|Superdry, SDE 712|
|William Morris, London|
From high-end luxury to everyday affordability, manufacturers from across the pond offer a plethora of frames for your patients. These eight brands might be just what the doctor ordered to Anglicize your dispensary, and you’ll be right chuffed to have them.
SHOPPING ON HIGH STREET
In 1932, Max Wiseman & Co. moved its equipment into the Algha Works factory in London’s East End. Now the last remaining eyewear factory in England, much of the original equipment is still used today for producing Savile Row. Classic styling serves as a base for the new Combination Collection featuring handmade acetate fronts with 18-karat gold temples and endpieces.
The alternative fashion world of London’s Camden Market saw the birth of Radley in 1998 with its signature Scottish Terrier adornments on leather bags and other premium accessories. A stylish brand for women of all ages, Radley embodies youthful yet sophisticated designs. The newest eyewear collection, Soft Touch, features super thin, lightweight polymer frames in hand-painted, soft matte colors.
Graham Cutler and Tony Gross, who are opticians as well as friends, founded their company in 1971 for “people interested in handcrafted heritage, bold design and…the provenance of their glasses,” according to Marie Wilkinson, design director. Each Cutler and Gross frame passes through 35 pairs of skilled hands and 42 unique steps in the factory in Italy. The newest styles have been forged from metal, acetate and leather with mirrored lenses for a contemporary feel.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Officially, Kirk & Kirk was founded by Jason and Karen Kirk in 2013, but the Kirk family’s earliest known ties to the optical industry reach back to 1916. With unconventional roots, it’s no surprise that the target demographic is also slightly left of center. “Our audience is creative people who are seeking something a little out of the ordinary. They are not label driven and have a streak of irreverence coursing through their veins…a little punk attitude,” described Jason Kirk, brand director. The design scheme for the lightweight acetate collections speak to that funky attitude with a major focus on color and innovation.
In 2004, Julian Dunkerton opened the first Superdry apparel store in London. Today, there are more than 500 Superdry locations spanning 46 countries and a celebrity following that includes David Beckham, Bradley Cooper and Matt Damon. Idris Elba shopped London’s Regent Street Superdry store so frequently that they asked him to collaborate on a recently released collection. A fusion of vintage Americana and Japanese-inspired graphics with a British style, Superdry pulls these worlds together through its use of natural materials such as woods and leather, tumble-plated stainless steel with a distressed stonewashed effect, quality fabrics, unique detailing and hand-drawn graphics.
With three collections from which to choose-London, Black Label and Wills-William Morris designs for trendy fashionistas. The London collection takes inspiration from fun, quirky trends in the heart of the capital city, Black Label collection targets the high-end market with modern styling and premium materials, and Wills interprets styles from the London collection to fit smaller faces.
For refined looks, Hackett London from Mondottica interprets the men’s ready-to-wear line into eyewear styles with subtle, sophisticated details. The fall/winter 2016 ophthalmics highlight a racing heritage with cooling vents reimagined as precision cutouts and svelte door handles on temples.
A DIFFERENT VIEW
Responsible for revolutionizing the fashion sunglass world in the 1920s, Oliver Goldsmith believed that “a well-dressed person should have a wardrobe of glasses in the same way they have a wardrobe of handbags, hats, ties, cuff links or jewelry.” Based in Soho, central London and lauded by celebrities and royals, the Goldsmith brand continues to thrive 90 years later with Oliver’s granddaughter, Claire Goldsmith. Limited editions of two iconic frames-the Manhattan and the LORD-were released to celebrate the brand’s 90th birthday.
Whether you’re looking for frames that are high-end, funky, chic or innovative, England has something to round out your store. Tea is, of course, optional.
Kaitlyn Robertson has been writing for more than a decade with eight years spent covering the optical industry.
WHERE TO FIND IT: Claire Goldsmith 44 0 208 455 6948 • ClaireGoldsmith.com • Claire@OliverGoldsmith.com // Cutler and Gross +44 0 208 451 0331 • CutlerAndGross.com • AskMe@CutlerAndGross.com // Kirk & Kirk distributed by Binocleuses 813.444.8803 • KirkAndKirk.com • Info@KirkAndKirk.com // Mondottica • 866.666.3662 • MondotticaUSA.com // Radley: Inspecs USA 727.771.7710 • InspecsUSA.com • Sales@InspecsUSA.com // Savile Row: Inspecs USA 727.771.7710 • InspecsUSA.com • Sales@InspecsUSA.com // Superdry: Inspecs USA 727.771.7710 • InspecsUSA.com • Sales@InspecsUSA.com // William Morris +44 1279.732.424 • WilliamMorris.co.UK • Info@WilliamMorris.co.UK