By Jillian Urcelay
JU: HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN THE EYEWEAR INDUSTRY AND WHEN DID YOU BEGIN DESIGNING FOR IC! BERLIN?
HS: My journey in the eyewear industry began at ic! berlin. Attracted to the creative pulse of Berlin as a city, I moved from South London to discover what it had to offer. Once the introduction was made with ic! berlin in 2014, I was naturally drawn to its rich history and unique handmade production techniques. Once I became accustomed to the processes and the design language of the brand, the bond was made, and I have never looked back.
WHICH HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE COLLECTION TO WORK ON AND WHY?
The Suprematism collection of 2017 that was launched at Silmo Paris is a personal favorite of mine. For this collection, we took inspiration from the Suprematism art movement of the early 1900s. The focus was to create unique eyewear pieces within our sheet metal line, allowing the designs to incorporate some of the key graphical attributes of that art movement. It meant the design team had real substance to work with, and the designs came intuitively once we immersed ourselves into the pieces. Suprematism focused on geometric forms and reinterpreting them in abstract compositions. Our technique of laser cutting sheet metal allowed us to achieve precise and bold results.
WHERE DO YOU LOOK FOR IDEAS OR INSPIRATION FOR COLLECTION THEMES?
The ideation phase of a collection can be one the most exciting parts of the design process. This time can bring influences from all industries and sources, the fashion industry being a major player, orchestrating the trends in accessories and eyewear. However, to broaden our scope we analyze other areas of design like furniture, textile, automotive, beauty and product. There are no limitations on where inspiration may come from for our collections, but we do have a unique playground in the form of the city of Berlin itself. Berlin’s ever changing subcultures and street trends feed us with everlasting material, allowing the design to keep current and unique within the eyewear industry.
WHAT NEW LENS OR FRAME TECHNOLOGY IS
IC! BERLIN CURRENTLY OFFERING OR DESIGNING?
Over the past two years we have been developing our Rubber line. This line innovates our standard sheet metal frames by adding volume with rubber, while keeping the durability that our sheet metal glasses offer. This combination of a strong sheet metal core and molded rubber skin allows the frame to be more robust. The process took some time to develop and perfect. The injection molding process means we can work with unlimited colors and have no boundaries on three-dimensional forms. Where traditional tooling might limit the shapes and surface textures that can be achieved with conventional processes, the rubber line gives us the freedom to explore.
WHAT CAN FANS OF THE BRAND EXPECT FOR THE NEXT COLLECTION IN TERMS OF THEMES OR COLORS?
The market trend for color in the upcoming seasons is interesting for us. We see our collections adopting a more vibrant and richer color palette. We will play with bold color accents in combination with metallic surfaces. Design themes will focus on providing the perfect comfort for our wearers through innovating the fit and materials we use, and how we use them. Lastly, Berlin as a city will become the backbone to our product through understated beauty and quality.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT DESIGNING FOR IC! BERLIN?
We produce in house. For a designer, this is a dream because you have this daily contact with the production force and the manufacturing processes. If the designer plans to innovate or develop the product, we can connect with the production seamlessly, making it an enjoyable working experience. Additionally, our history of being the first sheet metal and screwless eyewear brand in the industry has given us a head start, and it’s a pleasure to be at the front.