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Linda Farrow Eyes Growth

The eyewear company remains perched atop the most fashionable faces, thanks to a cultlike following and a growing list of designer collaborations.

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Special Issue
WWD A issue 10/18/2010

Fewer names are more synonymous with high fashion eyewear than Linda Farrow’s.

This story first appeared in the October 18, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

 

Established in 1970 and responsible for Yoko Ono’s iconic wraparound shades, the brand was resurrected in 2003 after Farrow’s son, Simon Jablon, unearthed thousands of vintage frames in the company’s original warehouse. Now selling more than just its archives, Linda Farrow remains perched atop the most fashionable faces, thanks to a cultlike following and an ever-growing list of high-profile designer collaborations.

 

Matthew Williamson, Dries Van Noten, Raf Simons, Luella Bartley, The Row, Alexander Wang and Yohji Yamamoto have recently produced collections under the brand, while younger protégés including Giles Deacon, Gaspard Yurkievich and Jeremy Scott — whose kooky Mickey Mouse frames Lady Gaga made famous — are part of a special Projects collection reserved for cultivating the work of emerging artists.

 

The brand also houses three signature lines of sunglasses: Fine Jewelry, which incorporates precious metals, diamonds and gemstones; Luxe, which includes optical frames, and Vintage, comprised of original designs from the Seventies and Eighties. Upcoming collaborations include Nicholas Kirkwood, Ann-Sofie Back and Rue du Mail.

 

Linda Farrow has begun to establish its own identity, beyond outside collaborations, with Linda Farrow Luxe.

 

“We had no intention of designing our own collection until three years ago…unless it was special and different enough and not competing with the collaborations,” said Tracy Sedino, press and marketing director of Linda Farrow. “We wanted to create…something special, almost one of a kind. This is when we decided to launch a line based on classics and the history of Linda Farrow’s archive but made from the highest quality materials.”

 

These materials include frames finished with buffalo horn and 24-karat gold-plated titanium, accented with natural stingray, alligator and snakeskin.

 

The Linda Farrow Luxe look book is similarly distinctive. Photographed by Tim Barber and styled by Sara Moonves, the images are markedly different from the staid glamour of traditional eyewear images.

 

“We didn’t feel that we wanted to produce something unless it was absolutely right and working with the right people,” Sedino said.

 

The Luxe line retails for $465 to $875 and will be available in January at lindafarrowgallery.com.

 

But branded eyewear is hardly the last of the company’s projects. Sedino said the ultimate aim was to create “a Linda Farrow Luxe lifestyle,” and that more products and accessories could be expected in the future.