In this first edition of our MAKERS series, we will be featuring the most iconic, and best selling style of our 2013 collection. The Ol'e Orleans.
Research began late 2011 with the silhouette of a 1950s sunglasses frame as a design brief. Almost Wayfarer in style, and almost certainly American made. The pair of sunglasses that now fills a gap in our studios display cabinet was once the pinnacle of that era, and undeniable proof that fine quality goods are meant to last.
Admittedly they are well worn, but with a new pair of modern technology lenses and a fine buffer they would be as 'current' as any shades on the high streets today. So what can't be bought anymore? A frame so vintage, it can only be bought back to life through old Hollywood cinema or photographs? We asked our designer Ashley Hoare to fill in the gaps.
"This frame was most likely part of the series of designs that became the well known and best selling style of all time 'The Wayfarer'. I wanted to go 5, maybe 10 styles prior this to achieve something truly original. Something that stands alone. The Ol'e Orleans."
"I referred to the Ol'e Orleans in the studio as the 'Wright-Bros' of handmade bamboo eyewear when creating the drawings. I really felt I had to design a true vintage silhouette that represented the beginning of our brand and the beginning of the exclusive bamboo material. A signature piece that compliments both design and theory. Like how a plain white t-shirt to stone wash jeans so to speak. That was my only ethos."
So why 'Ol'e Orleans'?
The name could not have been more fitting for this frame, as the city of New Orleans was where I gathered most of the inspiration from. Visually most of New Orleans still has a sense of 'old world' about it apart from its people and culture. A place genuinely suspended in time, and better for it. 'A shiny old penny' and that's exactly what I want you to think when you look at this style of bamboo sunglasses. Old world aesthetics, new world techniques.