Mar 02, 2012 12:00AM

Exclusive: Ksubi Eyewear 'WAR' Lookbook & Interview

It's only eyewear once it's been worn. Until then it's art, sculpture.

Luxury street label Ksubi dominates yet again with their latest eyewear offering. With inspirations rooted in subculture, the 2012 eyewear collection 'WAR' draws from the style of steam punk, bikers and hip hop. The eyewear range extends the aesthetic found in Ksubi's AW12 ready-to-wear collection of the same title (which was so popular that it was recently targeted in a warehouse robbery). Leopard print, for example, appears on both garments and acetate frames, and the colours from each collection act in synergy with one another. The new collection of twelve unisex optical and sun styles also includes luxury detailing like high shine finishes and metals laminated with leather, which really show how passionate the Ksubi guys are about what they do. We chatted to Ksubi co-founder George Gorrow.

Ingrid Kesa: Eyewear on the surface seems like it would be pretty easy to design, but of course it's not. What are some hidden obstacles within the process from conceptualisation to production?

George Gorrow: Look, to be honest, there's a simple side of it for sure, like everything. But then yes, there is a technical side to it as well, working on structures, weights, materials, and techiniques, can's and cant's. I like to start with a basic shape and see how I can push it and make something simple in a different way, using a different technique which can often take you somewhere really interesting. With the market saturated with boutique eyewear brands, and good ones at that, we always aim to push the boundaries whilst staying accessible. "It's only eyewear once it's been worn. Until then it's art, sculpture" — that's how I see eyewear and at the end of the day you want them worn and loved by people.

Is the way you approach an eyewear collection the same as the way you'd approach a garment collection?

It's very similar at the start definitely. There's technical restrictions similar to garment design obviously and I always try to design on brand rather than on trend, sometimes they overlap. This collection was the first that we married back to the main line collection, by way of prints and tints and clashing and look. I'm liking the eyewear as an extension of the fashion and look of the season as well as being able to be a stand alone piece.

What's your personal favourite style from the new collection?

'The Cisco', named after my wife, is a classic avaitor but I have pushed two ideas over the top of it, and while it seems quite complex, it's actually simple on the face. I have been playing with this idea for about 3 or 4 seasons, this is the third in the 'side blinder' series, and I feel I have the right amount of hard verse soft, simplicity in shape and an overall technical but wearable frame. Once I have a proto of a frame I like to wear it and see what comments I get from people I respect. I can kind of gauge my design from there. My next favourite would be the 'Fang Gang Beatrix Kustom Frame'; I'm liking the loose fun over the structure, I think it's fresh.

Who wears aviators better: Terry Richardson or Karl Lagerfeld?

The picture of Terry wearing our 'Beatrix' frames makes him win my vote for sure. It's not an aviator but he still won!

Opinion on sunglasses at night?

I actually wish I could rock it sometimes. It kind of needs to be a trademark or you come of looking a bit like a wanker; there's plenty of valid reasons to wear them at night though. But you have to start early on that trademark stuff... I kind of missed the boat on the sunglasses at night, kinda bummed, they can come in handy.

What's your favourite fashion-related purchase recently?

A vintage pair of Nina Ricci round hand-made tortoise shell frames, encrusted in synthetic diamonds. I actually had found a pair years ago but had them stolen so it was great to find another pair to replace them. Eyewear and postcards are two things I like to collect. My version of stamps I guess, I like to try find a pair from everywhere I go.

What's something you're vibing off right now?

We are really mixing it up at Ksubi lately. The collective is pushing this new modern look for us, which is very 'luxury street' for want of a term, so I'm really vibing on that direction at the moment. Feels kinda fresh for us and translates well to eyewear. I'm also vibing on my wife's style and the way she wears things. I always picture things on her and if she would wear it, and what she would think.

Cool, thanks!

Thank you.

The Ksubi Eyewear WAR 2012 collection is in-store now.

www.ksubieyewear.com

Ingrid Kesa

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