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Noovo Editions

Noovo Editions is an independent editorial project with online and paper editions. First of its kind in Spain from an unique and contemporary perspective on the international panorama,
Noovo seeks not only to be an aesthetic arbiter but also a cultural mediator at the juncture between Fashion, Photography & Jewellery.
A platform to show the highest level of creativity from around the world

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Interviews -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

 
-----.INTERVIEW WITH CLAIRE GOLDSMITH
 

Who is Claire Goldsmith?
I am the great-granddaughter of legendary eyewear designer Oliver Goldsmith. I am also currently Director of Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses where we produce not only the OG ICONS collection but also my own line of eyewear (CG Eyewear). And on my days off I’m a wife and mother of two, a serial trainer collector and an expert popcorn maker and pizza burner (I really can’t cook to save my life!)

What were your intentions to launch your inaugural contemporary eyewear line Claire Goldsmith Eyewear?
If you pitch up on to design scene you better be able to design, I think! You can’t call yourself a designer if you just keep re-producing the past. You have to look forward, and you have to have your own voice. After working with my grandfather’s collection for almost 5 years (and reproducing his incredible designs), the burning desire to put my own ideas into action finally came to fruition.

What are the new directions for Goldsmith name?
I don’t think our direction has changed in 85 years. I still want to produce eyewear that my grandfather would be proud of – amazing styles that focus on comfort, classic styling and fit, using the best materials and of course the best craftsmen. But the CG collection is made up of entirely new designs, inspired by my team, our customers and most importantly inspired by Britain. I like to think the collection has a slight quirkiness to it, like the British! There will always be influences that come from my heritage present in my collection, but I like that.


How do you face the inevitable insecurities in every new project?
Head on – is there another way?! Business doesn’t stop, so you don’t have time to dwell. Every day is a new project or deadline –so you can only keep moving forwards. Sometimes we make mistakes, but who doesn’t?

What are the main differences between the three generations inside the Goldsmith eyewear? and what is your personal contribute to the brand?
We are actually 4 generations! My Great Grandfather was the initiator; a travelling optician who saw a gap in the market for ‘fashion’ eyewear. My Grandfather was the innovator; a real pioneer within the industry. He was a hugely talented designer and a fantastic marketer. The term ‘product placement’ wasn’t invented back then, but that’s exactly what he did well - by dressing some of the most famous faces of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s including Audrey Hepburn and Michael Caine. Then my father and uncle ran the company, they successfully continued the legacy of their father, but in the 1980’s had the unfortunate battle of competing with licensing. Then finally there is me. I believe I am the guardian of the OG brand, but also the voice of a new generation of Goldsmith eyewear. Claire Goldsmith Eyewear gives OG relevance, and OG gives Claire Goldsmith context.

For three generations the Goldsmith’s have been creating incredible eyewear that has pushed the boundaries of expectation, self-expression and individuality, do you feel like a bit overwhelming because of your past?
I used to more, but you soon realise it’s a pressure you are putting on yourself rather than anybody else putting it on you. The market has changed A LOT since my grandfather was in business, there used to be only a handful of brands, now I would say there are over 5,000 and that’s not including all the licensed products. I am so lucky to have an incredible back catalogue of inspiration and a heritage to be proud of, so I just concentrate on doing the best job I can.

How would you define a good great design?
Something that is going to still look as good on you when you are 20 or when you are 60.

What are the main concepts that you are using from the past and how do you apply them today?
Fit, balance and comfort are all key components to a frame and something my forefathers paid special attention to. Of course you want a frame to look fantastic but it’s just as important that it feels as good on as it looks.

What do you find in the unmistakable British aesthetic that you love so much?
I think London as a city is so unique. You could never mistake it for anywhere else in the world. The distinctive sense of style, the incredible history that surrounds you everywhere you go. The architecture, food, art….it envelops you.

You only work with craftsmen who are eyewear specialist but, what do you think make the difference with other eyewear company with also such characteristic?
I think there are many other brands out there who share the same values as me, and actually we are all very big supporters of each other – proud to be independent. At the end of the day, we may produce a similar ‘feeling’ product, but essentially the design will always be fundamentally Goldsmith.

Think 20th Century icons; Michael Caine in his signature black spectacles, Audrey Hepburn in her big white sunglasses framing her delicate elfin face, Grace Kelly, Peter Sellers, iconic style makers such as Givenchy, Dior and Vidal Sassoon. Think cult films of the fifties & sixties; The Ipcress File, Harry Palmer, Charade and Two for the Road. They've all got one thing in common. Oliver Goldsmith. In the second half of last century, when it came to eyewear, OG was synonymous with stars and style. In fact, he pioneered a whole new concept; Eyewear. Do you still are working with the stars system and if so, could you name a few ones and, do you think using stars is always a safe sale?
Historically, the celebrities we have worked with still carry a lot of weight in today’s market; Audrey Hepburn, Michael Caine are still a huge source of inspiration to people globally, so it is lovely that we have had that involvement with so many great stars. Today, we are of course involved with celebrity, its part and parcel with running a brand, but it is not a key focus. Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, Kate Beckinsale, Jude Law, Kate Moss, Daisy Lowe, Guy Peirce…they are all fans of our brand. We are grateful and proud that these celebrities support our brand, especially as they have invested in them through their own choice.

The international re-launch of the brand was in 2005 by yourself but, could you point the most difficult tasks and how was the whole process?
Anyone who has their own business (especially one that manufactures a product) will tell you that the biggest problem is always cash flow. You need to pay for plastic, lenses, packaging and the factories all before you have sold a single piece or even know if they are going to be liked by the consumer – it’s always a struggle – you just get better at managing it!

With all sunglasses handmade in Italy using only the finest materials and Carl Zeiss lenses, how would you define these unique pieces?
Simple because they are handmade – every frame has gone through days of carving, shaping and polishing. These frames haven’t been churned out of a machine in their thousands. Every single one is unique. We also only produce very small quantities of each style, so you really are investing in something special.

Tell us an anecdote of those historic days with your great grandfather and those starts?
I have a lovely memory of my mum dancing around the kitchen in a pair of broken sunglasses – when I asked my dad what she was doing, he said she was wearing Princess Diana’s broken sunglasses. She had given them to my father to fix when he had visited the palace.
One of my favourite anecdotal stories from my grandfathers, on why a person should have a wardrobe of glasses:
“I went to the fishmonger one morning and the lovely lady behind the counter was wearing her spectacles. They kept sliding down her nose and she kept pushing them back up with her fingers which were also handing the fish.
That evening I went to a dinner party and the same lady happened to be in attendance as she was the wife of a colleague. I noticed that she had clearly been home, showered and changed all her clothes, shoes and handbag, and yet she still wore the same fishy glasses! Why would a person only have one pair of glasses when they own so many other multiples of lesser noticeable accessories!?”

In this globalized world where imitation and lies are around, what is the key to preserve your own identity?
Imitation is of course a problem, especially for the OG collection, I have seen our styles copied so many times. I try to stay one step ahead on a design front but I also think you have to trust in your brand and the customers your brand appeals to. The key is to stick to your brands values, concentrate on producing the best product you can and provide great customer service. At the end of the day, you can’t make something for everyone, you have to know you customer, your supporters and concentrate on making something special for them. You will be surprised how loyal and supportive people can be!





any color... – I’m definitely a black and denim kinda girl.

your first thought right now... ’What am I going to do first?!’

your favorite piece... ’A vintage pair of Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses call Rimini – which are encrusted with diamonds’

any memory you will never forget... ’aged 5 sitting in the passenger seat of my dad’s beloved Mark 10 vintage Jaguar while a giraffe poked its head in the window and ate my sandwich!” Windsor Safari Park 1982.

any place to stay... The Out Hotel in NYC – I stayed there on business recently and its great.’

something you can´t live without... ’My family…….second to that can I say my phone?”


 
 
Abbott Amber Honey
Bradbury Midnight
Duke Dark Tortoiseshell
Logan Black
REISS Racing green
 
Oliver Goldsmith Product Imagery
 
Grace Red Tortoiseshell
Oops Matte Black Ice
Piero Gun
Vintage Oliver Goldsmith

   
 
butterfly red and white   Kiss in Black Quartz
Takla in White Jester in Electric Tortoise Wink in Black

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More Info: http://www.clairegoldsmith.com


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