Thomas Fuller is right from the 17th century. Seeing is believing. With a global average of seven hours of screen time (and rising fast), we live in a demanding high-viewing culture. Eye care is the final frontier in luxury services and goods. When Iggy Pop and Kelly Rowland both have a hit song about shades, you know something has been a staple for decades. Glasses and sunglasses can be both ubiquitous and extremely memorable. Try drawing Mahatma Gandhi or Malcolm X without signature frames. Vivienne Westwood once boasted that she couldn’t even think without her glasses. Nowadays, aviators are thankfully back “in”. Top Gun: Maverick And President Biden’s stamp of approval.
with success Everything everywhere all at once, stars Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis and Ke Hui Kun brought fashion-forward eyewear to the biggest red carpets of the year. In the US alone, the Vision Council of America estimates that over 60% of adult eyewear will generate $30 billion by 2022. Advertising roar. Who are the current must-have designers and upcoming tastemakers? What are the factors shaping the global market? For industry insights, I turned to Ariel Resnick, founder of Glassworks, an Australian-born, Tel Aviv-based eyewear entrepreneur that brings together the world’s finest artisan and high-tech eyewear makers. For style advice, I spoke with Olia Kedik of Oliamoda, a Sacramento-based fashion accessories stylist and Instagram influencer.
Luxury beyond branding
The concept of luxury in this class is different from fashion. The world’s biggest brands tend to outsource accessories and cosmetics to third-party manufacturers.
“Eyewear professionals really care about handmade, slow design and sustainable materials,” comments Resnik. Luxury eyewear is the first anti-fast-fashion bastion to resist gimmick marketing and mass production. For example, Hong Kong’s most secretive brand Regards creates unique frames using grainy wood, horn, sterling silver and oxidized metals, all of which change aesthetics over time with chemicals in worn leather. They are the winners of the 2021 Salmo d’Or trophy, known as the Oscars for the eyewear industry. Since 1917, Kamemannen has been pouring hundreds of hours of craftsmanship into each iconic frame. This brand is Japan’s most influential contributor to eyewear history. His engineering legacy includes the introduction of titanium into eyewear, which revolutionized the industry and inspired a generation of designers around the world.
There is no algorithm for real experience.
As fashion metaverse revenues accelerate at an impressive 36% annual growth rate, visionary retailer Warby Parker is adapting its online-only strategy to include more brick-and-mortar stores. When it comes to technology, the eyewear industry has always been an early adapter. However, the experience of trying on a new pair of glasses and perfecting the fit is very personal. “It doesn’t appeal to luxury optometrists who want the convenience of a drive-through experience to be the heart of the experience,” says Resnick. The success of two brands born in Berlin ten years ago are Kuboram and Mikita. Different in style, they share a millennial community-building approach to internalization. A better world One view – change frame at a time.
“Monumental, bodyscaps, fluid identities, mask power, infinite languages.” Excerpted from Kuboram’s concept statement, their climate-neutral craftsmanship is impressive. Mykita shows the bright side of the interdependent creative economy by focusing on hi-tech quality and fostering a “culture of discovery and play” in artists and their clients. A true relationship is the ultimate luxury.
Technically, as a Medical device, glasses were always unisex. Over the years, his design history has broadened our understanding of the masculine/feminine spectrum. From Andy Warhol to RuPaul, eyewear has been seen as a tool for gender-nonconforming self-expression. Elton John estimates that he once owned nearly a quarter of a million pairs! “Glasses aren’t gendered anymore, really. Eyewear designers think more about materials and innovation,” says Olia Kedik, a stylist at Olia Moda, a Sacramento-based fashion and accessories store.
For example, Yuichi Toyama is known for his geometric art designs that enhance any face with emotion. The Japanese ritual designer is based on five guiding principles: See, Think, Draw, Make, Break. Meanwhile, LOOL hails from Barcelona, a city synonymous with free-thinking, vibrant sexuality and the visionary architecture of Antoni Gaudi. This brand translates urban lines and Mediterranean colors into statement pieces of engineering genius. And Masahiro Maruyama creates frames so striking yet impeccably practical that they perfectly capture our complex zeitgeist. It’s no surprise that the brand is this year’s Salmodor awardee.
Eyewear that resists climate change
Extreme weather is becoming the new normal and concerns about UV radiation are increasing. It’s a new priority for many outside of particularly sunny places like Israel, California or Brazil. You need adequate protection everywhere,” explains Resnik. Conversely, even the arctic region is seeing demand for quality sunglasses. The Nordic optical market is predicted to grow at a healthy 4% over the next five years. Italian brand DABRACH is ahead of the curve on this trend. Their atelier is located in the alpine Piedmont region and draws on its famous hiking heritage. TAVAT is another example of climate-sensitive design. This family business is rooted in the Dolomite mountaineering tradition. High altitude know-how and fashion-forward aesthetics allow for extremely safe and flawless eyewear.
New different views
The Italians “invented” modern glasses. Japanese craftsmanship is so legendary, he “invented” fixing ordinary things with gold! It is not surprising that the “rivalry” of Italy and Japan has dominated the luxury industry for decades. But adventurous shoppers have shifted their focus and are changing the must-have map.
The digital reach of designers everywhere and the influence of celebrities everywhere drives the demand. For example, many South Korean brands are benefiting from the high interest in K-pop and K-dramas. Tbilisi maintains its fashion capital status thanks in part to George Keburia and those beloved little cat-eye glasses. all of them The Kardashians, Knowles, Hadids etc. Handmade just outside of São Paulo, the brightly colored frames from Brazilian label LAPIMA have captured the hearts and faces of South American trendsetters. Dapmode, the first Nigerian eyewear manufacturer in Lagos, continues to push the envelope for African design. The global eye care market is predicted to nearly double from last year’s $170 billion to $324 billion by 2030 with the expansion of new brands and an exciting multicultural approach. It is seeing the truth. This I feel good!