Silmo showcases new styles

In part one of a two part series, OT  shares insight into the eyewear launches that took place at Silmo

William Morris eyewear

Silmo 2018 featured 965 exhibitors with 1326 brands, which showcased over the four-day show that took place on 28 September–1 October. New spectacles and sunglasses designs were launched by companies including Fleye Copenhagen, Cutler and Gross and Vinylize. OT  spoke to exhibitors about the latest additions to their eyewear collections.

William Morris launched autumn styles from its premium eyewear collection, Black Label (pictured above).

The company explained that Japanese acetate has a longevity that is unrivalled and that the skill of Japanese craftspeople is vital due to the handmade nature of creating acetate frames.

Speaking to OT at Silmo, founder of William Morris, Robert Morris, said: “The biggest news for us is the Black Label collection, which is now being made in Japan. We’ve completely revamped the collection. It’s like a relaunch in a way.”

The British eyewear company also added metal styles that are inspired by the 1980s to its London collection. The frames are lightweight and delicate and provide “a touch of elegance” when compared to its acetate frames, the eyewear company explained.

Kirk Centena eyewear
‘Jade’ from Kirk & Kirk's Centena collection

Kirk & Kirk debuted its Centena collection, which celebrates 100 years of the Kirk family in optics. Founder of the eyewear company, Jason Kirk, explained: “Centena is the first collection in the world to be handmade from 10mm acrylic. There are 10 shapes and 10 colours.”

Pictured above is ‘Jade’ from the Centena collection.

Danish eyewear company Fleye Copenhagen showcased its autumn/winter collection. Founder of Fleye Copenhagen, Annette Saus Estø, shared with OT: “We are working with colours and the density of the frame, which is drawn from our inspiration from flowers and eyes.

Vinyl record eyewear company, Vinylize, launched its collection of sunglasses and spectacles that has been designed in collaboration with AC/DC.

Founder of Vinylize, Zachary Tipton, said: “We’re recycling Back in Black, which is the single most popular hard rock album ever and second most popular vinyl album ever, into eyewear. The AC/DC collection is comprised of four pieces simply because AC/DC only uses four chords.

Cutler and Gross eyewear
‘1319’ from Cutler and Gross’ autumn–winter collection

Cutler and Gross launched its autumn–winter 2018 collection of spectacles and sunglasses, which includes styles that have been milled from 9mm sheets of acetate alongside Japanese designs. 

Design director at Cutler and Gross, Marie Wilkinson, told OT: “We’re really excited about using more Japanese titanium in our collections. It’s a real mix of Japanese titanium working with our acetate factory. This coming together to create these beautiful glasses is a big thing for us.”

Among the new styles is an updated version of its ‘0822’ frame. The ‘1319’ style features the same straight browline as the ‘0822,’ but is cut from 9mm sheet acetate with interior television milling.

“The ‘0822’ is 10 years old, so to honour it we’ve made a more grown up version. It’s more amplified, it’s bigger, wider and it’s a 9mm material. 9mm material doesn’t exist, so we laminated two sheets together to create this very lightweight frame. It’s not what it seems,” Ms Wilkinson shared.

Highlighting the wire core, Ms Wilkinson explained that it’s called ‘anima’ in Italian, which translates to ‘soul’ in English. “It’s the soul of the glasses,” she said, adding: “I believe that Cutler and Gross is an opticians brand. You can adjust the glasses. For the opticians to be able to heat the glasses, to mould and tailor them to the perfect fit is the soul of what we do.”

It’s the soul of the glasses

Design director at Cutler and Gross, Marie Wilkinson

Safarro’s new collection was on display, which has been inspired by the typewriter Lettera 22 by Olivetti.

Speaking about the inspiration behind the range, brand ambassador at Safarro, Tim Young, said: “It’s a classic design because it revolutionised the working place, most importantly for women, who were able to learn to type.”

He added that the new models have been made in a factory near Rome in Italy and include deep, jewel like colours. 

Orgreen showcased its acetate collection – the first of its kind for the Danish company.

Sales manager at Orgreen, Jose Valinas Rial, said: “This year, we’re launching a third collection inside the Orgreen brand – the Orgreen acetate collection. Now we have our core titanium collection, Quantum polyamide and acetate collection. There’s 10 new Quantum models, 19 new acetate models and six titanium models split between the prescription and sun ranges.”