Welcome, Thom Browne!

We’ve always been in love with Thom Browne Eyewear, and jumped at the first chance to bring his collections to Singapore.

Group manager Ben Chan at Silmo 2013 sporting Thom Browne's TB001, made famous by Lady Gaga and its signature side mesh caps.

Group manager Ben Chan at Silmo 2013 sporting Thom Browne’s TB001, made famous by Lady Gaga and its signature side mesh caps.

As always, small batch editions of the world’s best made eyewear – in this instance, 100-percent handcrafted by Japan’s top artisans using the country’s highest quality materials – take a while to arrive because of the attention and skill needed in their construction. Now, we have our first five pieces in, and more to come – we’re sure you’ll agree that they’re worth the wait! From titanium and 12-carat gold to natural horn and leather, Thom Brown Eyewear mirrors the retro-futuristic philosophy in his clothing lines – the shapes and styles evoke iconic styles from the 1940s to 1960s, yet devilish twists tucked into panels, hinges, interiors and temple tips give them the award-winning designer’s unmatched touch. And instead of loud, overbearing logos that compromise the design, Thom Browne Eyewear discreetly sports his trademark tri-colored stripes on five-piece temple tips.

If that reminds you of Dita – well, that’s why both brands have worked together to produce some stunning eyewear! We’re expecting even more of the 2014 collection very soon but since we only have one of every model, come check out what’s already in!

Handmade In Italy With Love

The Italians are well known for many historical achievements, from building empires, creating art and architectural masterpieces, and making the world’s finest pastas and pizzas. All of these were literally brought to life by hand, and each has a story behind how it came to be.

Paint it red with RES/REI Leonardo from the 2012/2013 fall/winter collection.

Paint it red with RES/REI Leonardo from the 2012/2013 fall/winter collection. (Picture courtesy of RES/REI.)

In 2010, designer Oliviero Zanon decided a Renaissance in eyewear design was in order, beginning with frames and sunglasses 100 percent dreamed up and handcrafted by artisans in Italy, with the same heart and soul that the Roman empire was built, the Mona Lisa was painted, and Aida was composed. And this is his story:

“I lived in London for 10 years, where I went to university for product design and worked for a design and product innovation consultancy. We set up RES/REI in Italty, my native country, to create the first Italian designer eyewear brand that wasn’t mainstream. In Italy, we have a long tradition in eyewear – the know-how in making exceptional frames is outstanding.”

RES/REI visionary Oliviero Zanon. (Picture courtesy of RES/REI.)

RES/REI visionary Oliviero Zanon. (Picture courtesy of RES/REI.)

In his travels to Europe’s most vibrant design hubs, Zanon soaked up local design trends, social behaviors, and global influences, and you can see the result of his experience in the RES/REI collections.

Design dashboard: Where RES/REI ideas are born!

Design dashboard: Where RES/REI ideas are born! (Picture courtesy of RES/REI.)

“The design process is inspiring,” says Zanon, who believes in being as involved as possible in the entire creation of his eyewear, from conceptualisation to packaging for the final customer. “Designing for me means to make prototypes by hand and getting my hands dirty in the workshop. Shaping the raw material is a big part of the process.”

Only the best materials go into RES/REI frames - pure titanium sheets ready to be cut. (Picture courtesy of RES/REI.)

Only the best materials go into RES/REI frames – pure titanium sheets ready to be cut. (Picture courtesy of RES/REI.)

No wonder Zanon has named each frame in his premiere collection after a Roman emperor when RES/REI debuted at Silmo Paris, the world’s biggest and most important optical fair, in 2011, and styles in the current collection are christened after important Italian artists. Obviously, nothing has changed in centuries of how the most talented Italians approach their crafts, in the pursuit of excellence.

For Zanon, it’s a challenge to combine high-quality, durable characteristics in eyewear with stunning design, but his approach is simple: “You can decide to be good or you can be exceptional. We try to be exceptional.”

So do we! The Eye Site is the only optical practice in Singapore to carry the RES/REI collection. Check it out!

Our team sporting the Ottavio Limited Edition collection at Silmo. (Picture courtesy of RES/REI.)

Our team sporting the Ottavio Limited Edition collection at Silmo. (Picture courtesy of RES/REI.)

Follow RES/REI on Facebook for up-to-date details on Zanon and his eyewear adventures!

A New York Frame of Mind

Start spreading the news… on September 6, The Eye Site is proud to party with MOSCOT Originals, a true New York City institution.

From a pushcart on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to creating Buddy Holly’s eye-conic clunkers to framing Johnny Depp, Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, and Anderson Cooper, MOSCOT Originals keeps retro rolling with geek chic styles inspired by its own eyewear designs from the 1930s through 1970s. Using traditional hardware in the frame’s construction, each MOSCOT piece is handcrafted for that robust trademark of authenticity. The MOSCOT Sun range is bold and eclectic, evoking the playfulness of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s from oversized drama to sleek modernity, but maintaining real glass lenses as it always has.

Lemtosh, one of the MOSCOT Originals classics.

Our MOSCOT Originals party at The Pigeonhole on Duxton Road will feature old school, homemade New York bagels (boiled!) with cream cheese and other shmears, other bites of the Big Apple, and a free flow of craft beers, wines, damned good coffee (duh), and sodas. We’ll be showcasing new and classic collections of MOSCOT frames and sunglasses, which will also be available for sale – all MOSCOT buyers will get a $50 voucher off lenses at The Eye Site. We’ll also be giving away frames of guests’ choices through lucky draws.

Wanna come? RSVP to Desiree Koh at desireekoh@thelensmen.com or right here. See you there!

MOSCOT Originals lookin’ good at The Eye Site.

Follow MOSCOT on Facebook! Then, follow MOSCOT on Twitter!

Beyond the Label: Forget Garish Logos, It’s All About the Frame

What happens when Los Angeles design meets the world’s highest quality materials such as titanium, 18-carat gold, white goold, and the finest Japanese zyl acetates?

Dita.

Passionate about art and driven by vintage styles from the 1950s to 1980s, life-long friends Jeff Solorio and John Jupiter poured their love for design into Dita when they launched the celebrated collection in 1996. Handcrafted in Japan, Dita is an alternative to label-branded eyewear, distinguished by quality, look and fit, so that the frame concentrates on complementing your features and overall style, and not a huge logo overshadowing your face.

Today, Jeff and John are one of the world’s most celebrated eyewear designers, and Dita is the it frame for celebrities and trendsetters from David Beckham and Penelope Cruz to Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lopez. See our collection here, and if you can spot who else sports Dita!

Bienvenue Francis Klein

Colours across the spectrum, sparkly Swarovski gems, pretty decorative gems and gorgeous French design were all on display at our boutique on April 26 as we held our very first trunk show ever! And we could think of no one better to co-host it with than Francis Klein, one of our very favorite exclusive collections that we have been showcasing for almost 10 years.

Fabrics and feathers – no two Francis Kleins are 100 percent identical when they are all crafted by hand.

In 1970, optician Francis Klein opened his shop and was quickly disappointed by the lack of good-looking original products that he could sell. He decided to design his own eyewear collection and today, his award-winning collections have been on the most stylish Parisian runways, and are nothing like you’ve ever seen before. Inspired by classic vintage styles yet modern in innovation, Francis created his own special acetate so that feathers and fabrics can be embedded within the plastic frame for an unusual motif. Each frame is made-to-order and 100 percent handcrafted by artisans in France, a proud tradition that complements evergreen designs with the highest quality. Although each frame already has its own personality and attitude to complement your individual style and finesse, you can customise each frame by selecting colours, shapes or decorations within the Francis Klein collection for a one-of-a-kind showpiece.

A family business like us, Mrs. Klein is an interior designer who dresses up their beautiful boutique in the St. Germain neighbourhood, famous for Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, literary gatherings and artistic discourse (how apt!); daughter Betty also designs and is an optician; and daughter Dixie handles the international export business.

Francis, Dixie, Betty and Michele Klein (clockwise from top left).

We were very honoured to have Dixie at our trunk show to introduce the summer collection to our Francis Klein fans. For the first time, everyone could try on as many of these vibrant and gorgeous frames as they liked, until they found one (or two, or three!) that they fell in love with, sometimes at first sight. They’ll each receive something very special – a personally signed picture of them wearing their chose frame, signed by Francis Klein himself.

With wine, cheese and other snacks, everyone had a wonderful time – here’s the evidence!