Eye Respect launch debut collection in UK
London based eyewear company Eye Respect launched their debut collection to trade at the Silmo 2012 exhibition in Paris this October.
Firmly established in the distribution, retailing and brand management of other renowned collections, Eye Respect felt the timing perfect to enter the market with their own take and attitude towards hand-made, heritage inspired optical frames and sunglasses.
This debut collection consists of a limited run of 7 styles, available in a number of colour variations.
Our first story was conceived like this: each frame has been carefully considered and developed around the style and personalities of some of the key individuals who have inspired collection to reality – larger than life characters and firm friends of Eye Respect from the worlds of art, finance, motor racing, travel, sport, publishing and fashion. Without some of these people the “eye dream” may not have been realised so we launch by paying homage to these powerful and inspiring icons we are lucky to call our friends.
Brand Director, Rufus Abbott comments: "Our debut eyewear collection is handmade in Italy and focuses very much on the Eye Respect customer's wants and requests for handmade, high quality eyewear that does not exceed £195.00 at retail, yet is crafted and feels like it should be £295.00 at retail, found in the finest eyewear boutiques around the world."
“I work in the old, organic way,” says Jonathan van Blerk, head designer. “I design using only a pad and pencil in order to feel each line of the frame. It takes a lot longer than using a computer because I’m forever erasing and then remarking the page until I get it right. But I just love the way this allows the frame to slowly come alive as I get to know every line intimately.
The artisan approach continues beyond van Blerk who engages master craftsmen from Italy to carve each sample out of a solid piece of acetate much in the same way an old sculptor whittles wood.
“Once we’ve perfected the master copy it heads to the production workshop where each pair is individually handcrafted for up to 16 hours to achieve the exacting Eye Respect standards,” says van Blerk.
The evolution of each Eye Respect frame continues well beyond the workshop. Once out of the box the Italian acetate frames mould to the wearers face -‐ much in the same way as a bespoke pair of leather boots.
“People make these frames,” says van Blerk. “They are designed by hand, crafted by hand, polished by hand. They are packed by hand and they are only ever complete once you have worn them.”
"Our acetate frames are constructed using Mazzacchelli cellulose acetate -‐ a far superior product to the mould injectable plastics commonly used by the majority of mass - produced sunglass labels. The key feature of Mazzacchelli acetate is that it requires the hand of an individual craftsman to cut, bend and polish the frame to life. Mazzacchelli’s malleable nature means it is perfect for eyewear applications. Most of us are born without facial symmetry, but Eye Respect frames can be shaped to accommodate our imperfections, resulting in a truly customised, bespoke fit.
We use high-grade, anti-irritant, nickel - free plated stainless steel for all our metal frames. This coating ensures that when the metal comes into contact with your skin, it doesn’t cause irritation. Even though this process is a pre - requisite for jewellers, it is yet to become common practice in eyewear manufacturing. Pioneering to be an eyewear leader, Eye Respect has an unwavering commitment to the use of this process.
When we are not working on our own collections, we are quietly working with the world’s leading fashion, consumer and trade press, boutiques and department stores on our stable hand-made designer collections, AM Eyewear (Australia), Andy Wolf (Austria), John Varvatos (USA) and 3.1 Philip Lim (USA)."