General Eyewear For Studio Nicholson

Photography: Anton Rodriguez

General Eyewear have been archiving and producing eyewear in London since 1997. Under the Creative Direction of owner Fraser Laing the company has grown from a small stall in Camden Market to two large shops, one in Camden’s Arches and a new venture in Soho Square.

Collecting unusual and beautiful eyewear stemmed from an obsession with the late midcentury design that Laing dealt in the early 90s. An interest in the postmodern has served General Eyewear well when it comes to developing new frames, as archival pieces can be both learned from and advanced upon in the same glance. Frames from completely different eras can be placed together to form a new understanding.

General Eyewear specialise in developing shapes which are not yet part of the common vernacular. Each frame is made by hand in England, one by one. This considered approach means that there is no need for a shape to fit a multitude of faces. Each frame is allowed to exist as it is, whether it works for many customers or just one. As a collective, each member of the General Eyewear team is an important part of the design process. Having dealt with customers they can relay information about that which works and that which does not to Head Designer Akio Usui. These changes are fed back into the design notes and the process continues.

In this vein, every General Eyewear frame is unique, and evidence of an ever-changing process of investigation that each customer is an essential part of.

The first collaboration between Studio Nicholson and General Eyewear is a very limited run of sunglasses which will be launched at a Pop-up Studio event in Tokyo and then available made to order. Each of the handmade pieces consists of a slightly different, carefully selected combination of amber tones of acetate and lenses. This is then handcrafted onto vintage metal frames so each sunglass is subtly unique. The acetate is finally hand-polished and the arm dual branded with a hot foil engraving.