EYEVAN X DENNIS MORRIS
EYEWEAR FROM A PHOTOGRAPHER‘S PERSPECTIVE
EYEVAN has been the darling of boutique opticians for many years now. And there’s a reason: The Japanese label not only provides excellent quality but continues to surprise with equally new and innovative collections and interesting collaborations. In March, EYEVAN launched a special capsule collection together with photographer Dennis Morris. The British lens man is famous for his work in the music business, including iconic shots of Bob Marley and the Sex Pistols that are part of permanent contemporary art exhibits the world over. But aside from photography, Morris is also passionate about designs with unique aesthetics. So when EYEVAN offered a chance to collaborate on a capsule collection, the iconic photographer was ready to rock and roll. For a design theme, Morris adapted technical features from photography – like camera cases and film boxes – into the frame designs and elaborate packaging. We caught up with Dennis to learn about the backstory.
How and when did the collaboration with EYEVAN come about?
I had a show of my Liam Gallagher images in Tokyo last April and the creative team at EYEVAN approached me regarding doing a collaboration project with them.
Were you surprised?
I was surprised and delighted!
So you were instantly on board?
Yes, I’ve always wanted to create a glasses collection.
It’s rather unusual for a photographer to deal with eyewear design. Why are you interested in eyewear?
I love glasses, I adore glasses. I personally own a very large collection of frames that I have collected on my travels and have customized over the years.
What do you mean by ‘customized’?
Customization in terms of changing the color of the lenses, making sunglasses into reading glasses or vice versa.
EYEVAN is one of the top Japanese eyewear brands. To what extent do you feel connected to Japan or the Japanese mentality?
I feel extremely connected to Japan and its culture. I admire how people work together, not against each other, and how things work harmoniously. I admire the quality, innovation and design of Japanese products.
And how would you rate EYEVAN in this regard?
The craftsmanship in their product is extraordinary. The attention to detail, the beauty and functionality of their packaging is amazing.
Let’s talk about what you created together. How many models does your collection include?
There are two models, the »Sputnik« and »Uptown«.
What was your general approach to designing these pieces?
I wanted to create a collection around photography. So we bounced around ideas for the glasses and the packaging.
In how far is this reflected in the »Uptown« model?
We worked with a sprocket-design on the temples.
With its oversized frame and the curved lenses, the »Uptown« looks like a throwback to the ‘70s or ‘80s. Is that a coincidence?
Not at all! This period plays an important role in my photography and the »Uptown« is a style that black artists from this time could have worn.
What about the second model, the »Sputnik«?
With the »Sputnik« I also wanted to reference my photography from this period.
Who among your subjects from this time period do you imagine as the perfect fit for this model?
The »Sputnik« is something that John Lydon could have worn at the beginning of his project Public Image Ltd. (PIL).
What are the product features in the »Sputnik« that highlight the relationship to photography?
There is a special mirrored rim on the lens of the »Sputnik«, with numbers and letters, similar to the numbers you would find on a camera lens ring.
How many colorways are available for these two models and what are your personal favorites?
Four colors for »Sputnik« – my favorite is blue – and six for »Uptown«, where my favorite is tortoise shell.
The packaging also seems to be inspired by photography equipment.
Yes, the boxes are inspired by original Kodak film boxes.
The overall package really feels valuable. Do you have any special initiatives planned around the collaboration?
Yes, we planned two exhibitions. The first one in March at 180 The Store in New York and a second one in June at Bookmarc in Tokyo.
Thanks for the interview and congrats on this exclusive capsule.