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Tuesday / May 21.
HomeminewsCOLAB: Wearable Art for the Eyes

COLAB: Wearable Art for the Eyes

Colab has launched three new sunglasses designed in collaboration with celebrated Australian jewellery designer Elke Kramer.

The sunglass collection entitled ‘Revolte’ was launched to the elite of Sydney’s fashion, art and eyewear scene at a tiny gallery in the creative suburb of Surry Hills.

Elke began her career as a graphic designer before moving into jewellery, which today is her main business. Based in Sydney, her jewellery can be found in some of the worlds best stores such as Colette (Paris), Liberty (London), Opening Ceremony (NY, LA & Tokyo) & Family (LA). Elke said it felt very natural to design sunglass frames.

“I have a background in design – I studied at the College of Fine Arts with a bachelors degree in graphics and objects so I take a design approach to everything I do in my business – whether I’m designing a website, packaging, branding, an item of jewellery or sunglasses – I consider the form, scale, colour and so on.

“My frames have definitely been inspired by my jewellery design. For example, I’ve used rose gold details in both and the acetate finishes I’ve specified for the frames are similar to the resin finishes I have developed for my jewellery – much of which currently explores the recreation of faux stone. The colour palette, mood and shapes of my jewellery is also coming through in my eyewear.”

Peter Smith, principal of Colab said the company’s approach to designing frames is unlike that taken by any conventional eyewear manufacturing studio – in fact it’s quite the reverse.

“We choose an artist – or more to the point these days, the artist chooses us – and we give them a clean slate,” said Peter Smith the founder of Colab. “We ask them to come up with whatever design they want for a sunglass, that includes materials, colours, textures, the whole thing. Once they’ve done that, we work with them to finesse the frames from the technical and commercial side.

“It’s a wonderful way to work, very refreshing,” he said, adding that although designs in the initial stages of the company’s life were very much art focussed, today Colab frames achieve the perfect balance of creativity and commercialism.