Next Stop: Rome
As a relatively young eyewear label based in Switzerland, NIRVAN JAVAN has mastered the rare feat of becoming a fixture on the international market in a short time. Premium opticians across the globe display imagery from the brand’s #SEETHEWORLD campaign in their windows. The claim is more than just a marketing gimmick, but reflects the cosmopolitan approach pursued by the designer and his team. Here’s Nirvan talking shop in our SPECTR interview.
Hello Nirvan, the last time we spoke about NIRVAN JAVAN was at our Cologne studio a while back. What’s been happening in your world over the last year?
The last year was challenging without a doubt. Corona left nobody untouched. The main downer was the cancellation of all eyewear tradeshows. But now I’m even more looking forward to open doors again. At the same time, the last year also brought opportunities.
There was time to look inwards, get inspired and then channel this inspiration into additions to the collection or entirely new collections. Now we are looking towards the new year with great expectations.
You’re kicking off the season with the #SEETHEWORLD campaign. Why is this international focus important to you?
#SEETHEWORLD is more than a mere campaign. It’s a credo, a philosophy of openness that celebrates the experience of other cultures and traditions. Cosmopolitanism is very important to me, personally. Having grown up in Switzerland, in a Persian household I felt at an early age what it means to be a global citizen. Cultures do not isolate but complement one another. With the #SEETHEWORLD campaign we are looking to share this feeling with others. It’s about sharing the prettiest places and cultures in the world, in order to create something new. A new experience.
Your photo shoot also contains a luxurious sentiment. What kind of brand values does it reflect?
Modern society is facing an infinite horizon. It’s exactly this cosmopolitanism, fueled by globalization, that is the source of much inspiration. The exchange of diverse cultures creates a symbiotic flow that leads to something new, always with a hint of luxury. This is the core thought behind NIRVAN JAVAN and every single collection.
The namesakes for these collections are cities such as Paris, Chicago, London, Tokyo, Zurich, and Rome. Why exactly these six cities? Is there a personal connection?
All these cities share a strong cosmopolitan character. Regardless in which of these six metropolises you happen to be, the diversity is palpable. Multiculturalism is an essential component. This exact aspect of freedom and cultural exchange was a specific criterium for selecting these cities. What’s more, each city owns its own, significant personality. Thinking of Paris, it’s the gentle city of poets and artists. Chicago conjures up images of the massive railway city in America. Every single city has a sense of uniqueness, but also openness. That’s why we chose them for NIRVAN JAVAN collections.
On that note, what’s behind the naming scheme for the pieces in the collections?
The philosophy behind #SEETHEWORLD penetrates the smallest details at NIRVAN JAVAN. All the way to naming the models after time zones, for instance Tokyo 01:01 (JST). The name of the collection is always based on the respective city. The hours on the clock describe the model number, while the minutes represent the color code, and we use the seconds to demarcate the tint of the lenses.
This system provides a strong structure but seems somewhat high concept. Is it easy to grasp for opticians?
At first sight it may seem a bit complex, but once you spend some more time with it you see the advantages. The cosmopolitan approach affects every fiber of NIRVAN JAVAN. Even the model names of the glasses tell the stories of world travelers. Once you recognize the underlying story, it’s easier to see through the number sequences.
How do the individual collections differ and what is the concrete connection to those cities?
The city represented by the frames determines the shape and colorway of a model. The unique character of Tokyo derives from the symbiosis between tradition and technology. It’s exactly this character that is reflected in the Japan-made, hand-crafted frames from high-grade titanium. The monochromatic colors, together with the geometric shapes recreate the skyline of Tokyo in every frame. Every single one of the manifold models can be deconstructed to discover the city behind it.
Your most recent line is the Rome Collection. What were the main guidelines?
The Eternal City welcomes every visitor with a deluge of beauty and details that very few destinations are able to match. Once you spend just a few hours in this metropolis, it’s already clear: History is still alive here. The streets themselves are like a museum under the open sky, in which the architecture, art, and history of several thousand years impact the visitor. You realize that Rome offers endless inspiration. And the results are eight graceful sunglasses.
You also include two limited editions with the Romulus and Remus. What makes them stand out?
These two limited-edition sunglasses are not dedicated to famous locations. Their namesakes are much rather the heroes of mythology who, several millennia ago, planted the foundation for one of the most famous metropolitan cities in the world: Romulus and Remus. You can rediscover their history in the cubic shapes and the intense, dark color nuances of the acetate frames. And in order to point out the exclusive nature of Rome’s founding myth, the production run of the Romulus and Remus is limited to 100 pieces.
Are you planning on covering additional locations in the #SEETHEWORLD campaign? Or will you rather be adding new models to existing collections?
Existing collections will definitely be expanded with new models. We’re assuming new perspectives and viewing the same city in a different light – which leads to new inspirations. NIRVAN JAVAN is on a journey around the globe. And this journey has only just begun. Additional and even more exotic cities will provide the inspiration for future collections. So all that’s left to say is stay tuned and join us in discovering new places and impressions.
Thank you very much, Nirvan.