andy Wolf has made the metal rims a key feature of the 2019 collections, experimenting with very small shapes as well as classic panto shapes, such as model Amira (above). This design comes with a variety of gentle lens tints including soft blue, pale pink and gold. Available at Matches Fashion, or for further information visit www.andywolf.com
Or choose a unique style from one of the smaller labels. Viveur’s elegantly fashioned metal designs are made in Italy and have a chic finesse. The metal material is 100% hypoallergenic and very lightweight. The collections for Spring/Summer include round “panto” designs and slightly modified angular shapes such as Greg above – a shape with a flattened top that’s on the rise. Available to purchase online at www.viveursunglasses.com CN
Inspired by the Inuits and their distinctive iconic protective snow goggles, Malina sunglasses by You Mawo celebrate bold design created with 3D printing technology. Original Inuit frames featured a narrow oval lens shape, reducing the amount of light exposure to prevent snow blindness. Traditionally made of natural materials such as driftwood or bone, the frame would be carved to fit the face with slits that also acted to improve visual acuity according to the width.
Based on the classic interpretation, this new release by You Mawo, named Malina after the Inuit solar deity, explores the creative potential of 3D printed frames with a light yet sturdy, bold rim and gently curved silhouette. A modern fashion statement is achieved with the addition of the gold mirrored lenses, a stark contrast with the eye-catching black structure in Polyamide. Launched last weekend at Mido for the new season, the frame, produced in an edition of just 50 pieces, goes on sale at £600 (689 euros) in specialist retailers including Specs Berlin: find details at https://specs-berlin.de/en/female/you-mawo-malina
Award-winning German brand YOU MAWO is an innovator in custom tailored 3D printed eyewear. Founded in 2016, their frames are made exclusively in Germany with laser sintering technology. The frames in YOU MAWO’s mainline collections are made to measure via an iPad scan of the wearer’s individual face topography. This scan forms the foundation for the production of the frame to optimise comfort and fit. The frames are also customised with the individual’s name printed on the inside. Find further details at: https://www.youmawo.com/en/ CN
Buffalo horn. Fabric. Rubber. Acetate. The eye is drawn to the individual qualities of these materials in contemporary eyewear as young innovators highlight the form and structure of the product with special tactile details and deep nuances in coloration, some of these qualities, just visible with the naked eye.
In the Icons Line at Hapter, the rubberised surface featured has been developed to offer an exclusive tactile aesthetic and feel, with a retro inspiration and a slightly “aged” elegance. Italian founder Eric Balzan has invested years’ of research and development into collections that, for 2019, are further enhanced with a newly patented 8-GON Hinge. The brand will exhibit at Mido in the Design Lab (Pav 4 Stand S11) www.hapter.it Above: RBBR002 – the Icons Line – HAPTER
Rigards has attracted much attention in the last 12 months with their avantgarde collection, and in horn, they highlight the natural qualities of the material, the asymmetrical colorations and the beautiful striated patterns and effects where the surface is hand polished or left in its more natural state. www.rigards.com
Delirious Eyewear, the Milan label, produces buffalo horn frames with a distinct, light touch and artistic aesthetic: designed in Italy, the frames are made from natural Indian water buffalo horn. The process begins by milling two small boards of the same material; one for the front, and the other, for the temples. All the parts are ‘tumbled’, to smooth the little parts and surfaces in a process that can take up to a week. Finally, the artisans put the design together, polishing the surface with pads that highlight the details of the material and the brilliant surface. www.deliriouseyewear.com
In a similar vein – studying the possibilities in surface finishes worked by hand, TAVAT Tactile includes models that have been hand scratched and designs worked on with a pin-stripe laser treatment – mimicking the lines of the iconic Italian “Riva” boat. The frames are made in Italy and designed to offer the utmost comfort on the face. www.tavateyewear.comCN
Find these and other innovators at Mido – the Milan trade fair – from 23-25 February 2019.
With a backdrop of blue skies marking the first feeling of Spring, London Fashion Week opened on Friday. Alongside the main catwalk events and the colourful street style scenes off the catwalks – one of the highlights are the Designer Showrooms on The Strand, offering a diverse, handpicked showcase of over 50 smaller, up-and-coming international brands, a valuable platform for exposure and introductions to the world of fashion in the UK. – Above: buffalo horn frame detail, Delirious Eyewear. Photography: G. D’Elia
“Showcasing within the LFW Designer Showrooms allows brands to develop relationships with globally influential stores and helps to increase their exposure to top international journalists, publications and stylists.”
Representing the eyewear category at the Showrooms and premiering in the UK is Delirious Eyewear from Italy, an exclusive design label recognised by Vogue Italia’s “Who’s on next” awards (2018). Created by young entrepreneur Marco Lanero, the collection is produced in titanium and beta titanium, and the finest acetates and natural Indian buffalo horn, and is currently designed and made in Italy, with focus on traditional Cadore craftsmanship and expertise, rigorously monitored to ensure a unique and accomplished finish.
Buffalo horn remains a popular luxury material in eyewear, and Delirious aims high, using lengthy techniques in the production and final “tumbling” and polishing by hand. Their expertise in this material has attracted the attention of the fashion industry, through an ability to use the traditional techniques and merge them with contemporary design elements.
The Delirious Eyewear collections go into stores in London this season. The definition of luxury eyewear, their alternative design focus brings a contemporary look to the most classical aspects of traditionally made spectacles, as well as providing an impeccable comfort and fit. For more information about Delirious Eyewear visit the company in Milan (Mido trade fair) from 23-25th February 2019 or visit their website at www.deliriouseyewear.comCN Photography by Gennaro D’Elia exclusively for Eyestylist.com. All rights reserved.
Falvin’s Signature Eyewear – launching for the Spring/Summer season – combines Danish design expertise and exquisite Japanese crafting in contemporary shapes in lightweight titanium. The frames celebrate a passion for a Copenhagen landmark – the Crystal – a building from which founder Birgitte Falvin takes inspiration, for an eloquent direction in line and form. Above: released at the German trade fair opti last month, the new Falvin model Stellar. New additions are coming for the Mido trade fair, Milan. The brand exhibits in the prestigious Lab Academy ( Pav 6 / Stand LA 47) where up-and-coming designers and innovators showcase their collections.
Model Stellar (above and in featured video) is a contemporary version of the traditional cat’s eye frame, offering a supreme level of comfort and a statement shape in the state-of-the-art material. Using techniques that can only be mastered by hand, the beautiful two-tone base silhouette offers a luxury expression with black, white or champagne Wesselton diamond settings to create a personalized look. A trained jewellery designer, Birgitte Falvin has studied this element for the finishing of her distinctive eyewear, creating a one-off luxury detail that is both gentle yet sparkling – to catch the beholder’s eye.
The innovative diamond setting is of the highest quality, assembled by a top jeweler in Denmark, appointed by Falvin Eyewear. Find out more about the luxury designs for men and women by the Danish label at www.falvineyewear.com CN
Consider the eyewear accessory here to stay – a much underplayed fashion item in the past, start-ups and fashion industry creatives have refocused on this element of eyewear to fit perfectly with our insatiable desire to create an individual “style of our own”.
Milan’s Federica Moretti launched Huma Sunglasses + accessories in 2017. Inspired to reflect and embrace the creativity and extravagance of the fashion industry, the hat designer came up with a new eyewear collection idea in a range of clean, “basic” sunglass designs (made in Italy) to be worn with “captivating” decorative accessories – with special fastenings that clip onto temples.
These decorative elements can be worn depending on where your mood takes you. The choice includes small jewellery items that fasten to the ring in the temple, crystals, silks, and decorative stones, through to extravagant slightly humorous acrylic “hair pieces” for those who choose to dress to be seen.
Moretti’s imagination has literally run wild with the hair extensions producing an eccentric look in crazy colours. In contrast, some of the designs are subtle and delicate designed as chic jewellery embellishments, perfect for evenings out, special occasions or a gift for the accessory enthusiast with a taste for all things new and different. For more details about Huma and designer Federica Moretti visit Huma Sunglasses on Instagram: @humasunglasses. Available at I Visionari in Florence https://ivisionari.com/collections/humaCN
Growing in size and stature, the 2019 edition of opti – the German trade fair – offered a vast experience of eyewear from all corners of the earth. It’s hard to know where to start and where to look, and 3 days was barely sufficient to discover the most interesting design directions and innovations of the year.
Our focus was drawn particularly to artisan works addressing a purposeful design thinking, where natural materials are highlighted, incorporated with other materials, and inspiring an extraordinarily interesting study into surfaces and finishes – as in other design disciplines.
Above: Rigards – by Ti Kwa – continues to explore new ways to work with unusual materials. Their gorgeous copper patina finishes are now available in a variety of ‘rust’ and jasper/jade colorations and combinations with the signature miniature lock-in sun clip. Pictured – Model RG1911CU / for Ziggy Chen. www.rigards.com
In a new departure, using wood and metal, Spanish label Nina Mûr pays homage to deconstructivism and the maximum exponent of this movement in Spain, The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. The collection consists of two models, Mikel and Izorne (above) in three versions. Following their much loved Memphis inspired collection with Abet Laminati, the Deseraiki launch represents a mature and refined release marked by constructive nuances, textures and materials. www.ninamur.com
Italian label Pugnale has an interesting collection for 2019, following their excellent collaboration in 2018 with architect Hani Rashid. The extensive range this year includes multiple materials such as buffalo horn, leather, mother of pearl and precious silks and several eye-catching pieces such as the square Esaedro which has a metal insert on the bridge. www.pugnaleeyewear.com
Hapter from Italy has an exciting year ahead. A patented hinge – the 8-GON hinge – previewed at opti for the very first time – is to be introduced through the collections. Their extraordinary work with surfaces – in tactile rubber and carefully selected fabric – continues to place them at the forefront of the design led companies in eyewear. www.hapter.it
In the fast growing field of 3d printed eyewear (there are already more than 40 3D printed brands we are aware of), opti offered an expansive overview of the current directions: from the sculptured “creative” look of Impressio (www.impressio.lu) to the minimal luxe of Gotti Dimension (www.gotti.ch) high-precision range in Polyamide and Rolf Spectacles’ new 3d printed titanium Skyline collection – which is printed, with additive manufacturing techniques, in Germany and hand finished in Austria. Rolf’s second Skyline edition offers fine silhouettes in natural colours with textured surfaces that are perfectly in tune with the focus on tactile, “raw” earthy finishes. www.rolf-spectacles.com
The opti boxes are always an ideal location to find new ideas. The collective ‘We are Annu’ were a highlight amongst the start-ups with their paper clip inspired glasses made “half by machine and half by hand”. The innovation lies in the easy modular construction of the frames – made of 3D printed nylon fronts with titanium wire temples (in 3 colour choices) and put together with a simple screwless hinge concept; not forgetting an attentive focus on fit with customizable nose pads and temples. It comes as no surprise that an independent optician is among the co-founders. More details at: www.weareannu.com
Eyestylist.com will identify other key trends discovered at opti in the edits we have coming up through Spring 2019. opti munich returns in January 2020 – save the date -10th to 12th January – www.opti.de CN
Sahra Lysell is the Senior Colour Designer atØrgreen Optics in Copenhagen.She has been with the company for over 20 years.
How did you become a colour specialist – has colour always been a part of you and your personality? I have a degree in fashion design, but I have always had a very strong intuition regarding colour and had an interest in how different tones work as an expression for emotions, our state of mind, and culture in society. I feel fortunate to have been able to make a career out of working with colour and to be part of a company that understands it is a very powerful communication tool.
Does colour affect you in your daily life? I believe so – it is a big part of my decision-making in all parts of my life. For example, most of the art in our apartment was chosen for the colours and combinations of colour. I am drawn more by that than by the theme or the artist. My favourite painting is by the Danish artist, Michael Kvium. Called Pale Eyed View, it is a picture of a man standing in a red sea. The red is a mix of red, orange and purple. This painting taught me to use hues that are difficult to define. The colours are interesting, and often flattering on the face.
On a daily basis, I find colour plays a role in what I do. I love to cook, and I love to play with colours when making food. It is very rare that I serve a dish where the special hues of Mother Nature don’t emphasize the experience. Purple for beetroot, orange for carrots, red for tomatoes, and the colour of a perfectly grilled steak, red in the middle, then rose and at last crispy brown on the edge. I can also see my 3 year old daughter is inspired to eat certain things due to the colour itself. She loves red ice cream! I could serve her beetroot ice cream and she would go for it just because it would be an amazing red!
“I have always seen things in colour, my brain works in a very visual way. If we are working on a new collection at Ørgreen, people always wants key words to work from, but I need to start with three colours! For me, this sets a mood, starts an emotion, and then I can get to work….”
In my office, I have three pictures of Mexican cemeteries; it may sound morbid, but the pictures are amazing and show bright, colorful graves and cathedrals that celebrate the story of a life. I have always had these pictures to remind me about differences in cultures and how there are so many colour stories to be told!
As a person, are you more about bright statement colours or quieter softer tones? Or do you wear colour according to your mood? I use colour according to my mood, and I love combinations of soft tones with a touch of something bright. For me, it is always about balance. When I choose colours or clothing, I like to mix the extravagant with the down-to-earth, masculine with feminine, or past with present. As I mentioned earlier I love big colorful paintings, but also black and white photos. My favorite tones change depending on the subject..whether I am considering fashion, art, furniture or nature.
What is the key to colour in fashion? I guess that every one of us owns a personal approach to colour; this comes from how you understand society and what people are craving for – positivity, seriousness, provocation, purity, innocence… all of these things are influential. A strong intuition is essential.
As innovation in 3D printing moves forward with leaps and bounds, in eyewear, new design directions focus on the extraordinary lightness and comfort of the Polyamide material and, increasingly, its adaptability to produce different, more creative eyewear designs. Specialists in 3D printed frames, Danish company Monoqool continues to work in this field with a particular focus on the perfect balance of comfort and astute contemporary style. With an architectural aesthetic and an underlying passion for Danish design, Monoqool has taken their collection forward with combination styles featuring Polyamide fronts and fine metal temples in a palette of eye-catching modern colours from ochre and violet through to a light, dusty green.
Above: The spectacular Ragnarock Museum of Rock in Roskilde (http://museumragnarock.dk/besoeg/), Denmark was selected as the venue for the Spring/Summer campaign. The setting is a colourful, unusual building designed by Cobe Architects (http://www.cobe.dk) – inspired by the 70s looks of Danish designer Verner Panton (http://verner-panton.com), who shocked the world with his colourful space age design.
For SS19, the Danish brand launches 12 eyewear shapes and four new sunglasses. “We aimed for a mix of frames, from the colourful and extraordinary to the classically cool,” says Allan Petersen, founder of Monoqool. “Four new colours are added to the already considerable line of 3D printed frames.”
The line up of frames features the popular Monoqool Slider series with a flat horizontal temple and screwless hinge. The Slider frames are made in ultra lightweight 3D printed polyamide material, which results in a frame weighing only 4 grams. It is in the Monoqool DNA to make frames with a high degree of comfort and which are easy to adjust and give a perfect fit – as well as offering contemporary design and an accomplished attention to detail.
Monoqool will exhibit the new collection at opti Munich in Germany from 25th to 27th January 2019. For more details about the latest designs, visit their website at www.monoqool.com. CN
Munich’s expanding international fair for optical professionals – opti – takes place in a few weeks at Fairground Munich. Known for its wide variety of exhibitors and impressive line up of independent designers, the event is one of the highlights of the optical year in Europe, and is increasingly attended by retailers and business professionals from inside and outside Europe.
This year, the fair offers an exceptional mix of creative designers and distinctive eyewear collections from as far afield as Hong Kong, the US, Swedish Lapland and Canada. First time exhibitors include Rapp, Nirvan Javan, Frency and Mercury and Specs Lab Zurich.
A selection of start-ups and small labels will show in the OPTI Boxes (Hall C2), some, such as Lightbird (Italy), showing product for the first time. Above: Young label PORTRAIT Eyewear from Italy will show their new artistic Glitch Series (opti BOXES). The Interface sunglasses (above) are a tribute to Peter Campus, the American pioneer video artist. www.portraiteyewear.com
Oliver Goldsmith pioneered the idea of “winter sunglasses” in 1966, according to Claire Goldsmith. In an article written about them in the 60s in the UK, the concept was explained: “The idea was that these designs should be worn in the winter months as there was insufficient sun-light to warrant wearing dark lensed summer sunglasses.” Originally, the lenses were made from precision ground optical glass and were very pale in density making them ideal for wearing indoors as well as outside on dull winter days.” Re-exploring the concept with special releases for opti19, the new styles offer the statement style of Goldsmith designs and are fitted with state-of-the-art soft hued lenses by Divel Italy for exceptional comfort and protection. www.olivergoldsmith.com
Always bold and decorative, J F REY’s BOZ collection continues to offer surprising shapes and eccentric combinations, designed with sophisticated creative touches. The BOZ collection will be exhibited with JF REY, 1985, and the much praised leather line – Le Cuir – at the opti fair. www.jfrey.fr
Tavat Eyewear has launched a series of exciting designs in recent months. Their ability to use innovative construction in multiple designs and material combinations continues to develop through a strong commitment to original design and artisan excellence. Find them at opti and visit their website at www.tavateyewear.com
Titanium experts Blackfin return to the fair in Germany with new styles in the Black Edition, where a special treatment – Blackfin Nano-Plating™ – creates shiny finishes on the advanced material. Find out more at www.blackfineyewear.eu
opti Munich takes place atFairground Munich from 25th to 27th January 2019. The show will offer an extensive new layout as it expands to include Halls C5 and C6. For full details and a full list of exhibitors, visit www.opti.de CN
As the first fairs of the 2019 Spring season approach, eyewear companies will reveal the trends of the months ahead, fresh innovations in design, and expressive new colour codes to explore and inspire. 100% Optical, the UK’s optical fair – which takes place at ExCel exhibition centre will set the scene for the Spring optical calendar from 12th to 14th January 2019 and promises a selection of independent eyewear designers as part of the line-up which also includes innovative lenses and technology. Above: From Denmark, LINDBERG is one of the leading independent luxury companies exhibiting at 100% this year. Their collections include fine materials such as titanium, wood and buffalo horn. www.LINDBERG.com
British label Kirk & Kirk are staunch supporters of the UK fair and return with their colourful Centena collection in January, designed by Jason Kirk in celebration of his family’s 100 years in optics. This line is unique in its 10mm acrylic material which is flattering, bold yet – at the same time – surprisingly light to wear. The sculptural look of the frames is part and parcel of their unique appeal. Check out www.kirkandkirk.com
Ørgreen Optics has an exceptionally strong and varied selection of eyewear collections to show for 100%: as well as the new acetates in the latest Minimal Vintage Collection, they have just announced a 3rd Quantum collection, which features their exceptional spherical hinge design and showcases their design skills in combining Polyamide and titanium. Visit www.orgreenoptics.com
Part of The Eyewear Design Group, Woow Eyewear will exhibit with other exceptional collections in this portfolio of brands which also includes FACE A FACE. Woow is colourful, exuberant in character and always injects humour and fun! www.wooweyewear.com
neubau’s latest sunglasses edition offers a homage to Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius and the painter Wassily Kandinsky. The shape of the model is based on the Bauhaus philosophy of “form follows function” while the design and material choices are directly inspired by the movement, with a titanium frame based on bent steel tubes combined with fade tint mirror lenses recalling the facade of Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus school building in Dessau. neubau will exhibit their new optical and sun collections alongside sister company Silhouette Eyewear at the London fair. For more details about the brand, visit www.neubau-eyewear.com.
Just released a few days ago the new Elevate collection by Monkey Glasses also goes on show this month – this sustainable brand is one of several to exhibit at the London show (Bird Eyewear and Pala), and highlights the growing interest in recycling in the frame business. The brand has begun to use packaging in recycled paper as part of its eco action to go plastic free. For more details visit www.monkeyglasses.com.
Arranged by the fair organisers, this year’s RCA Eyewear design competition’s theme is 2020 Vision in Motion. The competition asked the Royal College of Art students to design and make a maquette of a new vision device, which functions as a health aid/ protection as well as a style statement we are opening up the range to possibly include; viewfinder/ device/ VR headset. Six finalists have been chosen by the judging panel and their work will be on show during the 3-day event : Andrew Cullo, Annie Foo, Fi Grew, Giulia Lombardi, Loy Chen and Sunny Kitfung. The winner will be announced during the fair.
theo’s exceptional Somers Optiek store in Antwerp, a window on the eyewear label’s world of colour, love, energy and design, always has a trick up its sleeve. In anticipation of the Chinese New Year in February and theo’s passion for all things ‘Valentine’ (14th February), the boutique is now resonating with the vibrant colours and textures of colourful dragons from the East.
Somers Optiek first opened in its current location behind the KBC Tower – a landmark ‘Art Deco Skyscraper” – in 2008. Since our last visit in 2012 – see Joan Grady’s feature at https://www.eyestylist.com/2012/11/somers-optiek/ – the store has expanded, with a new fresh open space designed to cater to a young customer and their particular requirements for styling, colour and design. The space was designed by APRIL ONE’s Karine Ribbens (www.aprilone.be).
The store features a comprehensive selection of new and past designs by the iconic Belgian company, many of which are hidden behind the scenes, ready for customers to explore and try on at their leisure. Just a few frames are displayed on cabinets or in alcoves to highlight new colour, shapes or special releases. Somers Optiek offers a comprehensive eyecare service with state-0f-the-art eye testing available in the lower level consulting rooms as well as styling expertise from ‘theo’ trained frame specialists. Visit online at www.somersoptiek.be / www.theo.beCN
Plein Les Mirettes’ Christophe Morcamp combines the creative eye of a couture designer with an astute focus on comfort and ease of wear in a frame design. The stunning new acetate model Re Belle 14 by this exotic little French label offers a wearable statement shape, gently cut into on either side of the front to add to its vibrant character. The colour palette has an unusual vertical fade effect, playing with chic tones “side by side” for a result that is both surprising technically and flattering when worn.
Plein Les Mirettes produces its women’s eyewear designs in a highly regarded traditional spectacle-making factory in Normandy, northern France. The elegant materials come from Mazzucchelli, the Italian leader in acetate production. Find the latest designs at www.plein-les-mirettes.frCN
The rise of the eyewear chain continues as our love affair with decorative details, chunky gold jewellery and semi-precious stones moves forward into the new season. The UK’s no. one company in this department – Frame Chain – has come over all glam for 2019 – proposing a wide selection of new designs as the finishing touch for any outfit – for women, and yes, men too. Above: Classic pearls are a feature of the new season collection at Frame Chain.
With the launch of their new campaign, designers Vanessa Harrington and Ann-Margret Kearney demonstrate the complete versatility of the chains, which are equally as beautiful worn as a necklace (top image) or suspended from the frame itself (see above). We also love the bling effect of two or three worn together!
All the designs come with two sets of attachments in black and white, to coordinate with your chosen eyewear, and feature a small statement Frame Chain logo plaque. More styles can be found at www.framechain.co.uk as well as Selfridges, Matches and Liberty of London. CN
Campaign Credits: Photography by Alastair Strong / Stylist Ailsa Jane Miller/ MUA Anna Gibson / Creative WE ARE DISCO/ Models Nejilka & Paige Saffron.
The New York eyewear scene continues to see a healthy surge in creativity and directional trends. This month sees the launch of yet another newcomer called SpiltMilk Eyewear, set up with the creative input from the NYC based designer Vidal Erkohen (RVS Eyewear). Made in Japan, with focus on quality standards and innovative design concepts with a global inspiration, the collection is proposing some experimental ideas “to represent the conjunction between fashion and culture” and builds from a high-energy colour palette – on point for SS19.
In the mix for the launching collections of sunnies are designs that combine two shapes in one (Bali), a super round shape with inner rim connected with an open wire mesh (Bora Bora), a detailed aviator statement piece (Maldives) and a narrow elongated trendy wire form that is slightly upswept – in chic combos such as lime with scarlet and pastel pink with black (Phi Phi).
The new brand has been under development since 2017, and is owned by Saif Ghobash (London) and Judge Khanna (NYC) – a New York based accessories designer. Spilt Milk launches its first sunglasses collection at the end of October and goes online shortly at www.spiltmilkeyewear.com. CN
Internet brands are booming, and in sports-oriented sunwear there is now a confusing mass of online only brands selling direct to the consumer, with just a handful working that little bit extra to offer a balance of affordability, functionality, and, importantly, attentive customer service.
In the sports/leisure segment, Sungod Custom Optics – a start-up based in the UK and Verbier, Switzerland, has launched a customisable sunglasses collection – with a team of hard-core sports personalities endorsing the designs on Instagram including Stephanie Ede (duathlete/cyclist), Max Rowe (freestyle windsurfer) and Tom Bishop (triathlete).
The process of purchasing the product itself is different, quite fun, for the novelty, and super fast. You choose a shape (all quite standard), select the colours of the front, temples, lenses and logo icon – according to your personal preference – and then buy. The order – once processed, is with you within a couple of days (in my case 48 hours – the frames are assembled in the UK) and offers a Lifetime Guarantee promising that all breakages will be repaired – or fully replaced – free of charge. My first order included the Custom SIERRAS and the Custom Classics – both standard shapes, in one size, but just working ok for my smallish face shape and my son’s, who is 15. (Above: Custom SIERRAS).
UV protection is the key feature, and beyond that the sunglasses perform as a hard-wearing option for sports and outdoor activities at a realistic price (from £65.00) – this is of course significantly lower than equivalent all-round sport styles by Ray-Ban and Oakley.
For technical content, the 4KO Lenses are made from a 2mm Polycarbonate Core and you select from 5 lens tints that offer enhanced contrast and optimised clarity – the tint we selected in “smoke” was comfortable in bright conditions. Polarised versions are also available and judging by the number of water sports enthusiasts featured on the Instagram page, the lenses are adaptable and suitable for water sports.
The frame itself is made from the company’s Adventureproof Frame Material – this is a memory polymer – designed for durability, protection and high flexibility. It’s as good as any standard sports sunglasses material coming from China and it feels light and modern and pleasant to the touch. The colours are classic and easy-to-wear and a popular look for youngsters and the teen and 20+ market.
Sungod Custom Optics produces sports-oriented sunglasses and sports goggles. They have also launched a special signature series of models in collaboration with Pro Team Athletes including Hannah Whiteley and we expect to see more exciting projects from their young entrepreneurial team. For more details visit www.sungod.coCN
Handmade eyewear, of our time: Patinated Copper with Aluminum Magnesium
Ti Kwa’s commitment to design innovation is increasingly recognised across the industry and in the upper echelons of the optical retailing community and he continues to quietly push the boundaries in his work in materials, textures and specialist production techniques, with resounding individuality and an unmistakable style.
This September, his label RIGARDS explores an exceptional copper material finish with a gently-toned verdigris in a model designed for avant-garde fashion designer Ziggy Chen (RG1911CU), based on an existing “small and narrow” shape in the collection that has come to be known as the ‘Mad Scientist’.
The finish, a tribute to Bronze Age ritual vessels and their weathered slightly mottled greenish tones, appears in a unique way in all the models as the copper takes the patina finish differently from frame to frame.
“We added an interchangeable clip-on,” explains the designer. “Made from ultralight aluminum-magnesium — it locks onto the frame front and converts the glasses from optical frame to sunglasses. Two small side holes hold an eyeglass chain, allowing the sun-clip to double as jewellery.” Both the glasses and the clip-on can be fitted with lenses through built-in openings, part of RIGARDS’ exclusive screwless spring-hinge mechanism designed to ensure the product is both aesthetically pleasing and maintenance-free.
RIGARDS (from Hong Kong) was first launched in 2012, and exhibited their handcrafted buffalo horn eyewear months later at SILMO, the Paris eyewear fair (see our first story in 2012 at https://www.eyestylist.com/2012/11/rg0006/ ). Designer Ti Kwa has a refreshingly different perspective on design and has gradually opened eyes to the possibilities in creating exclusive artisan pieces with a distinctive modern approach to production techniques and eyewear aesthetics. RIGARDS exhibits at SILMO (Paris) and Paris Fashion Week. Don’t miss this collection: https://rigards.com CN
Specialists in sustainable eyewear since 2010, EOE from Swedish Lapland is heading to Italy later this week (21st-24th September) for WHITE Milano, a highly regarded fashion trade fair for women’s collections and accessories. It’s the independent brand’s first appearance at the 4-day event which is known as a creative launch “pad” for new and rising fashion labels from around the world.
Among the EOE styles for the coming season is the model above – Eljest, representative of the simple yet distinctive style in this highly eco-conscious collection in eyewear. The styles are recyclable and biodegradable, produced in an acetate material that contains no petroleum or poisonous phthalates, and to top it off, use steel parts produced from a carefully sourced recycled Swedish steel.
EOE Eyewear was founded by Erik and Emilia Lindmark during a snowmobile ride in the small village of Ammarnäs in Swedish Lapland. Their vision, they explain, was to create eyewear that combined the elegance and simplicity of Scandinavian design, with the barren beauty of the nature in the north of Sweden. The brand is one to watch for 2019 when they will announce a new exciting step in their achievements in sustainability and eco-friendly materials. www.eoe-eyewear.com CN
WHITE Milano takes place at Via Tortona 27 – for further details visit www.whiteshow.it
Celebrity-endorsed frames don’t get better than this. Vinylize has a unique position in being the only artisan producer of high-quality vinyl eyewear – hand-finished in the beautiful city of Budapest, which has become a destination for film, art and music enthusiasts…and it’s putting their exclusive handmade designs in the headlines at international events across the city.
A new shape designed for rapper Kendrick Lamar features a rhodium plated sterling silver brow piece on the vinyl front and was commissioned by Sziget, one of the biggest multicultural music and arts festivals in the city. For Lana del Rey, a bold unisex octagonal design has been created by designer and founder of Vinylize Zachary Tipton, and both are presented in packaging that resembles an original box set, with exclusive cover designs in black and gold.
Vinylize launches the two new limited styles today (from 31st August 2018) and they are available in a limited production exclusively by emailing email@example.com. Vinylize/TIPTON Eyeworks is based in Budapest and sells their collections – which include CINEMATIQ – worldwide in leading optical boutiques. www.vinylize.com CN
With a taste for modern design, well-planned contemporary fittings and new ideas, 27-year-old Nicolo Plebani says the new Indice store is hard to explain without mentioning every single detail that has gone into the final store design concept. “To my colleague Giovanni and I, Indice represents our passion for design, research and innovation, expressed through the world of optics”. The shop is, needless to say, far removed from the traditional optician’s store, and intentionally so.
Approximately 200m squared and split on two floors, this exemplary eyewear destination is located next to the imposing Cathedral of Brescia, a city located in the Northern Italian region of Lombardy. The setting is eye-catching and original with focus on a personal appreciation of design and creativity – a stunning environment for an eyewear experience and the ideal showcase for talented independent designers.
Silver leaf, iron and glass tables, and refined display cases and shelves, which rest on mirror carpets are some of the ad hoc elements in the modern space created for shoppers who appreciate fine design. Fittings also include Eames Vitra chairs, Afteroom stools and a purple armchair by Albini Cassina and the space is lit with Flos spotlights and lamps, further embellished with Poseidon Cattellan Italia chandeliers.
For eyewear choices, the store is equally avant-garde. The first collections available instore include Kuboraum, Cazal, SUPER (a special edition was launched by the store in June), and other equally individual lines, designed to give shoppers a different choice of products that combine extraordinary quality with good looks and a story far beyond the ordinary. Indice Vision is a new concept store by Nicolo Plebani and Giovanni Comotti – Address: Via Giulio Bevilacqua 7, Brescia – www.indice.vision – CN
TAVAT’s Round Mask is a 2018 must-have, a special take on their popular SoupCan design and, essentially, two designs in one. First featured on EYESTYLIST in January this year, the colours have since been expanded. Exciting effects in the material combination highlights the frame’s forward-focused aesthetic achieved by inserting an acetate mask into the body of a SoupCan style, the round model 2.0. The front is paired with flexible acetate sides pieces and the lenses are produced in top-notch melanin, a material that is UV protective and lightweight with excellent optical clarity. TAVAT Eyewear is designed in California and produced in Italy, and all frames have unique artisan features produced in advanced materials with superior functionality and comfort. Find out more at www.tavat-eyewear.comCN
Two of London’s youngest success stories in optics came together with the Celine Sunglasses team for a summer party in London’s Kensington in June. The Eye Est. opened in July 2017, and is one of London’s most elegant new optical and sunglass boutiques, located in a neighbourhood that supports their forward-thinking selection of fashionable eyewear and bold modern statement styling. Above, left to right: Fahmida Kamal Rob of The Eye Est., with Vanessa and Annie of Frame Chain.
The Eye Est. store currently stocks a range of design labels which include CELINE, Komono, Dita, and EYEVAN7285. It has also become known for its passion for coffee, and offers a unique espresso bar serving an independent London brew by Drury Coffee.
Frame Chain, London’s fast-expanding accessories label, has become known for its glamorous eyewear chains, available in fashion retailers such as Liberty’s in the UK and at leading optical retailers worldwide. The brand is the creation of entrepreneurs Vanessa Harrington and Ann-Margret Kearney, who have grown the fashionable appeal of the eyewear chain beyond all expectation in a short space of time.
Frame Chain’s latest line includes gold designs in yellow, white and rose versions as well as new finishes such as rhodium and enamel and decorative Swarovski and pearls. Inspired by jewellery, the chains can be worn with any glasses, or as a piece of jewellery on their own thanks to the changeable silicone ends. For more details visit www.eye-est.com and www.framechain.co.ukCN
One of Milan’s most sought after underground labels, Delirious Eyewear, merges vintage-inspired shapes, classic Italian production techniques and, brilliantly, a touch of the extrovert, in its 2018 sun and specs collections, designed by founder Marco Lanero.
The label has some intriguing connections in the music and fashion worlds. They include a regular link up on the Italian catwalks with Haitian-Italian fashion designer Stella Jean, who like Lanero, is known for an appreciation of precise craftsmanship and artisanal expertise. Above: Designer Stella Jean wears Delirious frame on the catwalk, Fall/Winter 2018 collection preview.
Delirious handcrafts glasses with “the best materials on the market”, explains Lanero who chooses natural buffalo horn, Mazzucchelli acetate – the highest quality available – Japanese titanium and protective Zeiss sun lenses, and talks at length about precise studies he has made into the reliability and durability of the luxury materials selected.
Emblematic of the styling and confidence of the collection is model Titania, produced in acetate and Japanese beta titanium with a shape that appears to do the near impossible – combining a round eye shape with the suggestion of a cat’s eye. All Delirious frames are free from branding, and the founder is defiant in his view on this: “You will never find our name on our products.” The idea is to focus on the excellence of the design and the quality, with impeccable finishing and a small stamp of approval via an engraving, “handcrafted in Italy.”
Delirious Eyewear was created in 2012, and first showed its titanium sunglasses on Stella Jean’s runway at the Fall/Winter 2017 show. The brand is now available in selected optical boutiques and a few prestigious fashion stores worldwide. A showroom is located in Milan at Alzaia Naviglio Pavese, 52. For more information, and further details visit www.deliriouseyewear.comCN
Continuing on a path that is fresh and ingenious, Padma Image from Japan has put out new styles for summer, including the quirky Moku Moku. Young designer Meiji Hasui has a love for asymmetrical concepts, and when these appear, they are always delicate with an intriguing elegance that is very flattering on the face. Model Moku Moku is now available in a range of soft acetate colorations with nice subtleties; tones include the black and white mottled effect and a graduated purple or bright blue.
All the frames are being produced in Makoto in Sabae, Japan, known as one of the most sought after production sites in the country for the highest quality crafting and finishing. The PADMA IMAGE brand is now 6 years old and well known in Japan in the most exclusive boutiques. The online store is now open at https://padmaimage.stores.jp/ – more details at http://padmaimage.comCN