Cool designs from eyewear manufacturers across the pond will turn any wearer into an Anglophile.
The Beatles. High tea. Fish and chips. The Royal family. Eyewear. Eyewear? Why, yes, indeed. We’ve rounded up some brilliant British frame companies making their mark stateside, and the designs are simply grand.
Known for her love of color, Claire Goldsmith introduces the Legacy collection that incorporates super lightweight acetates along with chunkier styles “more in line with the Goldsmith heritage,” according to the fourth-generation designer. The 2016 CG: Claire Goldsmith comprises six ophthalmics, three each for women and men. “The temples of all CG frames have a special bevel that is the exact shape of a core wire,” Goldsmith explained. “CG is also recognizable by the split color selections, which have become a signature of the line.” The result, she said, is an unmistakable British DNA that is not replicable by U.S. competitors.
Art Deco lines define the 2016 Super Lux Stars collection from RockOptika, designed and co-founded by Tom Herrington, who is inspired by architect Frank Lloyd Wright and the beach houses of Malibu. With five styles originally created for men, the company is launching two women’s models for late spring. RockOptika is actively seeking a U.S. partner or distributor for its “cult” eyewear, which has been popular with such musicians as Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher. “I trust that the highly cultured U.S. market will understand the nod to classic mid-century design,” Herrington said. “There is also a nostalgia effect, and the frames have a cool Brittania identity.”
Inspired by kalos, which is associated with beauty in Greek mythology, Jason and Karen Kirk employ their signature Italian acetate in a fun palette for their Kirk & Kirk Kaleidoscope collection. The 2016 Kaleidoscope ophthalmic collection offers eight shapes in nine hues, while the sun collection offers six shapes in four color combinations. The bold, upswept and angular-shaped Hana in flame is a standout.
Booth & Bruce, which was started by opticians Peter Booth and Richard Bruce in the ’90s, is defined by urban chic and daring designs. The company’s frames are made with quality acetate chosen to maximize the design of each model and are gender neutral while the colors are named for cities or landmarks. Model BB1510 in the Here and Now collection incorporates two-tone color combinations for the style called Oxford and yes, you guessed it, Cambridge.
Eye Respect’s frames, which are manufactured and hand assembled in England, require more than 60 steps to produce. Jonathan Van Blerk, creative director, takes great pride in his heritage-inspired collection that offers both traditional and contemporary styles. The Dylan, a pillowed aviator shape is made of thin stainless steel for an end result that’s lightweight, curvy and comfortable.
For the youngest wearers, Zoobug’s hypoallergenic frames designed by ophthalmologist Dr. Julie Diem Le, who also serves as the company’s director, feature rounded-off temples for a secure fit and enough distance from the lenses to avoid lash crash. The SqFarer polarized sunglasses within the spring/summer ’16 collection feature a saddle-type bridge made of surgical-grade silicon and a beachy blue-and-white striped color combination.
Whether your patients love all things British or simply appreciate outside-the-box designs, these choices will help create a smashing inventory in your dispensary.
Jackie O’Keefe, LDO, is a writer, speaker, course preparer and consultant in the Tidewater area of Virginia. Michele Silver is managing editor of VCPN.