LONDON — Last spring, when Simon Jablon was preparing to convert one of his family’s 3,000-square-foot London warehouses into residential property, he stumbled upon thousands of pairs of designer sunglasses — all perfectly preserved...
LONDON — Last spring, when Simon Jablon was preparing to convert one of his family’s 3,000-square-foot London warehouses into residential property, he stumbled upon thousands of pairs of designer sunglasses — all perfectly preserved in air-tight packets, their labels and cases still intact.
The glasses, from Pucci, Sonia Rykiel, Balenciaga and Jacques Fath, had been gathering dust in the warehouse since the mid-Eighties, when Jablon’s mother, Linda Farrow, a sunglass designer and wholesaler since 1970, shut her business and started producing optical frames for the mass market.
Jablon’s business partner, Tracy Sedino, who had worked in fashion public relations, spotted the chance of a lifetime on those neglected shelves, and the two quickly filled a suitcase with some of the goods and sped to Harvey Nichols, which placed an on-the-spot order for the line now known as Linda Farrow Vintage.
“This whole experience has been overwhelming — it took us a full six months to catalogue and organize the 1,000 different styles we found,” said Sedino, who has been showing the collection at both the London Designers Exhibition and at Eye2Eye this week.
They even have stock for future vintage crazes. “We have tons of Wayfarers on our hands — I know they’re not in style now, but they’ll probably make a comeback,” she said.
The company now has about 50 wholesale clients around the world, ranging from Browns in London to 10 Corso Como in Milan to Traffic in L.A. Depending on the style, supplies run from one to 500 units and the range is huge — from bubble-gum pink Jackie O frames by Linda Farrow to subdued tortoiseshell Pucci numbers. “We even have the original display stands for the glasses —Linda Farrow kept absolutely everything.”
Wholesale prices for the sunglasses range from $115 to $150, and the company has already begun to work with London designer labels including Tata-Naka and Michiko Koshino. And they certainly have their work cut out over the next year or two: So far, Jablon and Sedino have only sorted through two of the family’s four, fully stocked warehouses.
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