Vintage culture, far from being a mere trend, is an aesthetic religion where style devotees are obsessed with quality, unique craftsmanship and that extra aura, that extra something that makes a vintage creation stand above time. Vidal Erkohen, the owner of the Rare Vintage Sunglassess (RVS) website and the designer of RVS by V frames, is one of those vintage lovers that let their passion guide them in almost everything they do. Vidal was born in NYC to a Turkish father and Moroccan mother and lived in NYC until the age of 11. He moved to Istanbul after that age due to his family business and he has been living between the two cities ever since.
As he explains, he fell in love from a very early with sunglasses: ''My father was in the textile business almost all his life and frequently travelled to Italy due to his work. I was brought up with images of him coming back from his trips with a present for me in one hand and a new pair of Persol sunglasses. I remember being fascinated with the charisma I thought the glasses brought to his look and slowly but firmly my love affair with glasses began.''
This love affair grew stronger and stronger and soon Vidal, who in the meanwhile became a fierce collector, turned his hobby into business: ''I started the eyewear business as a collector of vintage eyewear from pieces I had gathered from my father’s old collection and other pieces I had purchased for myself over the years. As my collection grew, I started to sell a few duplicate pieces I had on online selling websites. After I started receiving requests and compliments from many vintage lovers following my auctions online, I decided to turn my passion into a business and in 2003, founded Rare Vintage Sunglasses. My goal was to provide only the rarest in vintage eyewear, ranging from the 1930s to the 1980s, to vintage eyewear lovers around the globe''. Rare Vintage Sunglasses soon became a big success, supplying clients online and countless boutiques worldwide with their special selection of vintage eyewear. Of course, the celebrities couldn’t remain indifferent and Vidal soon had the honor of seeing some of the pieces sold first hand being worn by the likes of Jay Z (Persol 714) , Lady GAGA (Ferre Gold) Carmelo Anthony (Charles Jourdan aviator) and others.
The next natural step in Vidal Erkohen’s career, was to design his own line. In 2006 RVS introduced their own brand of frames and sunglasses named RVS by V, with the goal of reproducing the same quality of eyewear that was used in the past. Vidal explains: ''As you may or may not know, eyewear companies such as Persol and Ray-Ban used to be independently owned until they were bought out (like many other brands) by the eyewear giant Luxottica. Today most eyewear companies are owned by either Luxottica or Safilo (both Italian) and are all produced at one of the two factories. For this reason, we believe models that are being sold today lack the quality, imagination and craftsmanship that were put into frames in the past.''
Indeed, all of RVS by V frames are handmade using the finest Italian Matt acetate, with hand painted red screws which have become their signature along with the matt finishing. They hold a sunglasses line as well as an ophthalmic one, both famous for their vivid colours, and they recently launched a limited edition series, called 212, with only 100 pieces for each model. Every RVS by V pair of frames is made with the goal of lasting its owner a lifetime, with both its quality and style, and we at Yatzer, having tried Vidal’s creations ourselves, can definitely confirm this. To finish, Vidal reveals who would be the ideal person to wear his glasses ''Jack Nicolson, Steve McQueen and my newborn baby girl!''