When electrical engineer Johnny Talbot met business/textile/style guru Adrian Runhof, it was fashion magic. The duo created Talbot Runhof, a brand that balances playfulness with extreme femininity and discreet design details.
The ready-to-wear collection can be found in 36 stores in the U.S. and 59 stores globally. Their fashion is worn by celebrities such as Paula Patton, Kristen Bell, Lisa Edelstein and some of the Kardashian women. When it comes to eyewear, the logo-free Brendel by Talbot Runhof collection from Tura, Inc., demonstrates restrained curves and patterns that segue into a ladylike color scheme.
For 2017, the carefully curated collection offers three ophthalmics and three sun models inspired by the designers’ motto, “Never go too far; just always enough!” and with an emphasis on intricate patterns, rich translucent hues and a signature purple stripe design. Style 902212 is a bow-tie shape featuring Italian crystal acetate. A dramatic and bold cat-eye shape for sun style 906102 offers a soft line metal brow that appears as a shadow through the custom translucent plastic material and continues through into a gently swooped temple. The look is finished off with a flash lens coating.
VCPN had the opportunity to interview the designers about their foray into eyewear and why their brand is so unique in today’s fashion landscape.
MICHELE SILVER: Explain the DNA of the Brendel by Talbot Runhof brand.
JOHNNY TALBOT & ADRIAN RUNHOF: A balancing act of function versus fashion.
SILVER: What are your professional backgrounds and the unique qualities you bring to your designs?
TALBOT & RUNHOF: We have very unusual curricula vitae, business management and engineering respectively, that have given us our refreshing approach to fashion. Everything we’ve learned over the past 30 years, we’ve learned through our close personal relationships with our customers.
SILVER: How were you able to translate the design elements of the ready-to-wear line into eyewear?
TALBOT & RUNHOF: Our last collection was filled with a variety of overlapping of textures, colors and varying degrees of transparency, which proved to be the perfect set of tools for developing our eyewear.
SILVER: Who is the core customer of the eyewear collection?
TALBOT & RUNHOF: As with the Talbot Runhof main collection, the eyewear collection is for a woman who isn’t keen on wearing what everyone else is wearing. The market is so completely oversaturated with product from the usual suspects, it is refreshing to know that there are still enough people who want to set themselves apart from the rest of the crowd.
SILVER: Describe the new styles and inspiration for the spring/summer 2017 collection.
TALBOT & RUNHOF: It’s statement eyewear in new, unusual shapes; exciting color combinations and [it]toys with textures. [The frames are] a game of transparent, translucent, opaque. Yet at the same time, the collection is completely understandable and wearable.
SILVER: What did you enjoy the most about producing eyewear?
TALBOT & RUNHOF: Eyewear, like a pair of shoes or a handbag, can make or break an outfit. It is wonderful to be involved in the process of creating the outfit literally from head to toe.
SILVER: What have been the challenges introducing this fashion-forward brand into the American market?
TALBOT & RUNHOF: The eyewear market is, of course, extremely competitive, and as you can imagine, there are very specific challenges that face a smaller brand.
SILVER: What has surprised you both the most about the American eyewear market?
TALBOT & RUNOFF: We are not fond of logos; you’d never see a Talbot Runhof logo on one of our garments. This is a rather unusual attribute for an eyewear collection, but it somehow sets us apart and highlights the newness of our design and the quality of the product.
SILVER: What advice do you have for helping eyecare professionals sell this brand to their patients?
TALBOT & RUNHOF: We think it is very important to be able to tell the customer a story. We share with our customers all kinds of information about fabrics, weaving techniques, manufacturing and embroideries. People want to feel like they are buying something special, learn a little about our history, who we dress, where we manufacture, our passion for fabrics and our philosophy in life and in design. Tell your customer a story.
SILVER: What are the three “must-have” fashion items for a woman’s spring/summer 2017 wardrobe?
TALBOT & RUNHOF: Our light blue oxford men’s shirt with oversized cuffs and gold buttons, any one of our “it’s a jungle out there” monkey pieces and a pair of Brendel by Talbot Runhof glasses, of course.