In Conversation with Mitch and Emma from Oscar & Frank
Just in time for summer, we’re so excited to announce our new sunglass collection in collaboration with Oscar & Frank Eyewear! We chatted with the founders behind the brand, Mitch and Emma, to learn about the inspiration behind the collection, the massive 50-step production process involved in making them and advice for picking your perfect pair of sunnies.
Can you tell us why you started Oscar & Frank?
Our initial reason for starting the brand was firstly due to our love of eyewear, but also from our extensive travels overseas. We found that Australia was so limited in really cool eyewear brands that tend to exist in Europe, Japan and the US. This inspired us to start travelling to Europe, which is really the home of high fashion eyewear labels and production, so we could learn the ropes and bring our new design and production skills back to Australia.
Where do you find inspiration for each collection?
That’s a really good question and something that changes on a day-to-day basis. We find inspiration from all aspects of our lives but I think high fashion in general is a massive inspiration for us. I love when brands push boundaries and their designs are art rather than just clothes.
What’s the process behind making a pair of Oscar x Frank sunglasses?
It’s actually a much bigger process than people realise… Even starting fromthe materials, everything is produced in Europe and the main thing people may not understand is how acetate is produced, which is the main material used to make our frames. Acetate is actually a derivative of cotton so it’s a bio-product, unlike plastic.
Our lenses may also seem like a basic aspect of our eyewear but not all lenses were created equal. The lenses we use are produced by a leading French brand called Essilor which is leaps and bounds ahead of the game when it comes to quality. Most cheap lenses are purely tinted with no real UVA or UVB sun protection.
Look at it this way, if someone puts on sunglasses with a cheap lens, it may seem fine to the naked eye but now our pupils are opening up to allow more sunlight. Because there is no real UV protection, we’re actually damaging our eyes more than if we weren’t wearing sunglasses at all.
We also add a special purple anti-reflective layer on the inside of all our lenses, which is there to prevent rear glare from bouncing off the lens and back into your eyes.
Every single frame is handmade by artisans who follow a 50-step process from beginning to end. This process takes about 3 months from the base material to the completed product, so you can be assured you’re getting more than a pair of sunglasses, you’re getting an art piece made with love.
Can you tell us about the new Oscar & Frank x KIVARI collaboration?
KIVARI has been amazing to work with and has trusted us to express our unique artistic freedom in each piece. We tried to bring some strategic colour pops and patterns that KIVARI are renowned for, yet still create frames that would align withtheir latest season patterns so you can have a complete ready-to-wear look.
What are your favourite sunglasses from this collaboration?
I know this is biased but I love them all… The Citra is a solid peachy colour and I think it’s so cool and will be the cherry on top of the collection.
The Fairfax is also amazing because it’s black — who doesn’t love a bold, black frame? It complements every look, and we added a subtle tort pattern inside the frame so you know you have that special touch of KIVARI.
The Cortez is already a super popular frame in our range but we personally designed a one-off Italian acetate for this frame. As I mentioned earlier, the acetate is handmade in Europe and you’ll notice that every pattern in this frame is unique — it’s almost like owning a pair of sunglasses with its own fingerprint.
Do you have any advice for choosing the perfect frame?
I think people have preconceived ideas that a certain style may not suit them because they’re used to a certain look or colour.
My advice is to take risks — they do suit you and I guarantee you’ll get compliments that you never expected.
A quick styling tip: think solid-coloured sunglasses when wearing prints or patterns and tort or multi-coloured sunglasses when wearing solid-coloured outfits.
Three things you are looking forward to this summer?
Having some downtime with the family, enjoying some sun (wearing my Oscar & Frank frames, of course) and working on some new, exciting designs for 2023/24.