Swiss eyewear label NIRVAN JAVAN is still a relative newcomer to the optical business, but the brand’s founder, namesake and designer is already a well-known figure. Nirvan is a true cosmopolitan blend between Central Europe and the Middle East. After earning his master’s degree as an optician, he took a detour that led him into designing his first signature eyewear collection. No surprises there, as Nirvan has been passionate about drawing and sketching from an early age. With the founding of his own NIRVAN JAVAN label, he focused on purist designs. The recent collection marks an evolution of brand DNA into cosmopolitan influences. “This opens up completely new opportunities in design,” he said on a recent visit to our photo studio. Here is Nirvan in this issue’s brand profile.   

Is your personal choice of colors also inspired by movies? You’re almost exclusively dressed in black.

When as a child I was asked about my favorite color, my response would always be ‘black’. So I had to always deal with comments like, ‘black is really not a color’. But then again, black really is my favorite color. It has a soothing effect on me. It absorbs and has depth, It’s not distracting but elegant, timeless and really goes with everything! That’s why every single one of my designs is always available in black. It may sound like a paradox because I genuinely like colors. Just not on myself.

How would you describe the general design philosophy behind NIRVAN JAVAN?

I follow a clear, elegant aesthetic that puts people at the center. It’s a holistic approach that creates a consistency between exclusive eyewear designs and self-confident wearers. Through it all we are striving for perfection in order to offer customers a high-quality product that is easy for opticians to handle.

Nirvan, you grew up in Zurich but come from Iranian roots. What do you like most about both cultures?

About Zurich, I like the compactness, the multicultural and modern aspects. Add to that the high standard of living and quality in Switzerland, the reliability and cleanliness. About my Persian background I like the sense of family, helpfulness and the warm and cordial hospitality. And let’s not forget Persian cuisine.

In how far do these multifaceted aspects play into your eyewear designs?

My current eyewear designs have a rather reduced, ‘Western’ style. What my origins taught me is an open approach to walk through life. In how exactly this influences my eyewear designs is hard to describe. It’s more about a general attitude that’s open to lots of inspiration.

In how far?

I can draw inspiration from a multitude of things. From my early years onward I’ve been a good observer. So sometimes it’s the trivial, everyday things that set me off. Add to that different cultures, cities, artists and people in general. Cinema is also one of my passions and source of inspiration.

Lots of people right now are striving for minimalism and reductionism. Can you see why?

The overload and pace of the modern world is stressing many people out. I’m imagining the individual living in an era of overconsumption walking through life saddled with a huge, heavy backpack full of things that aren’t necessary and slowly developing back pain looking to unburden in some way.

How are you avoiding overload with NIRVAN JAVAN?

The whole theme of purism has always interested me, so it’s been a guiding principle for NIRVAN JAVAN in the early years. I personally have a calm personality, which is why it’s just part of the equation.

Are you making a change currently?

Recently I’ve been feeling more creative and the theme of openness is at least as important as purism. But I think that purism will always play a certain role for NIRVAN JAVAN. There’s something liberating about it. Perhaps that’s why the current design are garnering such a positive response.

But it seems like purism is currently taking a backseat, right?

Over the years, our own demands and the pursuit of perfection have grown stronger. Our materials and our constructions are becoming more high-grade. We have the feeling that the brand move more toward centerstage.

What would be the message you’re communicating?

Similar to our own personalities, NIRVAN JAVAN is a cosmopolitan brand. Our brand represents internationalism. The symbiosis between cultures.

In how far is this approach manifested in the latest collection?

Our new collections are inspired by the world’s metropolitan cities and therefore fit the brand concept. The London Collection is entirely made from Japanese acetate. With the Tokyo Collection we have introduced our very first titanium frames. Both collections are hand-crafted in Japan.

Does that mean a reinvention of NIRVAN JAVAN as a brand?

I would rather say that it’s the next step in our evolution. The brand is moving more to the foreground, bringing along the stories and emotions made possible by cosmopolitan life. All of it is interpreted and perfected through the designer’s signature style.

How many models are part of the new offering?

We’re starting with fife models each in four to six colorways – just like our previous collections. The London and Tokyo Collection will be evolved continuously, also based on feedback from our partner opticians.

Looking at the new nomenclature of these models, there appears to be a system at work. What’s the concept?

Exactly, it’s also a stringent implementation of our brand concept. The individual models are named after times of day in their respective time zones. A study of character of modern cosmopolitan people, if you will.

The cities are part of the model names, obviously, but what is their role in the process?

The featured cities are our backdrops. For example, we did a photo shoot in London for the new collection. It really focused on the stories and dreams of NIRVAN JAVAN wearers in these locations. 

Are you now addressing a different target group?

We have segmented our target group more strongly. Over the past few years I’ve learned that you cannot be all things to all people, so it’s better to just do things right.

How do you imagine the modern, cosmopolitan customer wearing a pair of NIRVAN JAVAN eyewear?

It’s an elegant, cosmopolitan individual looking to experience the world in all its facets. These individuals are successful at what they do and satisfied, goal-oriented and self-confident.

Are the new collections also aimed at a different set of opticians?

The Tokyo and London Collection are very good fits for premium opticians in urban areas. The exclusivity of the offering also plays an important role.

What aspect of this new approach are you most excited about?

It unlocks more room for creativity. The world is open to us and we’ve only just begun! I can hardly wait to head out into the world to experience all these places and cultures while creating lively collections and campaigns that tell real stories! I am highly looking forward to this journey!

Enjoy the ride and thanks for the interview.

Find out more about the brand here:

Make sure to check out our fine selection of Nirvan Javan Frames on FAVR now!

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