We recently witnessed just some of the 260 intricate steps that go into creating and producing the most successful rimless eyewear in the world at Silhouette’s headquarters in Linz, Austria. Founded by Annualise and Arnold Schmied in 1964, the company which continues to be family owned has, since the debut of its iconic ‘Titan Minimal Art’ eyewear in 1999, been the leading brand producing lite eyewear, worldwide.
During our HQ invasion - part of the ‘My Silhouette’ programme organized by Wallpaper* magazine in collaboration with Silhouette - we were able to design our very own pair of tailor-made rimless glasses, aided of course by the in-house designers and ophthalmologists. We met the ‘Titan Minimal Art’ eyewear innovator, the Chief Silhouette Designer Gerhard Fuchs, who literally started the ''no frames-no screws-no hinges'' revolution back in 1999. Ever since, his lightweight design (min 1.8/max 6.0 grams) has been snapped up by over nine million people seeking unparalleled ‘light as air’ comfort, around the world. With the numerous awards it has won combined with its impact on design history, it is little wonder that the now iconic Silhouette ‘Titan Minimal Art’ eyewear also makes up part of the permanent collection at MAK Wien, the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna.
We’re all aware (or should be) of our own personal style, specific skin tone and most importantly, unique face geometry. The importance of these factors goes beyond ephemeral fashion trends; they should always be in the forefront of our minds when making wise choices about the perfect piece of ophthalmic eyewear or sunglasses. And that’s the aim of the ‘My Silhouette’ programme: to help us understand these factors and become designers ourselves by carefully choosing the perfect lens shape which will provide the optimum fit between the eyewear’s titanium temples and bridge, in order to offer the utmost in comfort and practicality while simultaneously mirroring the wearer's personality.
During our visit, we simply couldn’t resist the opportunity to dive head first into Silhouette’s eyewear archives to try them for ourselves. Inside the time-machine we learned that Silhouette eyewear has accompanied astronauts as the eyewear of choice on over 30 NASA missions into outer space. Space travel asides, we didn’t just go back in time but forwards as well, to discover the FUTURA eyewear series which will be launched in 2014 on the occasion of Silhouette’s 50th anniversary. Inspired by the ''Futura 570'' eyewear model from their retro 70s collection, the new specs are poised to bring back the trend of protecting one’s THIRD EYE. Heralding what perhaps could be a new revolution about to start, the question we all have to ask ourselves is…are we ready?