A venerable glasses maker branches into bespoke

Parisian brand Lafont creates handmade frames in acetate and metal

Bespoke frames in progress
Bespoke frames in progress

It has been 94 years since Louis Lafont opened his eponymous Paris eyewear boutique. In that time the brand has collaborated with the likes of Hermès and Chanel and built up a large cult following; fans range from fashion designer Christian Lacroix and Michelin-starred chef Dominique Bouchet to actresses Megan Fox and Jennifer Love Hewitt. One thing Lafont has only just started doing, however, is creating bespoke frames in-house.

Acetate samples at the atelier
Acetate samples at the atelier
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Under the leadership of Louis’ grandson Philippe and great-grandsons Thomas and Matthieu, the new bespoke service (from €500) will allow customers to either customise one of over 150 existing shapes, remake a design from the Lafont archives or create their dream frame completely from scratch. “You can do whatever you want,” says director of communications and marketing Matthieu, “so long as, optically speaking, it makes sense. We just need to be able to fit lenses into the design and ensure that the client can see through them properly.”

A selection of completed frames
A selection of completed frames
From top: carbon-fibre and beta-titanium Lafont Transverse. Cat eye-inspired optical Lafont Simone in coloured acetate. Translucent acetate Lafont Vogue with mirrored lenses. All from €500
From top: carbon-fibre and beta-titanium Lafont Transverse. Cat eye-inspired optical Lafont Simone in coloured acetate. Translucent acetate Lafont Vogue with mirrored lenses. All from €500

The designs can be created in either acetate or metal (and there are plans to introduce buffalo horn in the not too distant future) in 110 standard shades – although these can also be customised. Clients can add crystals or personalise the frames with a name or initials. And while Lafont’s off-the-peg glasses are produced partly by hand, partly by machine in a factory in the Jura region of France, the bespoke pieces will be created by a single craftsman in the 8th arrondissement atelier entirely by hand, taking three to four weeks to produce, depending on the intricacy of the design.

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