Once upon a time, when I was a lot younger and new to the world of optics, one particular optical collection caught my eye. It was the first time I looked twice at a brand due to its aesthetics. It was my 3rd week as an trainee Optical Dispenser and we had received a new box of frames from a supplier. I was assigned the task of unpacking, entering the stock and preparing them for the shelves. That’s not the part I remember the most though.
What I remember are the colours and how they had a richness I had not noticed before.
The shapes, and how they were more artfully designed than any others I could remember seeing.
The patterns and how each piece had an energy all of its own.
And when I unpacked them and dared to try one on, I remember the way it felt. The smooth finish of the acetate, the secure fit yet somehow soft shape.
Femininity. Every single frame was pure elegance.
That may even be where my love for quality in eyewear started.
Fast forward to 2019 and while attending O=MEGA19 (Australian Optical Trade Fair) I run into a friend of mine from the industry and she shows me her range.
I could have stayed there and played for hours. Sure, the models were different and the style had evolved, but the memories I had always attached to the brand name were still running strong through the collection. Beautiful materials, eye-catching colours, just the right amount of embellishment and an artful elegance all of its own. It was hard to walk away.
I was so excited to be able to explore the range more recently and share the details of this iconic eyewear brand with my readers. It’s not often that a brand can last this long and still have its original heart and soul strong throughout its designs.
So, who is Lafont? Lafont the company was established in 1923 in Rue Vignon, Paris by Louis Lafont. He started a store selling eyewear and hearing aides, but was quickly known for his artistic flair and art-deco spirit. Passing through generations, the Lafont name grew and subsequently shaped eyewear fashion throughout the years, rather than following main-stream fashion. Lafont WAS eyewear fashion. The brand single handily turned spectacles into a fashion accessory while still being known across Paris, and abroad for their quality, and dedication to true craftsmanship. Today, the company is run by the fourth generation, Louis’s great-grandsons, brothers Matthieu and Thomas. With a history steeped in family values and pushing the ideas of design, its no wonder this brand is still very much a force to be reckoned with in the International Optical industry.
Lets take a look at some of the designs from their current collection.
I adore the contrasting colours in this model. The red and purple easily work together but is a combination you don’t come across very often. Extremely comfortable and lightweight, this acetate frame is an easy frame to wear all day, every day and still look effortlessly chic at night. The rounded edges ensure a shape that will work on almost anyone, and the positioning of the colour change on the front of the frame subtly highlights the wearers eyes.
Somehow this frame manages to combine sophistication and fun in perfect harmony. With orange being the brighter of the two featured colours, the slightly flattened therefore thicker look of the purple around the eye balances the design. A classic shape, this design uses small cutouts where the temples join the front to create an almost abstract appearance. Again, adding a feature to this part of the frame brings focus to the eyes, and allows for the colours to balance both with each other, and the wearer’s skin tone.
This one is not for the feint hearted. A strong modern square shape with a feminine feel, the emphasis is on the outside edge and the lift. Not quite a cats eye, this shape is very wearable while packing a punch of style and is sure to get attention. I love the balance of this design both with the colours and play on texture, but also the balance of the fit. One of the most comfortable frames I have tired on, this frame has a contagious glowing energy.
All the glitz and glamour while still keeping a radiant profile. This stunner is adorned with crystals along each brow giving your eyes that extra sparkle atop a beautiful pearlescent pink acetate. In contrast, the smooth bottle olive green base colour is majestic on its own, and together they make a eloquent art piece that will rival any selection of jewellery. The lower placement of the temple adds an old-world charm while the soft shape makes it flow across the wearers eyes, catching the light in all the right places.
Where there’s a place for style, there will always be a place for Lafont. And with today’s trends heading toward even more colour, detail and individual style, its exciting to see where this family brand will take us next. One thing is for sure though, whatever Lafont create, they do so with their own style. Craftsmanship will always be the heart and soul of the brand, and there will be those that follow. Lafont, however, will be leading the way.
Lafont is distributed in Australia by Frames etc