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Introducing “The Grey Label" by Dr.Blake Kuwahara

骨子裏我就是個老派的人,迷戀老式發條錶款勝過功能複雜的智慧型手錶;在挑選葡萄酒時喜歡軟木塞蓋多過螺旋金屬蓋;比起 Spotify 更依賴黑膠唱片;熱愛手作物件的溫度,而非大量生產的痕跡。在經營自己的眼鏡品牌時,也是秉持著相同的原則。


我自己本身也是個消費者 (還是很會買的那種),這些年來我一直關注著消費行為的轉變以及產業內的各種趨勢與脈動。當發現設計本身的價值已經漸漸被鋪天蓋地的商業主義蓋過時,我想堅持初衷、反其道而行可能會是個突破重圍的的方式。

很幸運的,我的工作是創作我喜歡的事物,我的作品直接反應出我在乎的程度,這也是 “The Grey Label” 誕生的理由。

我的同名品牌 “Blake Kuwahara" 從創立至今始終秉持著“滿載藝術感,卻能輕鬆配搭” 的精神,獨特的 “框中框” 結構就是體現這個核心價值的途徑。

“The Grey Label” 則是另外一個凸顯這個核心價值的表現方式,在求學過程中解剖學與生物學一直都是我最熟悉的科目,我著迷於骨骼結構,早些年在我創立眼鏡品牌 “KATA” 時我曾用過 “外骨骼”(例如卵殼或是甲蟲的體表等等) 作為靈感來源,更使用了珠寶製造的技術來鑄造眼鏡,而在“The Grey Label” 你將會看到“內骨骼”的結構,也同樣運用耗時老派卻饒富趣味的製作工法。

為了完美呈現每一個目光所及的細節,每支 “The Grey Label by Blake Kuwahara" 的鏡框堅持手工製造,仔細觀察,你將發現鏡框的每個連結點就像是骨骼關節緊密相連,它是如此微小精緻,卻支撐著整體架構。



I’m completely Old School. I prefer vintage wind-up watches over “smart” versions, real cork to screw tops, vinyl over Spotify, and hand-pressed anything over mass-produced. The same can be said about my approach to designing eyewear.

I was brought up in this industry (this year marks my 30th year designing frames) focused on the product and how it was made. These were pre-Influencer, pre-Instagram times.

I don’t live in a vacuum nor ignore the shift in our industry. I’m a consumer, too, and a big one at that. But, the more I see how design is devalued over commercialism, the more I’m driven in the opposite direction.

And because I am lucky to be in a position to create, I choose to create with attention to detail and craftsmanship top of mind.

And, so was the genesis of The Grey Label. Our brand ethos is to bring to market eyewear that is “artful yet wearable”. Using the construction of laminating a “frame within a frame” is just one means to this end.

The Grey Label is yet a very different expression of this mantra. As an optometrist, anatomy and biology classes were a prerequisite in my studies. I’ve always been intrigued by skeletal structures. In my earlier KATA Eyewear collection I used exo-skeletons (shells, beetles) that were cast using the same techniques as jewelry makers. For this new collection, I used endo-skeletal structures that are made in the same old-school way.

Each frame is hand-cast and handcrafted in order to realize the subtly nuanced details. If you look closely, you can see the design of the joints and bones in the end pieces and temples. It’s about the touch, feel, and workmanship of the frames that’s important to me.

And, I hope to you, too.


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