• About Séamus

    Originally from Northern Ireland, I came to England seventeen years ago. My first proper job was in an opticians and I have never left the industry since (apart from one month at a bespoke shirt makers). I have sixteen years experience of the eyewear industry and have a passion for handmade spectacles and sunglasses with an eye on innovation in design.

  • Monthly Archives: April 2011

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Struktur est arrivé!

    Today I finally got my hands on the collection I mentioned in my report on Milan. Struktur is the brainchild of 25 year old Parisian, Hugh Poillerat. As I mentioned in that report, I first met Hugh when he appeared at my door clutching a CV. He had just arrived in London and set about getting himself a job in an opticians. Having worked for a few years in opticians in Paris, he wanted to come to London do the same but also to give him the opportunity to improve his english.

    Unfortunately I had no job to give him at that time but we had a chat and I gave him a list of a few places he might like to try. This was the last I heard of him, until that is, he appeared at my door two years later.

    He asked if I remembered him but I didn’t to be honest, however once he explained who he was and it all came back to me. I asked where he ended up working and he told me that he couldn’t get any work and that he ended up going back to Paris. Although unfortunate, it made him realise that if he wanted to change his life he had better do something different and so he decided to design his own range of eyewear.

    Now Hugh had always worked with high end eyewear and knew the difference between good and bad quality so it was important to him that not only opticians would know that it was something special, but that also the wearer would know at first touch that is was too. To achieve this, he went to a small manufacturer in Auxerre (approx 100km south east of Paris), well known for its quality of manufacture, attention to detail and artisanal skill.

    Hugh’s designs are fresh and challenging, his choice of colours are strong and exciting. In his work you can see design cues from the eighties, seventies, and even thirties art deco. Sometimes, all in the same frame. The styles are very well defined as to which are men’s and which are women’s. Even the stronger women’s frames have an femininity that leaves no confusion. I guess this is a product of the Parisian environment they designed in.

    His sunglasses are all about glamour. Oversized shapes for women in exciting colours that will get you noticed and for men, strong, defined, bold. The finish and the quality is superb. I think they are a really welcome addition to our portfolio of brands and if you are looking for something more of a statement, something different to the norm, then these might just be for you.

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    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Paul Smith Spectacles and Sunglasses in store now!

    In the last few days, I have taken delivery of a new collection for the store, Paul Smith. I began my career by selling Paul Smith in my first ever proper job which was at Angela Campbell Opticians in Manchester over seventeen years ago and I have always had a soft spot for them.

    Unlike many “designer glasses” brands, Paul Smith takes a very active interest in the eyewear that bears his name. He personally signs off each design to check that it complies with the ethos and quality of his clothing collection. In fact, when he first decided to launch an eyewear collection, he went straight to the manufacturers of the eyewear he liked to wear himself, Oliver Peoples.

    Production responsibility has remained with them till this day and it is a true collaboration, between the companies and not an impersonal licensing deal. They are all hand made, 60% of them in Italy and 40% of them in Japan. I am fully satisfied with the quality and I’m very pleased to add them to my roster of brands here at the store.

    Stylistically, the spectacles echo the clothing line of the Paul Smith brand. Classic cuts with a twist. They have an air of the period between 1920 and 1960 when Britain was more reserved and things were built to last. Unlike some of my collections, colour is subdued as they opt for tortoiseshells, horn, black and the occasional flash of colour in a burgundy or a deep purple.

    The sunglasses are a much more glamorous affair. They range from fifties “Grace Kelly” styles to seventies cool that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Studio 54.

    They are in store now so come and have a look soon.