Japanese Architects Show Off Their Vision Through Glasses

Glasses brand Jin’s Global Standard has teamed up with 11 top Japanese architects to create a series of clever, and certainly “eye-catching,” frames. This collaboration is the first in Jin’s new “Notable Creators” series.

Participating architects include Jun Aoki, who offers these reading glasses that fit into macaroon shaped cases (below left) and Yuko Nagayama, who created the “Sun Grass” (below right). Both of these architects have coincidentally produced a few of the local Louis Vuitton boutiques; Aoki designed the ones in Omotesando, Roppongi, and Ginza, while Nagayama did the one in Kyoto’s Daimaru department store.

We also liked these literal wrap-around glasses from Kumiko Inui (left) and the hand-drawn “Doodle” frames (right) from Sou Fujimoto.

The frames themselves are surprisingly affordable, at ¥12,990 a pair (about $135). While celebrity “designed” products abound, the Notable Creators series stands out for actually choosing celebrities who are famous for their design skills. On that note, it is important to point out that in Japan, particularly in artsy-intellectual circles where quirky glasses would be accepted (if not expected), successful architects do achieve celebrity status.

Architecture and fashion have been crossing paths for a while now, as documented in the well-traveled international exhibition Skin+Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in 2006. Jin’s Global Standard is an example of an accessible brand distilling this trend for the retail market.

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About the Author

Rebecca Milner was a contributor at ShiftEast.com, and is currently a Japan correspondent for Lonely Planet.