Randolph Engineering might be the newest old eyewear brand.
The company was founded in 1972 by two engineers seeking to create pure performance eyewear. Ten years later, it became the U.S. Department of Defense’s official supplier of aviation flight glasses, marketing itself as the leading vendor to various government agencies for sun and ophthalmic wear.
Now Randolph Engineering (known as RE) is evolving into a full fashion brand, reaching out to customers who will appreciate its handcrafted metal frames and heroic history. “We are expanding into a broader commercial market than we ever have before,” says Mary Waszkiewicz, marketing manager at RE and granddaughter of co-founder Jan Waszkiewicz. “We’ve been available to the military for all of these years, and now we’re hoping to reach the average consumer.”
That shouldn’t be a problem. With a retail range of $99 to $170 and more than 17 color-tinted lenses to choose from, RE is already a huge seller at Dillard’s as well as Steven Alan in New York. Over the next few years, the company hopes to expand its distribution, aiming for select department stores and high-end eyewear retailers while still serving members of the U.S. military.
The fashion and entertainment communities have also embraced RE. Designer Michael Bastian uses the aviators on his runways, and the frames have been worn by characters in such movies as “Apollo 13,” “Apocalypse Now” and “Taxi Driver.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast