Wednesday, 5 October 2011

[Vol.15] Eyewear Makes Women Look More Beautiful –New Attractive Collaboration Produced by “FLEYE by AKITTO“-

This year, IOFT Show Management has a number of fantastic news to announce. I think we’ve already reported a lot, but we have more! I’m so excited, just thinking about those things. Of course this time, we will introduce a topic which may urge you to come to IOFT soon.

Then, let us begin!

His eyewear brings out the beauty of women maximally just like using magic.
Mr. Akihito Kawakami, Designer, FLEYE by AKITTO


The person who perused the comfortableness of wearing eyewear.
Mr. Tetsuo Mikame, Managing Director, Throw Co., Ltd.

Interviewer: Haruka, International PR, IOFT Show Management

First, could you introduce us “FLEYE by AKITTO” to the readers?

Mr. Kawakami (FLEYE by AKITTO):

 This brand originally comes from a Danish brand “FLEYE”. In 2002, the three CEOs, Annette, Hanna and Lars founded the brand and the brand was named after an abbreviation of “Fine Looking Eye”. Its concept is light, happy and enjoyable eyewear which makes us cheerful. We release happy collections for wearers.
I myself have worked at retail shop handling FLEYE brand before. I have kept company with members of FLEYE since before they founded the brand, namely, for more than 13 years. After that, I joined as a sales staff as well as designer of another brand “FLEYE by AKITTO “ in 2008.

The concept of FLEYE by AKITTO is being particular about details and using lovely motif just like handmade work. The design is like a delicate and brilliant accessory decorated with colorful Swarovski stones or cloisonné and it makes mature women look beautiful and cute.

The frames of AKITTO seem to be produced by research on faces of Asian, especially Japanese women and their preference. I haven’t seen such a coloring or decoration which makes Asian skin color look attractive. By the way, I think you have worked by yourself as FLEYE by AKITTO until now. Why did you decide to collaborate with Mr. Mikame? 

Mr. Kawakami:
In fact, I met Mr.Mikame three times by chance and at the third time, he asked me to tea. That was the first time to talk with him. After that, I sometimes got in touch with him and I asked him lots of things, since he is an expert I respect for long time and I wanted to absorb information about the way of making eyewear and conducting business in eyewear industry, etc. as much as possible.

At that time, I didn’t take priority over comfortableness of wearing eyewear, although I think it’s better if people can feel comfortable in wearing it. I valued rather visual aspect like how eyewear looks lovely. As in shoes, that is high heels which make women’s legs beautiful, as it’s hard to walk with them.

However, after meeting and talking with him about the comfortableness of wearing eyewear, I began to think that it’s rude for retail shops as well as consumers to not improve it. But I didn’t have enough knowledge. I didn’t even know what kind of β titaniums there are. What’s more, I thought it’s usual to commit the detailed manufacturing method or choices of materials to factory staffs.

Mr. Mikame:
[Mr. Mikame]
I discussed with Mr. Kawakami and we came to the conclusion that we can produce better eyewear with sufficient knowledge equivalent to those of factory staffs, as we could work hard together by sharing the knowledge. As you know, he is producing eyewear which makes women look beautiful. But I think he could provide more ranges in his taste. So I told him that it might be important to value comfortableness of wearing eyewear so that his brand could keep active in the future.
During the conversation, we exchanged ideas a lot each other and naturally we decided to collaborate. LoL.

The finished eyewear is not so outstanding. People might say “what is the characteristic of Mikame‘s Collaboration?”. Because I just put a plate in it.

Mr. Kawakami:
Right, some people might say something like “Hmm….I see”. But we made various tricks and contrivances in the process of completing the model and we couldn’t complete it without Mr. Mikame’s knowledge.

Mr. Mikame:
Well, I made a lot of failures in producing eyewear up to the present.

Mr. Kawakami:
For me, it’s so valuable experience to hear the story of failures. However, after we made a decision to collaborate, I got into slump which I’ve never experienced when I tried to design a collaboration model.
I asked him about it, then, he said, “You can make whatever model you want! It’s too early to design like me.” LOL. After that, I changed my mind and I began to think it would be nice if I could make a model as I want and I could introduce a part of an element of Mr. Mikame in my designed model.

Mr. Mikame:
My theme was how I could change something in the model Mr. Kawakami designed without changing AKITTO’s design and feeling that something wrong with it.

I see. I really want to see the completed model soon!
By the way, what kind of shop do you want your collaboration model to be handled?

Mr Kawakami.
For people who are looking for eccentric or novel eyewear, AKITTO may not fit. That is to say, I intended to produce eyewear which makes women beautiful and attractive, not eccentric.
We’d like buyers from retail shops to see the eyewear from the stand point of what beauty is.
As a result, if you think “But, I don’t like the taste of AKITTO!” it’s no problem.

Now, some shops may consider how they can survive in the eyewear market and collect only novel eyewear which other shops don’t handle. I think, however, it is no sense, since the shops seem to be just very strange.

I would like people just to think purely how you can make wearers look beautiful. If you think in such a way and you can feel that AKKITO eyewear will fit your shopconcept well, I really want to start business with you.

I will never say, “My eyewear is beautiful, so please buy it”. If YOU think my eyewear is beautiful and want to buy it, it’s pleasure to sell my eyewear to you!

I see. Since eyewear takes the most part of our faces, people, especially women, don’t feel like buying it just because they are praised “it’s so rare!” or “it’s quite new!” We just like to look beautiful or cute.
Mr. Kawakami:
Honestly, we could produce a good eyewear this time. The eyewear is accepted by the wearer who use my brand’s eyewear regularly and also it will be comfortable to wear. Besides, we didn’t make a fun in producing it. So I think it’s really good eyewear. On the other hand, I keep my design and decoration in it. Despite I collaborate with Mr. Mikame, it’s not just like the eyewear he designs. I’m sure you will like it!

Thank you very much, Mr. Kawakami and Mr. Mikame!
I’m completely satisfied to hear your story. Haven’t you made a sample yet, have you?
I can’t wait to see it!

[Editor’s Note]
This time, we featured two designers, Mr. Kawakami from FLEYE by AKITTO whose eyewear is famous for the good design making women look more beautiful and Mr. Mikame who produces ultimately comfortable eyewear. We’ve heard their collaborated eyewear will be presented at IOFT and interviewed them. Both of them have a same mind to make a “good eyewear”, but their definition what is the good eyewear is totally different. I think that’s why two essences are combined well and the better eyewear could be produced. I understand that the eyewear we usually use unintentionally is made up of lots of experiences and knowledge of designers and passions for eyewear. The interview gave me a glimpse of the various untold dramas in producing a pair of glasses. That’ was an awesome moment!

*IOFT2011 is NOT open to general public. Those under 18 years old are not allowed to enter the show.

Written & edited by Haruka, International PR, IOFT Show Management 

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