While many luxury brands are mass producing eyewear through mega manufacturers, there are still a handful of artisans around the world creating luxury eyewear by hand. Many of these artisans are based in Japan, and among connoisseurs, Japanese eyewear has long been the benchmark thanks to the brands’ dedication to craftsmanship, quality and the use of exceptional materials. Two Japanese labels in particular concoct some of the most inventive pieces. These included Eveyan7285, which was relaunched in 2013, more than 40 years after the brand’s boutique opened in 1972, offers a range of eyewear based on its archives, and Nackymade, known for handcrafting frames with whimsical custom stems.
The designers of Eyevan7825 use the brand’s archives, as well as everything from vintage glasses, telescopes, hand mirrors, and artifacts to create their frames. In one of the brand’s most notable designs, the temples were made with French cutlery from the 1940s, while the metal for the frames came from pieces of eye testing equipment used by the company in the 1970s. Each pair also features whimsical design cues, such as accents inspired by the arabesque patterns of ancient Japanese temples. Priced from $ 400 to $ 700, Eveyan7285 frames are handcrafted over 400 steps using state-of-the-art tools in the Japanese prefecture of Sabae, Fukui, an area widely known for its spectacle production. .
Naoki Nakagawa, also known as “Nacky”, of NackyMade is a newer craftsman, having started his own brand of eyewear in 2004. Nakagawa got his start in the eyewear industry working as a salesperson. at the age of 18, where he quickly realized he couldn’t find the type of glasses he was looking for. After mastering the traditional methods of making glasses in Fukui, Nakagawa launched his brand and has since produced some of the most innovative frames on the market. Using a blend of Japanese acetate and European antiques, NackyMade’s iconic frames feature stems with jagged edges and tips shaped into the shapes of animals like crocodiles and rhinos. Although Nakagawa (who makes their frames by hand from start to finish) specializes in bespoke and made-to-order frames, NackyMade eyewear can also be found through a special collaboration with Drake’s, where frames sell for between 350 $ and $ 570.
NackyMade and Eveyan7285 forged a future in niche eyewear and developed new techniques while honoring the craftsmanship inherent in Japanese eyewear. If seeing and feeling the thread of a suit, the fold of a tie or the end of a shoe are important qualifiers of luxury, we could say that the eyes are the gateway to good taste. (eveyan7285.com) (nackymade.com) (drakes.com)