Eyewear: Waiting for the Sun
Caroline Baumann is the Director of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, and we spotted her at Design Miami 2013 in these “Delta” sunglasses from French eyewear brand, Waiting for the Sun. Drawing influence from both Californian surf culture and chic Parisian nights, these frames lend an urban, graphic edge to Caroline’s outfit. The frames are handmade from bamboo, then treated and painted for a smooth matte finish.
Caroline bought these frames when she was vacationing in the Marais district of Paris this summer. She loved the distinct shape – and so do we. The boxy silhouette extends to the extra-wide nose bridge and slight cat eye. This shape works well for people who want to create some angles to their face without going too crazy.
Luciano’s ready for the weekend in these one-of-a-kind Versace sunglasses. These amazing, architectural frames were shown on the runway, but never made available for sale. Luciano was working in the press office for Versace at the time, and landed this pair as a gift. We love the angular shape of the frames, and the way it cuts in at the nose bridge. The translucent caramel acetate adds softness and dimension, while the metallic accents add just a touch of that signature Versace glamour. Whether they’re coming down the runway in Milan, or seen by the pool in Miami, these sunglasses project a cool and confident vibe – perfect for someone who appreciates the little details but doesn’t sweat them either.
We photographed Logan in these Oliver Peoples x Balmain shades during a cocktail party at the Mondrian Hotel in Miami. These limited-edition frames were part of a collaboration between the California eyewear brand and the Paris couture house in 2010, and fuses Oliver Peoples’ laidback vibe with Balmain’s edgy, bold aesthetic. The unisex style features an exaggerated teardrop lens shape held together by a metal brow bar that wraps around the temples. Tinted gradient grey lenses add a subtle contrast to the black acetate frame, which was handmade in Italy and Japan.
A fashion lover and celebrity stylist, Logan casually paired these $600 shades with a T-shirt and shorts – a trend mirrored by the likes of Katie Holmes and Fergie, who have both been pictured in these sunglasses while running errands around town. As for Logan, he liked these flat-top shades so much that he bought the second pair in the collaboration – an all-metal frame in silver and gold – to add to his collection.
Nancy bought these ewooden frames in Venice, Italy after a long search for a cool and comfortable pair of sunglasses. Made from lightweight, eco-friendly “Plasticwood,” these slim Wayfarer-style shades use a thermoplastic material that is hypoallergenic in nature, preventing the sweating that often occurs from wearing plastic frames. The frames have also been treated with resins that add elasticity to the product, all the while maintaining a wood grain-like look.
Inspired by classic eyewear shapes and artisan production methods, these sunglasses are notable for their wide frame, mirrored lenses, and contrast colour arms. The casual and contemporary styling makes these glasses a great fit for any age or personality – as suitable at the skate park or beach, as they are for an easy afternoon stroll.
Eyewear: Linda Farrow
Alex’s sense of personal style extends all the way to his glasses – in this case, a pair of bold and chunky acetate frames from Linda Farrow. Alex told us that eyewear is “one of the best accessories,” and that he chooses his sunglasses based on how he wants to express his personality that day. This pair of Linda Farrow “71” shades were perfect for a day by the pool. The “D-frame” style glasses are straighter at the top, before curving smoothly at the corners and into a bulging nose bridge. Gold-plated titanium studs add a luxurious touch, while the nylon lenses keep things casual. Laminated nose-pads help the angular frames sit gently (and properly) on the face.
Writer, editor and all-around creative-type Nick Vinson first spotted these LGR frames after reading about them in Wallpaper* Magazine. Named after founder Luca Gnecchi Ruscone, the brand began after Ruscone discovered a pair of old frames that his grandfather had imported from Italy to his then-homeland of Eritrea. Inspired, Ruscone set out to create a line of eyewear that would merge the adventurous spirit of Africa with the luxurious glamour of Europe.
Vinson’s “Suez” frames are handmade in Italy and feature a sleek rectangular shape, in a “Matt Green” color. The slightly darker tone of the nose-bridge, and the unique rectangular rivets add a subtle, modern touch to the otherwise classic shape. Made from cellulose acetate (which can bend to adapt shape without heating), the frames are hand-polished, then tumbled in beech and birch wood to achieve its desired finish. The lenses, meantime, are made from tempered mineral glass – a process in which lenses are first immersed in hot acid salts, then cooled using liquid nitrogen. The temperature-shock increases the strength of the lenses, making them highly impact and scratch-resistent. This is a pair of glasses that has been created with a lot of thought and purpose – something that we appreciate, and something that Vinson undoubtedly appreciates as well.
Eyewear: Rag & Bone
Writer Stephanie LaCava’s Rag & Bone glasses just happened to be matching her dress, when we photographed her at an Art Basel event at The Webster in Miami. These coral-colored “Keaton” frames are made in Japan from an Italian acetate, and feature an ultra feminine, retro-inspired silhouette, reminiscent of 60s surf culture. The silver rivets at the temples, and sleek metal strips down the arms add some modern detailing. An “rb”-embossed screw at the end of the arms is the only visible branding.
Stephanie’s shades looked right at home in Miami, though they’d work to brighten up an outfit in snowy New York as well. The vintage, sporty shape is totally on-trend, while the coral color is a chic way to draw some attention to your face… without seeming like you’re trying too hard!
We spotted Jamal Johnson at a party in Miami’s Design District during Art Basel 2013, and couldn’t help but notice his glasses. Jamal found these vintage “Annabella Offshore” frames on eBay and fell in love with their unique shape and details. The frames are made of wood, with screws made from real gold. The details extend to the rest of the frames too: notice the studded detailing of the contrast-colour nose bridge, and the beautiful wood grain that runs down the arms.
“Annabella Offshore” was a popular Italian brand in the 70s and 80s, known for their craftsmanship and timeworn design sensibilities. These glasses – which likely date back to the early 80s – reveal the fine art of hand-making frames in all its glory… How appropriate for Art Basel!
They say it’s the little details that often make the largest impression. You hear that a lot in the garment industry, or when it comes to say, food and drink. But it also applies to eyewear. Take, for instance, Italian-based company Vanni, who has perfected these “little details” into a vibrant and unique collection of wonderfully modern, handmade frames.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Vanni frames are designed by an architect. From the curvature of the rim to the extension of the arms, the use of shape, design, and technical qualities are inherent to the Vanni brand. It’s seen in the construction of the frames, with patented spring hinges and fine materials like hypo-allergenic stainless steel. The innovative spirit extends to the way the glasses are re-imagined for today’s fashion-forward consumer: the way a pair of glasses has an upturned brow just so, or the way the arms are dissected on another pair for artistic effect.
The acetates used in the frames are, for the most part, limited-edition and exclusive to the Vanni collection. The acetate is tumbled in wood-chip barrels to smooth and polish the surface, then hand polished to avoid having to add too much oil to the wooden barrels. The result is a pair of glasses that has a subtle sheen, while remaining surprisingly lightweight and durable.
Our favourite collection is the “Flame” collection (seen below), which features an exclusive acetate developed by Vanni, and manufactured by Mazzuccheli – an Italian company that has been in the plastics industry since 1849. The delicate, coloured acetate is built up in layers, then melted by fire (hence the name “Flame”) into a transparent base. The colours spread beautifully, lava lamp-like through the plastic, giving a rich, vibrant quality to the frames.
Pay a visit to the Vanni factories and you’ll discover that all of their frames are truly handmade by artisans – from the welding, to the polishing, and colouring. This explains why different batches may have slight differences, despite having the same model number. In other words, no two pairs will be alike. And perhaps this is the biggest “little detail” of all: that you’ll not only have a pair of handsome, artistically-inclined frames – you’ll be the only one with a pair like that in the world!