Fabien Baron wants to be more than just a creative director behind some of the editorial and advertising images on the pages of fashion magazines. He wants to be on them.
The creative director of French Vogue and founder of Baron & Baron Inc., an advertising and marketing firm with such clients as Balenciaga and Calvin Klein, is launching Fabien Baron Eyewear, a collection of women's and men's sunglasses.
In partnership with Modo Eyewear, the line will make its debut next week exclusively with Luxottica Group's new high-end eyewear chain, Ilori. The 14 styles, all handcrafted in Japan, will wholesale from $120 to $160, with some higher-priced limited edition styles. The collection will retail internationally in January at select retailers, including Barneys New York and Colette in Paris.
Here, Baron discusses accessories, luxury, logos and why good friends can make great business partners.
WWD: Why sunglasses?
Fabien Baron: I've known Alessandro [Lanaro, Modo's president and chief executive officer] for a long time. We met years ago. This is his business and we talked casually and said, 'We should do glasses.' I thought it would be fun for me to try. It was more friendship than business-based.
WWD: How'd it go?
F.B.: It was a great experience. Sunglasses have always been objects that intrigued me. It's organic and very tedious, though it doesn't look it. One millimeter this way and one millimeter that way and it turns into something else, looks like something else, feels like something else.
WWD: What kind of woman wears your sunglasses?
F.B.: She's sophisticated, knowledgeable about fashion and what quality and luxury are about. She has a certain elegance that is understated. There are no logos overwhelming the design and that was very intentional. We feel like people are sick of logos.
WWD: How would you define your personal style?
F.B.: A side of it comes from Paris and being French. I like a classic type of elegance. But I also moved here and so I want to be modern and forward. The combination of the two makes my work what it is — simple, clean, bold, modern with a sense of the classic.
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