• 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.

  • YMC v Mc Ginn. In store now.

    Thursday, June 6, 2013

    Last week we hosted the launch party for our newest collection, that of YMC v McGinn. It is a collaboration between the East End London fashion label and eyewear designer Brian (Bonafide) McGinn. It utilises vintage acetates from the 70’s 80’s and 90’s and that makes each piece a rare and limited edition item.

    YMC v McGinn 1 small

    YMC began in 1995 when Jimmy Collins and Fraser Moss borrowed industrial designer Raymond Loewy’s slogan “You Must Create” to name their new clothing company.  Initially inspired by traditional workwear, vintage sportswear and military wear, in the last fifteen years they have evolved into one of prime exponents of British modern clothing. Their ethos mirrors that of Le Corbusier’s in that form must follow function. They produce beautifully tailored, understated clothing full of hidden detail.

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    Brian McGinn has had a circuitous route to becoming a frame designer. It began with an honours degree in silver and metalsmithing, during which he found a love for wood after using it in a piece of work in his final year. He found wood an immediate medium to work with and after graduating, looked around for a way to develop his woodworking skills. This led him to work for a luthier in Galway, Ireland where he churned out guitars; mandolins and other assorted stringed instruments.

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    While working with the high quality timbers, he hit upon the idea of making a pair of glasses from them. Though with no knowledge of the manufacturing process or of correct proportions or measurements it still created such a good response from a local optician that he decided to return to art college to do an MA in design. He did this to develop his skills in eyewear design and manufacture. Since completing this course, he has gone from making individual bespoke projects to working with major brands as a designer and design consultant under his pseudonym, Bonafide Mc Ginn.

    Brian Mc Ginn at work

    Brian Mc Ginn at work

    Brian was a YMC customer even before coming to London and as soon as he moved here, he made a beeline for their Soho store. When there, on seeing  that they liked to stock a few pieces of vintage eyewear, Brian realised that they too had a thing for glasses. This made them top of his list when approaching small independent companies to develop an eyewear line with. He says, “There’s definitely a shared interest in build quality and a wider sense of style, it’s something I’d love to develop further.”

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    This interest in build quality is what dictated the choice of Jura, France as the manufacturing centre. Brian, as a craftsman himself, has a highly critical eye and has been working with fine tolerances all his life, all of which makes him a difficult customer for the frame factories. Luckily, that same experience means he can create technical drawings and make perfect prototypes that allow the manufacturers to completely understand his vision. This knowledge added to time spent with the production team explaining his ideas means he achieves a quality he believes he can be proud of. “I have to take my hat off to our manufacturers in France for the build quality they’ve attained, I’ve not seen it outside of Japan.”

    For more information on the brand, see Brian’s Facebook page.

    Brian McGinn

    A relaxed Mc Ginn

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