What are glasses, for you ?
People who hate them use contact lenses. But for those who wear them, they’re an important accessory. They’re worn on the face, so they accentuate your personality or highlight an aspect of it. It takes many trials to get a frame right. We even wear them ourselves.
Why did you choose the eyewear business ?
As a teenager I thought I’d be a diplomat, to see the world and forge good relations. My father and grandfather manufactured glasses in the Jura and the Ain, and in the early 1980s fashion accessories had their “hour of glory.” New designers were coming onto the scene: Montana, Mugler, Yamamoto, Miyake, among others. I wanted to be part of it.
Why bring back designs from 1985 ?
Fashion is cyclical, and now it’s ’80s fashions that are sought after in secondhand stores and flea markets, even though people customize them to create their own style. Strangely enough, these vintage designs have brought us a younger clientele!
Your acetate frames come in dedicated colors. How did you develop them ?
I leave that side of the design process to my wife, who works with Italian firm Mazzucchelli. I give them a pretty free rein, even if I don’t like a color! You have to be bold and take risks, otherwise there’s no point. But the tone does have to be innovative.
What places conjure up the sprit of your collections ?
The residential districts of Minami-Azabu and Ebisu in Tokyo, which are not all neat straight lines, and where small houses mingle with amazing buildings that aren’t that tall. The architecture is a mixture of traditional and futuristic. Origami actually inspired a folded-metal frame design.
Is travel a change of scene ?
I love to travel, and still enjoy exploring Japan, where I’ve been going for years. I’m also fascinated by New York and the Chinese cities, specially Shanghai.
- 1949 Naissance à Saint-Claude (Jura).
- 1968-1972 Études de droit public (Lyon).
- 1977 Diplôme au Centre d’études du commerce extérieur (Marseille).
- 1980 Création de la société IDC (International Design Creation) – lunettes solaires principalement.
- 1995 Création de la société BLI-DBP (marques : J.F. Rey, Boz Eyewear, Volte Face et Sky Eyes).
- 2015 Création de la ligne Jean-François Rey (1985 [photo de gauche] et Au Masculin [photo de droite]).