TEFtalk // Unboxing Kirk and Kirk

While all eyewear shows are cancelled, I am missing out on many new frame launches. Luckily, every now and then, a little box arrives at TEF HQ with some amazing independent eyewear inside. This time, a world exclusive for TEF Magazine, the brand new Horace by Kirk and Kirk, in the incredible cool colour Ice.

The Horace is the latest edition to their Matte Centina collection which features 4 shapes in 5 colours, each handcrafted in France from custom 10mm sand-blasted acrylic to create a light feel through bold expression. A fresh outlook to celebrate those who were always looking forward, each frame is named after a beloved member of the Kirk family.

Kirk and Kirk
Kirk and Kirk
Kirk and Kirk
Kirk and Kirk

Kirk and Kirk: 100 years of innovation

In 2013, Jason and Karen launched an eyewear line for individuals. A line that is boldly expressive and proudly inclusive, with shapes that break boundaries. their frames are authentic, inspirational, and confident, just like the people who wear them.

Jason grew up in optics, his grandfather Sidney and his great uncle Percy founded Kirk Brothers in 1919 when they converted an old sewing machine into a lens cutter. Karen studied design in London and was working for Saatchi and Saatchi when she turned to optics.

Motivated by a strong family legacy and a desire to bring something new to the eyewear market, Jason and Karen Kirk started Kirk & Kirk as a line to innovate and inspire. The line was immediately a success and their frames are now sold in 30 countries worldwide and have been seen on the red carpet and in popular TV series. Their designs have been nominated for prominent design awards and the team has been profiled in The Guardian and 20/20 Magazine. The brand represents the legacy of the generations that came before while keeping an eye to the future and the possibilities not yet imagined.

Jason and Karen believe that every collection that they create, every frame, should bring something new to the market. Their Kaleidoscope collection offers an array of colours and dimensions that cannot be imitated. The Centena collection is the only 10mm thick acrylic eyewear frame construction in the world.

Jason and Karen believe in the community of designers and artists and has collaborated on frames and lens cloths with Mrs. Angemi, Ray Richardson, and Lou Taylor. Each bringing their own unique eye and story to their family legacy.

Theirs is a family business at heart. A family with optics in their genes. A family with integrity and pride in every frame they produce. Jason and Karen Kirk have created an eyewear experience that is authentic, confident and representative of the creative individuals who wear their frames.

Construction

Kirk & Kirk has developed their own acrylic for use in the construction of all their frames. Acrylic is an extremely durable and light material that, uniquely, does not lose adjustment or stretch out over time. A seemingly endless array of colour is possible through acrylic that is not possible through acetate, the traditional material for eyewear.

They utilize German five-barreled hinges in their frames, adding strength to the construction of the frame. Comfort is added through integral nose pads: a large nose pad surface for even weight distribution around the bridge. All frames are constructed from start to finish in one factory in France with frequent in-person quality control by Jason himself.

Generations

The family have been pioneers in optics since Sidney and Percy opened their first London workshops in 1919.

They were innovators, not only in frame design but also in the way they ran the business. They created the first adjustable nosepiece, they were the first to deliver their product by motorbike, and they supported other manufacturers by aiding them in setting up their factories.

Three generations later, Jason and Karen continue this tradition in innovative and supportive eyewear.


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Author: maarten weidema

After being a freelance eyewear designer since 1999, TEF founder Maarten Weidema now solely writes about his fellow designers in the optical industry. His passionate mission is to promote independent eyewear to the international optical arena, backed up by a large group of bloggers and journalists from all over the world. He has recently been awarded "International Optical Personality of the Year", "Leading Innovator in Optical Social Media Marketing", "Social Media Marketing Company of the Year" and received several awards for "best eyewear blog" for his efforts to promote independent eyewear to a community of 517.000 eyecare professionals.

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