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Catch The Drift

18 Nov

Hand made by a small team of engineers and artisans in Chicago, Illinois, DRIFT Eyewear is produced with an earnest determination to tell a story.  It is a tale inspired by the tradition of  manufacturing  eyewear in America. The story is also an account of how the  amalgamation of creativity, science, history, design, innovation, structure, and simplicity all converge into something tangible like a frame.

The brand extends its narrative by appropriating the names of characters from novels of  literary fiction in order to identify its models.  The shapes of the acetate fronts of Atticus (Finch), (Holden) Caulfield, Kilgore (Trout) and Dagny (Taggart) may well have flattered their namesake protagonists.

Each DRIFT frame features temples crafted from 5 layers of ethically-sourced timber. Laminations  of tropical Wenge, Walnut and Maple are reinforced with a stainless steel insert which ensures optimal strength, flexibility and balance.

The rich colours and textures offered within the DRIFT collection can be appreciated at our flagship location.


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Our adventurous male clientele can rest assured that we have much in store to peek their interests.  To discerning gentlemen willing to embrace the new we offer the following  examples of contemporary textures  and colouration of eyewear, as well as innovations in fabrication:

Mykita of Germany produces its  Mylon collection through the process of selective laser sintering.  Formed of super-fine polyamide power, these ultra-modern frames feature a unique surface treatment achieved during a patented process. The ‘platinum grey’ colour depicted exemplifies a trend toward the muted and neutral colours  gaining prominence in menswear.


The unconventional combination of matted and polished surfaces on a single frame is a strong feature of the current collection from Bevel. The process requires many steps as portions of the frame are masked while the colour finish is applied. This model features a front formed out of  a solid sheet of 3mm thick titanium free of solder points.

The dynamic combination of polished acetate elements with matte finished  metals has been perfected by Anne et Valentin.  Volume of form is achieved in the absence of  conspicuous bulk and weight.

The Legacy collection from Claire Goldsmith features hand crafted  acetate frames which are distinguished by their sculptural elements and unique colour combinations.  This pairing  of matte  black and jade is  particularly natty.

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The View From Paris

22 Oct

This past September I attended  Silmo,  a critical international optical industry trade show held in Paris, France.  The event features innovations in frame design and fabrication.  The most gratifying aspect of  my experience at Silmo was the realization that Josephson Opticians is already a purveyor of  the majority of the industry’s exceptional product.

We have secured and maintained relationships with truly innovative and influential designers and distributors.  I value these relationships more having seen how many concepts and designs are copied to varying degrees of quality. It only makes sense to identify the true innovations and to associate with the companies investing in the research and development advancing the trends in eyewear design.

Anne et Valentin, Bevel, Lindberg, MatsudaMykita and Sama  are examples of the brands leading the industry forward in respect to advancements in fabrication.  Their designers encourage our feedback and assessment of the direction their styles are heading.

Almost a month since making purchases at Silmo, some of the merchandise has already arrived at our shops. Here are  examples of new releases:

13th-century detailing on the doors of  Sainte-Chapelle, Île de la Cité, Paris

Chrome Hearts offers  examples of matte finishes applied to titanium accented by gold vermeil  on sterling silver.  Exceptional detailing with lacquer is evident on the acetate sunglass, below.


20th-century furniture in  the collection of the  Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris


Lindberg featured green as a new colour in the N.O.W. collection’s translucent composite material and matte copper finishes on titanium components of it’s rimless Spirit collection.


Exterior of the home of the late, great, Serge Gainsbourg, Rue de Verneuil, Paris


Thin, refined metals featuring delicate filigree are making a resurgence. Oliver Peoples and Matsuda offer handsome options.


Contemporary fashion exhibited in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais du Louvre, Paris


As an alternative to opaque  black, Sama  offers a palette of warm and neutral acetate colours such as vintage rose, matte beige and taupe.

The trend towards thinner acetate fronts combined with metal temples is exemplified by this frame by Oliver Peoples. Shades of grey and crystal acetates remain strong features of many collections.

Alain Mikli offers impactful frames featuring a depth of colour and dimension achieved by laminating contrasting sheets of acetate.  The gravitas associated with a thick, opaque frame seems passé  when one considers the ‘lighter’  appearance of these alternatives.

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Au Naturel

06 Oct

Maeve Brennan of Harper’s Bazaar trying on wooden framed eyeglasses, 1945, photo by Nina Leen for Life Magazine

There is a point at which a synthetic imitation can no longer substitute for an organic product.  Against your skin horn and wood offer a  tactile sensation that is sensual and familiar. They are both hypoallergenic materials sourced from sustainable resources for their use in eyewear. Josepshon Opticians is a purveyor of two brands of note which cater to clients appreciative of  things  au naturel.

Hoffman Natural Eyewear of Germany has been crafting luxurious, one-of-a-kind horn frames since 1978.  Each piece features a unique variegation of pattern and distribution of translucent colour. Although extremely light weight, stability of the frame is achieved through the lamination of 7 thin layers of horn with fibers lying in alternating directions.

Anni Shades of Alliance, Ohio, produces wooden frames of artisanal  quality and charm.  The natural beauty of ebony, koa and redwood burl are often paired with wood stained in playful colours. Striking visual  effects are achieved through the lamination of 8 layers of wood. Each frame is sealed with three coats of varnish to ensure durability.

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Enduring Appeal

06 Oct

F. Scott Fitzgerald at leisure, 1920

Shane Baum’s luxury brand Leisure Society caters to the  conspicuous consumer with an appreciation of heirloom design.  The frames are intended to have lasting appeal and are investment pieces. Their inherent value is evident in the quality of their Japanese production. Precisely crafted with the intention that they should last forever, the frames are fashioned in enduring good taste.

The collection features models cast out of pure 12k, 18k and 24k  yellow and white gold plated titanium. Sophisticated enamel and laser etched buffalo horn inserts compliment the refined coined surfaces of the wire rims.


The detailing on many of the frames requires over 6 hours on a state of the art computer controlled milling machine, thus limiting production to only 4 frames per day. The effort expended in the creation of these coveted objects should be  appreciated…at your leisure.


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Select pieces from Walter Wissing and Co. have final arrived and they were certainly worth the wait.  We are proud of our affiliation with this German firm which has crafted eyewear since 1953.

Hand made to our specifications, and bearing the Josephson logo, these thin acetates feature luminous colours  muted by a textured surface.

Impression, Soleil Levant 1872 by Claude Monet, Musee Marmottan, Paris

Appearing alternately  opaque and  translucent, the effect of light on the colours on these pieces is evocative of the changing appearance of the sky in the plein-air landscapes of the impressionists.

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Elegant Forms

11 Aug

Georgian Bay Rhythms by Doris McCarthy, 1969

Two recently released sunglass styles  by Clare Goldsmith have inspired me to consider an ideal location where their features are shared by an environment.   The Duke and Logan models are rugged forms with rounded contours, like the rocks and trees along the shore line of  Lake Huron  and the Muskoka District.

The 'Duke' in Black Horn

The ‘Duke’ in ‘Black Horn’

    The frames’  sleek  texture and smooth lines mimic those of  natural forms worn by the repetitive undulation of the waters in cottage country.  Their rich colour combinations are also evocative of the water and landscape of a dockside summer destination.


The ‘Logan’ in ‘Matt Amber Paradise’


    These hand-crafted sunglasses are  practical and elegant accessories to wear on  excursions into the landscapes that inspired the  artist Doris McCarthy.

Wave Movement #8 by Doris McCarthy, 1969

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The sunglass  styles of Parisian designer Thierry Lasry epitomize  the current  take  on  glamour.  They exemplify a balance between timeless good taste  and innovation.  The collection features ‘retro-futuristic’ forms which are elegantly sculpted from vintage acetates sourced from the venerated Italian supplier Mazzucchelli.

The soft edged and typically up-swept shapes are ample in scale yet well proportioned. They manage to  flatter the wearer’s facial features without concealing them.  The voluptuous fronts appear to float on the face and are gracefully supported by slender metal temples.


George Hurrell photograph sourced from the 15th issue of Acne Paper

Thierry’s  use of unique colour combinations and patterns of  rare acetates warehoused  since the 1980’s  enhances the allure of his creations.  His ‘neo-vintage’  styles have been  produced in France since the launch of his line in 2006.  Thierry has also been the artistic director of his father’s ophthalmic frame line Harry Lary’s since 2002.


George Hurrell photograph sourced from the 15th issue of Acne Paper

 Thierry Lasry sunglasses can be sourced in the worlds most prestigious contemporary boutiques including London’s Dover Street Market and Lane Crawford shops in Hong Kong.  In Toronto you are invited to appreciate  the collection at our Bayview  and Flagship locations.

In keeping with the designer’s ‘neo-vintage’  aesthetic, we  recently displayed his modern eyewear paired with  images produced by George Hurrell,  a photographer who made a significant contribution to the perception of glamour presented by Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s.

George Hurrell photograph sourced from the 15th issue of Acne Paper



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Within the Bevel Eyewear collection there is an  abundant variety of  frame sizes, colours, materials and shapes.    The range is so comprehensive that  every client could potentially find a specimen within it that suites them.

In production since 1999, all Bevel frames  have shared the classification of being functional, flattering and fun.  All design elements they incorporate are meant to enhance the look, fit and performance of each model.  Void of  conspicuous  adornments,  the collection features only a refinement of  elements which are essential to comfort and a minimal aesthetic.

illustration by Olaf Hajeck

Co-founders Rick Nelson and Richard Mewha remain invested in elevating the standards of production of frames and the public’s perception of  the  value of eyewear.  Their commitment to research and development  in manufacturing in Japan have  resulted in innovations which benefit the end wearer in terms of fit.  Richard’s designs and unique colour choices for  frames  are in benefit of making their eyewear as essential to personal style and self-esteem as apparel or cosmetics.

Illustration by Olaf Hajeck


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Wear Them Out!

16 May

As we in Toronto wait patiently for Spring, our  latest arrivals from  l.a. Eyeworks of California remind us that the season of renewal   is close at hand.  We have placed them prominently at the front of our  Flagship location in order to inspire our winter ravaged clientele!

When the collection’s self-taught designers Gai Gherardi and Barbara McReynolds opened their Melrose Avenue shop in 1979  the sign in the window  stated their intent.  It read : “Changing the face. Facing the change.

The pair remain  dedicated to the production of  quirky and unrestrained creations which can alter the aesthetic and outlook of the end wearer.   Gai maintains that “great glasses can be a catalyst of positive transformation for any person”.

The era-defining ‘Bondo’ frame of the 1980’s has evolved into the new ‘Bondu’ model in stainless steel.  It features the barrel of the eye-wire screw as a design element.

‘Date Shake’ in ‘Silver to Pink’  is light and opalescent. 

 ‘Cairo’ in ‘Kale and Hay Split’ features matte and textured acetate.

 ‘Bar Fedora’ in ‘Glass Berry’ is vibrant and flirtatious.

   We invite you to embrace the new and experience the delights of the l. a. Eyeworks collection.

Try them on!  Wear them out!

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