Amazing Eyewear – Made in Japan // Say-oH

Say Oh Eyewear

Amazing Eyewear
Made in Japan

Say-Oh Eyewear

The Japanese brand Say-Oh starts with a story of a young man who moved halfway across the world to Japan, a place he will never fit in but feels at home.

An engineer/research scientist who became disillusioned with big business and the “evermore” which drives our society.

A man who has a deep appreciation for craftsmanship and design as well as the connection between the creator and user which we have lost.

A man who believes that we pigeonhole ourselves into “designer”, “engineer”, “laborer”, “salesman”. A man who believes creation should be a continuous fluid process from concept, design, tool creation, producing and to final product out to the end user. One who believes that we should find a way to create what we envision, not what our tools allow us to. A man who wanted to create a space where his people, his family, and customers can enjoy their work, make it part of their lives.

So he set out to create something, something that brings the craftsman closer to the user, old school. So much of our world is made piecework, the way it is done in Japan, China, all over the world.  

In order to increase efficiency, we dumb down our work and our products, forcing people to perform the same task over and over, faster and faster so we can buy more and more of less.  

Instead he created a space where his people could create products from start to finish, where they could leave a bit of themselves in the work they do.  

He was joined by a small band of craftspeople – an artist, an optician, die makers, a silversmith, a tailor, a designer, a florist all who work to create something brilliant in their lives and the lives of those who touch their products.

So a small workshop was born, one of only a few in Japan that can produce an acetate frame from start to finish in house, and one of only two which can do titanium work as well, smaller, however, by an order of magnitude.  This small band of creators work/play daily to bring a bit of brilliance into their lives and into the lives of those who use what they make.

Say Oh Eyewear
Say Oh Eyewear

Design Concept

Deeply satisfying without overwhelming the senses. Japanese aesthetic in a neoclassic setting. Simply put, we strive to create something that makes others look twice and not stare.

Western design and aesthetics have taken over the world. Big flavors – sweet, salty, spicy overwhelm and dull the senses.

But more than enough is often too much. In our quest for always more always bigger we have deadened our senses, the more we have the less satisfied we are, our products and our lives lack the depth, lack staying power, force us to move on, we are never satisfied.

In our quest we are told we will be happy if we follow the crowd, only to find we don’t fit the ideal image of the crowd, and therefore ourselves.

For those who don’t, nor want to, fit the mold. Those who don’t want to be run of/through the mill. For those who say f%#k the talk and walk the walk. Those who chose not what is “IN” but what speaks to them. Those who do what they do not because they have to but because they must, because it is what they are, because it makes them say oH every morning when they get up. For the quiet, the contemplative, the creative, the kind.

Those who don’t want you to stare but who want others who understand to look again. The chief, the ceramic thrower, the silversmith, the chair maker, the guitar player, the writer, the therapist, the volunteer, those who see the details, who work towards a world as it should be, not necessarily how it is.

Those who want something honestly made, who want to feel a connection to what they use and those who made it. Those like our staff, our designers, and our craftspeople.

Designers

Christopher Esposito

“Born in a small town in Massachusetts, educated at Tufts University. Captivated by the Japanese culture I moved to Japan in 1994 for a 2 year stint as a research scientist. “Kidnapped” by the then company and my now wife that 2 years turned into more than 25.

After rising through the corporate ranks to director of research for a division of what became the largest chemical company in the world, I started my own business to be able to spend more time with my young family and persue my dreams.

After a winding path my passion for creation led us to begin creating eyewear and furniture”.

Musings on Creation

“My goal as a designer and as a craftsman is the same for different reasons. 100 years from now I want to have someone appreciate what I created, to feel a connection, for it to ring true.

Truly well designed and made objects will speak to us regardless of what is “in” at the time, and therefore only be evaluated out of time. As a designer, I want those objects to have staying power, as a craftsman, to be made to stand the test of time, and as both, to be cared for by their owner so they can be seen by future generations“.

Goal as A Designer

As an eyewear designer I am fascinated by the negative space of the “window”, that which accentuates the eye and therefore the person inside.  As a craftsman I strive to create honest constructions in which you can feel the care that the craftsperson put into the piece.  

As a creator it is the process by which we start with an idea, move through the thought process of “how we can” as opposed to “why we cant”, followed by the creation of tools then the perfection of the object, which consumes me“.

Masaya and Hiromi Tada

Masaya was an optician and an eyewear designer for a famous boutique/brand Kamuro, and Hiromi an artist and designer for the well-known brand Boston Club. 

After a collision catalyzed by a fellow eyewear designer, they decided to spend their life together and move from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo to the serene countryside of Sanjo to join E&E and follow their dreams of truly creating something beautiful.

MASAYA:

“I love being the painter that catalyzes the story that begins when a face meets the perfect pair of eyewear and strive to design comfortable eyewear that makes the user feel they have met themselves“.

HIROMI:

“I find happiness in the cultivation of new ideas and in crafting and creating objects of beauty. I aim to design eyewear that gives the wearer the feeling of joy when they are looked at“.

Read more about this amazing “made in Japan” brand on TEF Magazine or visit their website.

More Made in Japan eyewear brands

Author: maarten weidemaAfter 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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