There is a motto that both Gerry and I follow as designers which is “if you can’t find it, then make it”.
Throughout the years I developed an addition to sunglasses and nowadays spend part of my spare time searching and buying frames. Have been collecting amazing stuff, from the most unknown creators to brands like Moschino, Celine, Acne or Bluemarine. A fact is to find crazy good shapes is way easier than simple good shapes. The best simple shape ever might be the RayBan’s wayfarers. Often considered the best-selling sunglasses of all time they are a true classic of modern design. They became so iconic we can almost call them an archetype. Nowadays one can find many variations of the original shape designed on the 50’s or can be loyal to the classic and get the original squared and tilted RB2140 model.
Was dreaming about a squared shape which is contemporary, both for man and for a woman and so simple that it looks like you have already seen it. The sunglasses that one can wear every day. It had to be big and bold, although elegant; with sharp edges and a lot of tension between its curves; and high-quality made, for sure. To find a Portuguese manufacturer which produces handmade frames was the cherry on top of the cake.
There is one funny story that happened in the factory. I was sure the Havana colored model should be matte in the front, but just in the front. It should absorb the light at the first sight and shine showing all the quality of an acetate frame. They told me by hand that would not be possible since the polishing process is the last step when manufacturing the frames. I kept insisting on how important that would be for me and we decided to make some tests. Went with one employee in a basement and there we made it. He kept shouting “this is an innovation, this is an innovation”. Partial matte frames are not an innovation, but this specific process was something never done before at this factory and became one new service that now they have available for their customers.
I just can think about a sentence from Yohji Yamamoto “new enough, classic forever”. I wanted them to be calm from the very first moment, it was not my intention to really to come up with a new aesthetic. In fact, just wanted to use the aesthetic there is already out there and create elegant, high quality, cool squared frame shades.
Interview with Ana Relvão from RELVÃOKELLERMANN. Images © RELVÃOKELLERMANN.