The volume of choice when it comes to eyewear brands and collections is huge yet they all seem to regurgitate the same classic styles, just with different names on the side. The eyewear business is spilt between these licensed designer names, all produced in the same factories or brands like Dita, who offer an artisan approach but at a distinctly artisan price.
A new eyewear label to know is Am Eyewear from Australia. Designer and Director Simon Ponnusamy looks for frames which push and redefine what is fashionable and at the same time doesn't become so popular they are seen on every face he passes. From its inception eight years ago AM Eyewear has evolved from a cheeky young upstart into a cult brand. Each new collection is reflective of Ponnusamy’s many sources of inspiration, from his fast-paced life traveling and mingling with some of the worlds biggest rock stars to his mother’s collection of vintage sunglasses and photos from her days in the fashion industry.
“I work in the old, organic way, I design using only a pad and pencil in order to feel each line of the frame. It takes a lot longer than using a computer because I’m forever erasing and then remarking the page until I get it right. But I just love the way this allows the frame to slowly come alive as I get to know every line intimately." says Ponnusamy. The artisan approach continues as Ponnusamy engages master craftsmen to carve each sample out of a solid piece of acetate. “Once we’ve perfected the master copy it heads to the production workshop where each pair is individually handcrafted for up to 14 hours,” says Ponnusamy.
The acetate frames are constructed using Mazzacchelli cellulose acetate - a far superior product to the mould injectable plastics commonly used by the majority of mass-produced sunglass labels. The key feature of Mazzacchelli acetate is that it requires the hand of an individual craftsman to cut, bend and polish the frame to life. Mazzacchelli's malleable nature means it is perfect for eyewear applications. Most of us are born without facial symmetry, but AM Eyewear frames can be shaped to accommodate our imperfections, resulting in a truly customised, bespoke fit.
AM Eyewear is made in Australia and offers a better quality, old-fashioned approach at comparable pricing to regular designer sunglasses. We know which ones we'd choose.
Mesh - African Brown - £185