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Thursday / May 30.
HomemifashionMersey Beat

Mersey Beat

The Liverpool Beat music scene of the early 1960s lives on in Mersey Beat, an entirely new eyewear brand developed in Australia that is designed to pique the interest of the fashion forward and young at heart.

It was the pop culture of the1960s that inspired John Nicola, Director of the Australian company Optique Line to create an entirely new eyewear collection named Mersey Beat.

“I wanted to create a brand of eyewear that evokes the exuberant quirkiness and excitement of the Liverpool beat music scene at that time,” said John Nicola. “I also wanted to capture the influence of the cultural explosion that transitioned a city synonymous with social deprivation and industrial decline to one full of hope and promise where anything was possible.”

The design concept for Mersey Beat, developed at Optique Line, was a total team effort, says John. “We created a detailed brief for the first collection based on our combined passions for the UK music scene and its cultural influences. Importantly though, we merged these vintage ideals with contemporary elements and materials to create a timeless collection for men and women.”

Mersey Beat radiates its split personality, one side is grooving to the 60’s trends, while the other side is breaking new ground in modern fashion frames

Optique Line’s concepts for Mersey Beat were sent to international eyewear designers for technical refinement prior to manufacture, a period which took 12 months. Back in Australia, the Optique Line team maintained their involvement, taking responsibility for colour selection and temple designs to ensure the end product upheld the fundamental brand values they had agreed. The first 22 models were finally released globally in July 2016.

For Fashion Leaders

John said the range is targeted at consumers who are looking for great quality, comfortable designer eyewear without an exorbitant price tag. “The Mersey Beat customer is typically one who feels a resonance with the energy and enthusiasm of the early sixties and the values this period represents. They are individuals who are fashion leaders rather than followers, who seek to make a style statement that expresses their personality and brand. In line with the values of the era that inspired us, our new brand offers remarkable quality but won’t hurt the hip pocket.”

Revolution meets Evolution

“Mersey Beat radiates its split personality, one side is grooving to the 60’s trends, while the other side is breaking new ground in modern fashion frames,” John says.

“The initial collection features vintage frame shapes and styling accents associated with the era, combined with de rigueur custom designed temples. Together they echo the individualism associated with the early 1960s.”

“Breaking new ground” comes with materials and techniques employed in the manufacturing process. Frames are currently available in acetate, monel, carbon fibre and stainless steel featuring models with keyhole bridges, sprung and non-sprung temples and carbon fibre elements in men’s and ladies models. Solid riveted hinges reflect the retro era and 3D printed and etched temples add a decorative touch.

Each frame either sports the Mersey Beat logo on the temple or an emblem of the iconic liver bird on the temple tip.

“We chose graphics and fonts that reinforce the iconic nature of the early 1960s and infused them with contemporary characteristics,” said John. “We chose to incorporate the liver bird because according to mythology, the liver bird safeguards the prosperity and longevity of the city – likewise its inclusion in the Mersey Beat collection serves to preserve the authenticity and quality of our brand.”

All frames come with a branded stylised Mersey Beat soft case and lens cloth, which, as you’d expect, references the Liverpool club scene and further establishes the links between the design influences and the brand.

Heading into the Future

Mersey Beat is set to be a constantly evolving label, releasing new models to the range every six months. Optique Line and its design partners are already working on the next launch, due to hit the shelves by early 2017, with exciting new shapes and materials that “aim to thrill and provoke the same hysteria amongst followers as that witnessed in Liverpool all those years ago”.

The complete Mersey Beat Eyewear range is owned and distributed internationally through Optique Line (AUS) 1800 649 527, (NZ) 0508 678 478.