Linda Farrow – Re-defining eyewear since 1970

Linda Farrow - Re-defining eyewear since 1970

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Timeless and unabashedly luxurious with some really quirky designs, this British brand with its unique design philosophy has been consistently giving a fashionable touch to eyewear!

Everyone loves a good treasure hunt. Many a day has been spent rummaging the attic and stumbling upon a treasure or two. And that is exactly what happened to Simon Jablon and Tracy Sedino in the year 2003. Simon's mother had a warehouse in Islington which was a commercial property and the family had just obtained permission to turn it into a residential property. They went to clear out the old stock from the warehouse and stumbled upon some hidden gems. Legend has it that it was more than just a reminiscence of treasured family heirlooms and sweet family memories. The warehouse had an amazing stock of Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent and Pucci sunglasses all in mint condition. Three floors, full of vintage sunglasses. Boxes from floor to ceiling. Pretty much like a kid in a candy shop scenario.

And if one hasn't yet hazarded a guess as yet, the mother was Linda Farrow — A luxury eyewear label designer for the international jet set in the 1970's who also produced frames for designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga Laurent and Christian Dior before shutting shop to devote time to her family in the late 1980s. To get back to our tale, retro styles were back in demand and the Linda Farrow Vintage collection was launched at the London Fashion Week in 2003. And a star was born. Actually, a star was re-born.

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The Original Trendsetter

To recap a bit, Linda Farrow was one of the earliest designers to give eye wear its fashionable due and that too in the 70's. The 60's and the 70's were a golden era in many other areas but eyewear design was very functional. It was certainly not seen as a fashion accessory in those days. When Linda Farrow came on to the scene, she brought about a distinctly feminine touch to the category which was absent till then. She soon became a pioneer and was really the lone shining star in those days with many iconic creations. Who can forget the famous wraparound shades that Yoko Ono wore in that era - those were a classic Linda Farrow design. With a reputation of being a tireless experimenter, she pioneered many of the shapes and styles that continue to remain a hallmark of the brand even today.

Continuing the Legacy

The launch was an immediate sell out and the brand made a stylish comeback in 2003. The legacy continues to date and the face of the brand today are Simon Jablon (Linda's son) and his wife Tracy Sedino. Both have played a sterling role in taking the brand far and wide and to geographies much beyond the United Kingdom. Post the successful launch of Linda Farrow Vintage, one of the unique strategies followed was collaborations especially with new and upcoming designers. Collaborations bring about a synergy, a unique mix and manifest the fact that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

The list of collaborators is long and reads like a who's who of the fashion industry - Eley Kishimoto , Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung, Dries Van Noten, Jeremy Scott, Charlotte Olympia, Agent Provocateur, Oscar de la Renta, The Row, Erdem, Yamamoto, Raf Simons, House of Holland, Matthew Williamson, Bernhard Willhelm.

The Quirky Eyewear Portfolio

Over the years, many symbiotic collaborations have developed into a successful range of runway frames and commercial ones. Maintaining the high benchmarks set by Linda was no child's play and an innovative product portfolio has always been the brand's USP. The makers really believe in pushing the envelope and this has resulted in some of the most stunning shapes, atypical frames and uncommon materials that have been used. In the words of the makers, the brand is for the young international fashion conscious consumer - someone who enjoys the trappings of luxury but also looks forward to the independence of creativity.

If one was looking at quirky styles which were not run-of-the mill; styles that made an unmissable statement and yet had a timeless quality, this was definitely the right brand. The portfolio is wide — from classic shapes in acetate to pastel colours, from aviators to oval and oversized eyewear to use of expensive material like buffalo horn and fine titanium metal to shapes that are meant to shock like Bug-eyed and heart-shaped and wrap around pony glasses. But what truly differentiates it are aspects like handcrafted frames made by specialist factories in France and Japan or its own label, Linda Farrow that offers eyewear with indulgent touches like python skin and 24 karat gold-coated lenses.

A collaboration with Alexander Wang created a collection of cat’s-eye and vintage-style sunglasses. The designer's trademark 'zipper running around the entire frame of the glasses' and Linda Farrow's classic cat eye shape produced some chic designs in black, tortoise and translucent colours amongst others. Incidentally, the metal colouring and finish used in the sunglasses collection including the zip was also used in the Alexander Wang handbags of that season.

Jeremy Scott is often known as 'the bad boy' of fashion and the collaboration with him has produced some outlandish shades - wing shades, hand shades, cross shades. In fact the famous Mickey Mouse ear frames are still in demand even years after their debut. Think graphic and the ‘Cat Eye Mask’ style sunglasses (Khaleda Rajab + Fahad Almarzouq ) with a thin rounded double frame contour and pointy frame corners come to mind. One can also opt for chunky cat eye wrapped in black python skin or the exotic water snake skin covered sunglasses. The brand surely has an eclectic taste.

Celebrity Spotting (or) Fans Galore!

Such cutting edge and innovative styles have seen celebrities sporting the brand at regular intervals. Lady Gaga has been one of the most vociferous fans and the Mickey Mouse glasses have also been worn by Beyoncé. Some of the other notable names who have added the oomph and glamour to the brand include Kate Moss, Chloé Sevigny, Madonna, Kanye West, Agyness Deyn, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Adele.

The Linda Farrow AW 2022 Collection

The current AW 2022 collection has an added bonus in the form of collaboration collections with Dries Van Noten, The Attico and Magda Butrym. Words can’t describe well enough what the designs of Linda Farrow eyewear want to convey and we’d rather let the images do the talking. Here’s a few images from their latest lookbook.





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