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Look forward: LINDA FARROW

When Simon Jablon unearthed a treasure trove of eyewear from his mother’s archive in 2003, LINDA FARROW was reborn. 20 years on, the brand collaborates with COS to create 5 iconic sunglasses inspired by its founder’s playful spirit.

‘Understated luxury is at the heart of the inspiration for this collection, a design ethos that is in synergy with both LINDA FARROW and COS.’

1970 – the launch of the Apollo space mission, the disbandment of the Beatles, and the year Linda Farrow created her eponymous brand. One of the pioneers to realise the fashion potential of sunglasses, Farrow began designing and producing frames for industry giants and was quick to reach acclaim for her own avant-garde and often outrageous styles favoured by the likes of Yoko Ono and Grace Kelly.

It was during the 1980s, in her prime, that Farrow put her company on pause to focus on family. ‘I think growing up you don’t necessarily appreciate who your mother is’, explains Simon Jablon (he/him), Founder and Creative Director of LINDA FARROW. ‘But then as I became a young adult and started working in fashion, I quite quickly realised how much of an impact she’d had on the industry.’

By a twist of fate, a chance discovery in a family storage unit in north London led Simon to reprise the LINDA FARROW name in 2003. ‘The brand had been dormant for about 20 years when I discovered my mother’s archive designs’, he says. ‘I was struck by how beautiful and well-made they were and had a feeling there would be a market for them in the luxury sector and so decided to relaunch the brand. Turns out I was right!’

In respecting the archive, the brand has also had to move with the times, producing new unique styles to rival anything vintage. The approach is bold, playful, often retro, and always full of personality. ‘The most important thing when choosing sunglasses is that they make you feel confident’, explains Simon. ‘There’s definitely a distinct and powerful emotion that happens when you try on a pair of sunglasses that makes you feel amazing – they can be like armour against the world.

To find out more, we caught up with Simon to learn about his mother’s legacy, the brand he nurtured back to life, and the finer details of the exclusive collaboration with COS...

Linda Farrow, 1970, photograph courtesy of LINDA FARROW

LEGACY

‘My mother was one of the first designers to transform eyewear into a fashion accessory very early on in the ‘70s. Before that, eyewear was more of functional item that served a purpose. She introduced revolutionary statement shapes and colours to the market that had otherwise been very monotonous and boring.’

‘To this day, we continue to produce playful and vibrant silhouettes that give a nod back to my mother’s original designs with a modern twist.'


THE ARCHIVE

‘When I first discovered the archives, I was truly amazed by the unique designs and quality of the product. At the time, the big license companies had the monopoly on most of the production of sunglasses in the world and it had really taken the soul out of the product design.’

‘Everything everyone was wearing had become very basic and minimalist and discovering my mother’s statement design pieces was like a breath of fresh air.’


EVOLUTION

‘Over the years we’ve developed a very distinct style. If you see a pair of LINDA FARROW glasses, you know they are ours!’

‘The key to our success has been to try and stay somewhat close to our 1970s fun and playful spirit while ensuring we release a few new and exciting silhouettes each season that work with current trends.’

‘There is always something for every face shape and we also make styles in different colourways so if you like a specific frame, you can buy multiples.’

‘There’s a distinct and powerful emotion that happens when you try on a pair of sunglasses that make you feel amazing – they can be like armour against the world.’

CRAFTSMANSHIP

‘Craftsmanship is integral to what we do at LINDA FARROW. We believe it's the extra attention to detail that can truly elevate a design, we pride ourselves on considering the engineering of each element.’

‘With our acetate frames, the curve and polishing of the surface is something that is key, achieving the right glossy shine gives desirability to even the simplest silhouettes. It is always our approach to execute designs with precision.’

‘We ensure that quality and craftsmanship are at the core of all our designs, so the customer gets the best possible product. We know we make great sunglasses and we’re proud to be the leaders in our industry in design and quality.’


COLLABORATION

‘Nowadays people mix luxury brands and more affordable pieces all the time and still look amazing. It’s not like it used to be. Luxury fashion has become more democratised with collaborations, and I think it’s great.'


THE COLLECTION

‘We wanted to make sure there was something for all face shapes in this collaboration and so picked 5 wearable styles including THE SQUARE ACETATE SUNGLASSES, THE SQUARE METAL SUNGLASSES, THE AVIATOR METAL SUNGLASSES, THE ROUND HALF-FRAME SUNGLASSES and THE RECTANGLE ACETATE SUNGLASSES.’

‘We also developed a special 'C' design exclusively for these pieces which was inspired not only by the COS logo, but also by the circular eyelet that is signature to LINDA FARROW acetate frames.’


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