Global luxury company Kering is known for its contributions to the fashion industry, housing brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen. But when it comes to serving up eyewear, it might not be the first name that comes to mind. Since launching Kering Eyewear in 2015, however, such a sentiment has become a thing of the past.
From growing its team to 340 people to its efforts towards sustainable fashion, Kering Eyewear is quickly becoming a brand to look out for, especially as it looks to bulk up on its research initiatives and disrupt the eyewear industry. And working hand-in-hand with Kering’s other labels also gives it an added edge: an intuitive design understanding of what makes a brand tick.
This proclivity for detail is especially apparent in one of its latest offerings – a partnership with Maison Alaïa, couture brand of the acclaimed designer Azzedine Alaïa. The collaboration looks to mark the Maison’s foray into eyewear, with each spec carefully crafted and taking to the quirks of the label. Balancing style, comfort, and a sense of timelessness, the line boast of offerings that are both bold and classic. Check out some of the collection highlights and see for yourself:
Among the collection pieces, the AA0001S stands prominently by its design alone. In less capable hands, the retro square style may prove cumbersome and clunky, hindering any salient features the wearer might have. But this Kering collaboration does the exact opposite – instead of concealing, it goes along the wearer’s natural face shape while enhancing it in all the right ways.
Lasered with the marks of the arabesque, Maison Alaïa’s signature motif, the chunky specs are both call attention yet evoke elegance, despite the visual heft. As with all of Alaïa’s creations, the shape of the frames finds inspiration in the female figure, a detail which balances out any overpowering elements in the design and brings the piece into a subtle cohesion. That said, it’s the perfect eyepiece if you’re looking to make a statement, all the while maintaining a classic image.
There is something nostalgic about the AA0003S, whether it’s the thick, rounded rims, or the powdery shade of pink used. Nonetheless, the eyepiece hearkens back to 60s mod fashion with its light colors and soft edges. But more than just a sentimental tribute, the piece contains its own flourishes that jive well with the Alaïa design philosophy.
Translucent frames are one of the piece’s innovations, accentuating the wearer’s features in a way that is almost organic without fading into the background. It also eases out any potential harsh elements in the design as the translucence gives it space to breathe by allowing light into the framework. The light pink shade also adds a sense of warmth to the face, evoking a youthful glow that can last all year-long. That said, they’re an excellent way to accessorize for those lively summer months, or if you’re looking to lounge about during those languid golden hours.
“Timeless” seems to be the most appropriate word to describe the AA0006S. The grounded cat-eye piece evokes the glamour of movie stars of old, taking in elements that give it an old-fashioned feel. With its glossy rims, dark shades, and oval aesthetic, it’s something you probably wouldn’t find it out of place in an Audrey Hepburn film or Brigitte Bardot movie. Despite this, however, it still manages to keep its sense of uniqueness, one that undeniably draws from the Alaïa aesthetic.
In terms of proportion, the shades find the balance between too-large or too-small, all made to accentuate the wearer’s face and eye shape. The smooth edges appear to glide along the cheeks, providing a voluptuous silhouette that flatters whoever dons it. Bereft of any sharp angles, the pair celebrates the subtlety of the female form and its ability to both enhance one’s features while bringing cohesion to its various elements. Ultimately, it is a statement piece that takes time to honor the wearer, while paying tribute to time-honored proclivities of beauty.
Take your specs out for a spin
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