RVS Handmade Eyewear, the New York-based independent luxury brand, will open its first retail store, a pop-up shop in SoHo, on Tuesday. The pop-up, at 310 Bowery, will operate through Dec. 4 and carry the brand’s full collection as well as customizable options.
RVS, which launched in 2007 at Selima Optique’s New York and Paris boutiques, is handmade in Kyoto, Japan, by artisans who use many of the same techniques found in vintage frames. Retail prices range from $275 to $399. Known for incorporating vibrant colors and interesting color combinations that larger brands shy away from, its signature details include hand-painted red hinge screws and a matte finish. Today, RVS is sold in more than 130 boutiques worldwide.
“I grew up in New York City and moved the brand here a few years ago from Istanbul, where I founded it, to focus more on the U.S. market,” said RVS founder Vidal Erkohen. “RVS has had a really great year, so I knew it was the right time for us to do a pop-up. It’s the perfect opportunity for us to test the market, connect with our customers and build brand awareness.”
Following the trend of on-demand, luxury customization within smaller retail locations, the RVS pop-up will offer customers the opportunity to create their own one-of-a-kind frames by selecting available color options for the lens, temple and frame front. On-site customizing will be offered for all styles and will be ready for pickup on the next business day.
The pop-up will also showcase a collaboration with artist Santiago Sigüenza. RVS X San Sigüenza will debut there on Sept. 10, followed by a rollout at Selmia boutiques on Sept. 16. Known for his vibrant watercolors, which are favored by the likes of Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, Sigüenza met Erkohen through friends and the two decided to incorporate elements of a watercolor Sigüenza created of Madonna, into a limited-edition sunglass frame. The original painting had been used as a hologram during a performance in Madonna’s “Rebel Heart Tour” last year.
RVS is also evolving its look to appeal to a wider audience by launching the Renaissance Collection on Oct. 12. While still embracing color and fashion-forward designs, the new collection represents a more mature direction for the brand, with core designs inspired by elements of Italian fashion in the Fifties. All frames in the collection will feature a new, patented hinge that will distinguish RVS from rival brands while making counterfeiting more difficult.