B meets Monc London
Monc is not especially for monks or nuns, although they would look pretty good in them, but they’re in fact handcrafted sunglasses for everybody! Created by founder Freddie Elborne, after he became increasingly frustrated with the price of good quality sunglasses - good enough reason to create your own product if you ask us!
AND GOOD REASON TO CHECK THEM OUT, SHOP MONC HERE
This brand is actually our only one, at this stage, founded by a man. Not surprising as we are a womenswear platform but Freddie has created unisex styles designed to suit any wearer; even the subtle cat eye he could pull off too. The shapes all have that extra little design detail and really do seem to suit anyone; we’re not usually a fan of the east London style round frames (makes us look like John Lennon) but even these work for some reason. All handcrafted in Italy using premium materials, yes actually handcrafted, a lot of luxury brands don’t do this (I know I’ve been there). You really can feel the premium quality. As you can tell we love them and we always require more sunglasses to feel famous in (or hide a bad hangover). Ooo just imagine a pair on a crisp sunny autumn day with this Baum Faux Fur Leopard Jacket.
ITALIAN ARTISANAL (this is not a bread)
At MONC we design high quality products that support artisanal makers. Our first range is a collection of eyewear designed to suit every face shape, and crafted using the finest Italian materials and artisans in the world. Our products stand out because of the geometric features in each frame, it’s our way of branding without sticking a logo all over the frames.
SUNGLASSES MY ONE TRUE LOVE
I started Monc as I was feeling frustrated about how large brands and corporations presented their products to customers. I was confused that to buy the highest quality products you had to pay ridiculous sums of money, particularly with eyewear. My love for collecting Sunglasses drove my interest into that industry. So I set out to design a first range that would suit any wearer. I had a background in product design as I studied this at Uni and then worked within creative design studios. I wanted to make sure that on the design journey we celebrated the process and the people involved in making each design become a real product.
When I’m designing inspiration can come from anything – for frame styles and shapes I like to look back into the archives of vintage frames. Then try to revive elements into new designs with a more modern approach. For features of the frames inspiration often comes from art and architecture. The inspiration for this collection comes from different design neighbourhoods from around Europe, where designer-makers are using ethically sourced materials to make goods that they will sell in their studios. We like to tell their stories through the frames by writing blogs and features about each designer. I want to continue this as we produce future ranges, to give an insight into the amazing design districts everywhere in the world. B – We love this, we’re all about celebrating independent designers/makers and telling their stories. We’d love to visit these neighbourhoods and as we grow (we hope) aim to bring you European brands too.
MACHINES DON’T HAVE HANDS
From the beginning the mission was to design to support artisanal makers whilst using the best materials and components for the job. What’s special about our makers is that we use one, of a handful of factories in the world, that still use more traditional hand making techniques in frame production. It’s important that we continue to collaborate with real people and not just machines, and where is better to produce eyewear than Italy? It does influence the price, but it’s totally worth it to know that what we spend on making goes to help everyone within the factory, and that it’s not just a mass produced product that’s a number on someone's screen.
THINKING OF FACES
The hardest part is managing everything, because I am still relatively independent in the business it takes a lot of organisation to do the different jobs that come with it. The best parts are when I am designing again or in the factory, this is what really excites me and motivates me – imagining what the frames will look on people’s faces!
STICK YOUR NECK OUT
Think carefully about your values and how to represent them. It’s not always about changing the world in a revolutionary way, but also about representing something that you believe in and it takes a lot of confidence to stick your neck out. But you’ll never know unless you try it, right?