Eye Emporium at Silmo

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Eye Emporium opticians

Eye Emporium is constantly searching for the most exciting designs and innovations in ophthalmic and sunglasses eyewear.  This year’s largest trade show in Paris, called Silmo, was an unforgettable experience for my Director and me. Our dedication to research led us to meet the foremost thought-provoking artisans in the eyewear industry; artisans who have consistently raised the standard in eyewear design and quality of construction. These eyewear artisans include, among others:

J F Rey, Orgreen, Mykita, Markus T, Cazal, Gotti and Japonism.

Earlier in May we introduced an eyewear company known as Orgreen to our Swiss Cottage branch. At Silmo I had the opportunity to meet Mr Henrick Orgreen in person to discuss his inspirational designs. Orgreen was formed in 1997; within the space of 15 years it has become the cutting edge in lightweight, minimalist yet stylish designs. Orgreen has embraced a unique spectrum of colours – 400 in total.

SilmloAs a design researcher, I found myself discovering that Orgreen has released its first rimless collection in Japan. I soon realised (when I attempted to purchase these unique designs) that this release is not available to the European or American market. I made a humble request to my UK representative of Orgreen, Mr Bernard. Mr Bernard informed me that he had made a special request on my behalf, however, the official company polices meant the release was restricted to Japan only.

A little disappointed, but not undeterred, I thought a humble request to Mr Henrick Orgreen may fulfill my wish. Upon listening to my request tentatively, Mr. Orgreen decided graciously to grant me my wish as an enthusiastic frame geek. I was so thrilled and excited to see the new collection as previously I had only seen them on various eyewear blogs. This marked a positive start to our journey on my first day at Silmo.

J F Rey is a name that defines limitless boundaries of imagination in the world of design and colour. Mr J F Rey is the founder and designer behind the name; his wife has also been a driving force behind the colouration of these wonderful designs. Mr Rey takes inspiration from the natural elements around him. He is known for his admiration for Japanese style. In the 1980s he became well established and has since won French Silmo d’Or 2007 for The Kaprisse.

It was immediately recognisable that the winter/spring 2012/2013 collection would be great choice for Eye Emporium clientele and would leave a lasting impression on new clients.

We share the vision of bespoke frames with unique original twist. In an ophthalmic market which has been depressed with generic design. Mr J F Rey brings a breath of fresh air with style and substance.

3These designs are now available at Eye Emporium Swiss Cottage.

Next I ventured over to Mykita. Mykita was formed in Berlin in by Harald Gottschling, Daniel Haffmans, Phillip Haffmans, and Moritz Krueger. The brand presents eyewear made from stainless steel sheet, with a non-fashion aura. The concept behind the No. 1 collection was that these frames are timeless. They don’t change from one season to next.

Initially the colour range was conservative. As time elapsed more colours were added, and now in 2012 we have some floral colour ways as well. Mykita describe Collection No.1 as follows: “The key feature of Mykita’s Collection No.1 is the patented snap-hinge design, comprising simple plug connections that render traditional soldered joints and screws redundant. Each part of the frame is cut out of a 0.5mm stainless steel sheet and then folded into form by hand. As well as being light and comfortable to wear, the frames can be easily adjusted to each wearer’s face.”

In addition to collection No.1 ophthalmic, we were impressed by the spectrum of designs from the classically elegant, to more avant-garde designs. The model ‘Rolf’ is a classic aviator style with a powerful universal appeal. Mykita offers the opportunity to be very self-confident and expressive. All Mykita sunglasses incorporate Zeiss lenses for the best protection.

After gazing through a maze of eyewear stands, one in particular caught my eye; Gotti – Switzerland. Amazed at the smooth contour lines radiating from the acetate ophthalmic collection, I decided to take closer look. As Mr Seven Gotti (designer, shown below) explains “I design eyewear like a composer, variation in shape are my notes and only the perfect form has the right sound”.

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With the reddot design award 2012, Gotti stands firm in the landscape of eyewear artisans. Eye Emporium shares Gotti’s vision and as result we have introduced Gotti to the Swiss Cottage practice.

Markus T, a German based company, has designed an impressive array of styles with a super comfortable feel. The design philosophy is conveyed as follows: “The basis for Markus T design lies in its functionality. It uses design technologies which improve on comfort both in terms of fit, and above all, for daily use. At the same time, the technical features become an element of the eyewear design.”

The two core materials used in the production of Markus T eyewear are Titanium and Polamide “TMi”. Characteristics for both materials include lightweight, anti-allergen, strong, and durable.  All Markus T frames are without screws – the designer has developed creative alternatives which are less maintenance intensive.

After winning 30 national and internal awards since 1999, Markus T continues to impress with new shapes and colour combinations. The collection has a certain mark of distinction which has helped it create its well deserved reputation. Sunglasses are also produced with same Markus T distinctiveness and are handmade in Germany.

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Cazal Eyewear is synonymous in the hip-hop world for its iconic sunglasses. This year sees the introduction of these and other amazing sunglass designs at Eye Emporium, Swiss Cottage. Cazal Eyewear designer Cari Zalloni is well renowned in the design world, since the brand’s formation in 1975. Since its inception it has produced many iconic design classics. Model 951 has reached cult status (show below).

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Japonism is a well known eyewear company in Japan. Since its humble beginning in 1996, it has captured the imagination of thousands of eyewear wearers. I met with their designers on my last day at Silmo.

It was a real pleasure meeting with Mr. Hironobu Kasashima (designer), who has inspired me, like many others, with his team of designers.  It was an honour that Mr H.Kasashima selected frames for my Director and me. With his insight into selection process, we were left stunned when he explained with reasoning behind the selection. I would say his design philosophy actually translated into form and function.  Japonism has special appeal to individuals with flat nose contours, considering Japonism design takes into account Asian facial features.

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Although I was sad that Silmo was coming to the end, I was very excited about creating our own little Silmo at Eye Emporium, Swiss Cottage.

Come and enjoy the designs and gain the designers perspective when selecting the perfect look, feel and comfort.

Saeed Ali

Brands Manager


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