Military Inspired Tactile Eyewear; HAPTER

Although the weather is getting gloomier and sunglasses are not an obvious priority I recently discovered a new eyewear range perfect for the snowfields!  Hapter eyewear has been created to endure extreme temperatures and last for decades, plus with Anzac day only a couple of days away the label’s military inspiration seemed topical…

“Buried by time and snow, in 2009 a pair of glacier military goggles from the Second World War were found on a summit of the Dolomite mountains…”

The recovered World War Two goggles inspired a couple of old friends to research and rediscover traditional artisan manufacturing techniques used to create eyewear in the early 1900s.  This would eventually lead to the launch of Hapter eyewear in Milan last year. Hapter have joined forces with Lanificio Cerruti, utilising Cerruti’s creative and innovative fabrics and  non-conventional production of fibres to create an award winning range of eyewear.  Lanificio Cerruti looked to their military archives from the 1920s through to the 1940s to rediscover heavy weight cottons destined for army uniforms.  Weighing in at a featherweight 12 grams, Collection Txtl001 frames look pure and delicate with no screws, hinges or solderings.  Top quality specialty treated surgical stainless steel is used to maintain a natural curve to the face.

The most iconic eyewear brand born from a military influence would have to be Ray Ban. Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses were developed by Bausch & Lomb in the 1920s at the request of the U.S. Army Airs Corps, the goal of what were then known as Anti-Glare goggles was to protect the eyes of military pilots from high-altitude glare. In 1937, they were offered to the general public under the name Ray-Bans (as in “they ban the sun’s rays”).  Eight decades later we’re still wearing them- I’m sure Hapter are hoping their range will prove to be just as popular!

Photo Gallery:

1. The goggles which allegedly  inspired the collection

2. Cotton frames designed and created by Lanificio Cerruti

3. The Hapter Wraparound case

4. Hapter sunglasses

5.Hapter frames

6. Bausch & Lomb ‘Ray Ban’ advertisement from 1944


The Ultimate Men’s Survival Kit.

Clever or creative Christmas gifts are hard to come by at the best of times, especially when you’re shopping for ‘The man who has it all’.  Earlier this year I noticed that the guys from Art Comes First had narrowed down a collection of  ’key essentials’ required for the sartorial traveller living out of a suitcase ie. the man who needs to look like he has it all whilst travelling the world! The collection of cult products reflects the ultimate balance of creative thinking and traditional manufacturing techniques as opposed to mass commercial production.

The entire project was designed around a raw mineral theme (coal), and to reflect this all of the items involved are in a stark black colour.  The ‘Pack Essential’ is a collection of seven ultimate basics which are lightweight and suitable for any scenario.  It consists  of a Handmade Leather Bag, The Ultimate Black Shirt, An Italian Handmade Hat, Hand Crafted Glasses from Japan, Fine Cotton Socks, Leather Soled English Made Shoes and a curated photographic poetry book. All the items come together to fit into the leather bag, ready to pick up and go.

I love the concept but am skeptical about how much use a photographic poetry book would actually be in reality!  I’d swap the book out for one of our Natural Born Elegance handmade limited edition bow ties and  I think that’s another  tricky christmas gift sorted!

Photo Gallery:

1.  The Coal Project Pack Essential

2. The pack on display at Pitti Uomo this year

3.  Natural Born elegance bow and neck ties

4.  Sam Lambert (Art Comes First) hanging out with our director Jim Li

Men Of Style: Sam Lambert & Shaka Maidoh

If you’ve spent any time perusing street style blogs then you’ll surely recognise this very hip Afropolitan duo.  Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh are the brilliant minds behind Art Comes First, a dynamic collective of self-taught creatives and artists based out of London. Individually they  both have their own impossibly cool style, but when you get a glimpse of the two of them together they manage to make fashion look like a team sport!

Lambert’s connection to the fashion industry goes as far back as his childhood years growing up in Angola.  ”My father was a tailor, so I had my first bespoke suit at the age of 5 like most African kids did; this was Sunday attire. ” Whilst his father was busy tailoring suits, his mother was buying large containers of vintage clothes which she would wholesale to vendors at the local flea market. These early influences would eventually lead Lambert to a position with Savile Row tailor Ozwald Boateng, and to his current role as Head of Design at Spencer Hart in London and co-founder of Art Comes First.

Both Lambert and Maidoh have an effortless style that really does reflect the perfect combination of old meets new.  They  somehow manage to re-work a vintage sartorial look into something completely current and modern, all the while maintaining an essence unique to their heritage. With their hats, beards, glasses and intuitive way of accessorising, they really do make for an unforgettable combo.

If you’re keen to read more:

The Sartorialist’s style profile on Sam Lambert:

Another great interview with Sam Lambert from the UK Guardian: