Tom Ford eyewear at Sphere Optometry in Mahogany's Westman Village

FEATURED: Tom Ford

Early years.

Tom Ford was born in Austin, Texas, but spent most of his childhood in Santa Fe, New Mexico. During his teens, Ford moved to New York and enrolled at New York University, initially attending courses in art history. He later redirected his studies to concentrate on architecture at Parsons School of Design in New York and Paris.

“I probably do have an obsessive personality, but striving for perfection has served me well.”

Gucci Group + beyond.

Between 1990 and 2000, Tom Ford moved to Milan to join Gucci as the company’s womenswear designer, later acquiring the roles of Design Director, then Creative Director of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche and YSL after their acquisition by Gucci Group.

He was responsible for the design of all product lines, from clothing to perfumes, and for the group’s corporate image, advertising campaigns and store design.

“Dressing well is a form of good manners.”

Stepping out in style.

In April 2005, Ford announced the creation of the Tom Ford brand, joined by former Gucci Group President and CEO Domenico de Sole as chairman.

Ford announced his partnership with Macolin Group to produce and distribute optical frames and sunglasses that same year, ranking in the top 3 brands at specialty stores worldwide.

Originally published at tomford.com.

Shop Tom Ford + more unique brands at Sphere.


Andy Wolf glasses at Sphere Optometry in Calgary's southeast Mahogany Westman Village

FEATURED: Andy Wolf

50 People. Over 90 working steps. 1 frame.

Andy Wolf stands for unique glasses, handcrafted in Hartberg, Austria. It was founded by the three friends Andreas (Andy), Wolfgang (Wolf) and Katharina to produce classic and contemporary frames for individuals. In 2006, the three of them sat down to enjoy a meal of meat and fish from local meadows and waters, market-fresh vegetables and good Austrian wine from the kind of vintner you know personally.

There was one question at that table:
Why aren’t glasses made in such a personal, natural and familiar fashion?

The Devil's In The Details

Every part of an Andy Wolf frame undergoes rigorous quality control. After the frame is finally assembled, they check for all irregularities during our process, and every part of a frame is subject to scrutiny.

"While we love our state-of-the-art computer-driven machines and their mechanical perception, it’s still the five senses of a valued Andy Wolf employee that would notice any flaws."

Handmade in Austria.

Andy Wolf owns their entire process from the initial design, to shaping acetate blocks into frames, until they land at Sphere. Once the middle part and temples have been shaped, the frames go through several stages of cleaning, grinding and polishing to guarantee maximum comfort when worn.

Andy Wolf frames use 6-8 mm thick plates of high-quality acetate that enables them to mill the middle part of a frame out of a single piece.

Material Matters.

Every Andy Wolf model has its own origin, be it as a sketch on a napkin or on graph paper. What unites them is the fact that each drawing or sketch is entered into a digital CAD system, where it is fine-tuned to serve as the base for starting the production process.

High-quality acetate sourced from an Italian factory or first-rate metal are the building blocks for every Andy Wolf frame. Most of them are made from sustainably produced acetate – a material obtained from hardened cotton flocks, that lends itself to a variety of treatments and shapes. They use 6-8 mm thick plates of it that enables them to mill the middle part of a frame out of a single piece.

Of course they could use thinner acetate plates to produce a pair of glasses, but in their opinion, it just wouldn’t be an Andy Wolf frame then.

Originally published at andy-wolf.com.

Shop Andy Wolf + more unique brands at Sphere.


Lowercase NYC glasses at Sphere Optometry in Calgary's southeast Mahogany Westman Village

FEATURED: Lowercase NYC

Made with a mission in NYC.

Built out of a love for eyewear and an appreciation for true craftsmanship, Lowercase was established in 2016 with a mission to localize the trade of eyewear to the US, while creating a product that is second to none in quality and design.

The design of each frame embodies its own particular story. Inspired by music, location, history and events of the city, you truly are wearing a piece of New York. The details of the frames are purposeful and play to each theme. From bold lines to underlying detail, the designs are unique and allow artistic expression for each individual.

Every pair is made in their Brooklyn workshop from start to finish, by combining modern technology with traditional methods.

The Lowercase Philosophy

Lowercase NYC believes the best products are made when there’s an intimate knowledge of the process that makes them. They take an immersive approach to design and production, sourcing the best materials and employing both new technologies and hand-finishing techniques. Their 30-step process – from design to delivery – is done in the Brooklyn Army Terminal workshop. Nothing leaves their hands until it’s on its way to you.

Lowercase is proud to only source Italian and Japanese Acetate, Carl Zeiss Sun Lenses, and German engineered hinges from OBE.

A difference you can feel.

Acetate is a cotton based plastic that is often produced by hand by skilled craftspeople. It’s patterns and colors are infinite, and Lowercase NYC spends a lot of time seeking out the best acetates for our highly curated collection. Because it has an organic base, acetate will slowly mold to your head shape over time, increasing with comfort as you wear the glasses. It is also commonly used for eyewear because it is hypo-allergenic, so no need to worry about nasty petroleum based plastics sitting on your face all day!

We promise you, it’s a difference you can feel.

Lowercase produces only what they need, using new technologies to reduce waste and improve quality.

The smallest possible footprint.

When it really comes down to it, the health of our planet and it’s inhabitants are the bottom line. Lowercase believes deeply in creating products built to last, because the less they make, the less they contribute to the deterioration of the place we call home. While Lowercase has acknowledged and accepted that no plastic product is truly sustainable, they have built Lowercase around a model that is designed to have the smallest possible footprint.

Originally published at lowercasenyc.com.

Shop Lowercase NYC + more unique brands at Sphere.