From Amsterdam With Love
portrait RUBEN DE WILDE, stills RAPHAEL SCHMITZ
This year, SOTCH & SODA is launching its first eyewear collection by Mondottica including optical glasses and sunglasses. As it is to be expected, the Dutch fashion label is injecting its signature design DNA into its eyewear creations. Look forward to bold, colorful and detailed silhouettes. For the inside scoop, SPECTR talks to Creative Director Marlou van Engelen in our Brand Profile.
Hi Marlou, what are your responsibilities as Creative Director at SCOTCH & SODA?
My job is guiding and inspiring our talented team of designers.
On that note, SCOTCH & SODA is known for bold, eclectic designs. What is the brand’s philosophy in one sentence?
SCOTCH & SODA is an optimistic brand that allows you to be yourself every single day of the week.
What are your brand values?
Our brand is from Amsterdam and resonates with all of the city’s values. We are free thinkers and optimists.
So Amsterdam is highly relevant for SCOTCH & SODA as a fashion brand?
Amsterdam is our hometown, it has aunique soul. It is an important part of our creative process, as we embrace the city’s liberal thinking, where people are free to explore the world around them and themselves as individuals. This gives rise to boundless creativity.
Your design studio is in an old church in the heart of Amsterdam. What’s it like to work there?
Luckily for me, our design studio was already here when I started at SCOTCH & SODA 13 years ago. It’s a magical place to work, lots of open spaces with beautiful details everywhere you look. It has character – much like our collections. And biking along the canals to get to work every day is a constant inspiration.
Going more into the actual products, how would you describe SCOTCH & SODA’s design philosophy?
We start each collection with a story, and we live and breathe that story when we design. You see it translated in the prints, details, materials and silhouettes. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, because we want our clothes to have an element of fun and freedom. That goes for our approach to life as well.
What kind of stories do you tell with your collections?
For Summer 2020, we began with thestory of Musa-Shiya. He was a shirtmaker who moved from Japan to Hawaii in the early 1920s and became a legend when he invented the Aloha shirt. His colorful life was our inspiration for the entire season, from the broadcloths he used in his first Hawaiian shirts, to his birthplace in Japan. We even have a special capsule with an original Hawaiian printmaker, Keoni, which features an authentic print from the 1940s.
Going beyond cutting edge fashion, SCOTCH & SODA is introducing a collection of sunglasses and opticals for men and women this summer. What is the reason for launching it?
So that our fans can create a head-to-toe Scotch look!
There are three product tiers in the eyewear collection. What are the differences?
The Essential range is made up of classics with a Scotch twist. The Aspirational models reflect our love for playful design and detail. The Pinnacle line is filled with beautifully crafted treasures.
What was your approach to designing eyewear?
Similar to our approach to clothing. We paid a lot of attention to details, shapes and materials. You can find beautiful, reinvented classics and cool, contemporary frames with unexpected flourishes, like engraved palm leaves on the temples and nosepads crafted from gemstones. They come in a wide range of lightweight metals and acetates. Comfort is important to us.
What were the challenges?
It’s literally in your face, so the details need to be subtle. Every millimeter makes a difference, which is why we tapped into the knowledge and expertise of Mondottica.
What inspired the sunglasses?
Like our Summer 2020 clothing collection, they were inspired by the story of Musa-Shiya. You see it in the sunset gradients, embossed palm leaves, and the seascape-inspired lenses.
And the opticals?
Our glasses capture our free spirit by subverting traditional designs and playing with details. They offer opticians something unique, because you’re not only getting a high level of craftsmanship, you’re getting it at a competitive price.
If you could choose a pair of sunglasses and opticals, which would be your favorite?
I love them all. The quality and the details are incredible. But my favorites are the Keoni ones. I love the shape and the beautiful box they come in, complete with a special lens cloth.
Marlou, thank you very much for the interview.