Linda Farrow: The ultimate luxury in eyewear
LIVIN’ AND LOVIN’ - Tetta Ortiz Matera (The Philippine Star) - August 4, 2015 - 10:00am

We live in very interesting fashion times. Brands once considered luxury have found themselves grappling to take their foothold back in this all-important segment of the industry. Their epic fail was brought about by ignoring the writing on the wall and instead continuing to turn out heavily monogrammed and logoed collections that were all too easily accessible and passed off as luxury. Those who were in the know took matters into their own hands and began staying away from any and all things indiscreetly branded. They moved away from “it” items and “must-haves” and quietly gravitated towards brands that represented luxury as it should be: discreet, exclusive, of impeccable quality and artisanal. One such brand is Linda Farrow. 

Celebrated British eyewear brand Linda Farrow has been around since the 1970s but has remained under the radar, preferring its hushed existence as a cult eyewear brand among the select fashion cognoscenti. Founded in London by the lady after whom the brand is named, Linda Farrow was a tireless experimenter and style-setting pioneer who recognized way before everyone else that sunglasses were a fashion statement. She built the brand on the design philosophy of “perpetual innovation,” effortlessly combining modernity and creative freshness in shapes and styles of uncompromising quality in timeless designs.

Unabashedly luxurious, Linda Farrow’s “Made in Japan” sunglasses and eyewear are cutting-edge and always ahead of the trends, endearing them to the international jet set and uber-stylish personalities like Angelina Jolie, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Lady Gaga and models Miranda Kerr, Kate Moss and Alessandra Ambrosio, to name a few.

The brand, which took a hiatus after its founder’s passing, was re-launched by Simon Jablon, Linda Farrow’s son, together with his then-wife, Tracy Sedeno, in 2003 after they discovered a treasure trove of pristinely preserved, undiscovered sunglass and eyewear pieces in his mother’s attic.

Today, the family-owned and managed Linda Farrow brand continues its tradition of “limited luxe” by producing only two to three pieces of one eyewear and sunglass design per country and by offering bespoke service to clients who want unique, one-of-a-kind — even bejeweled — handcrafted pieces created by skilled in-house craftsmen.

Linda Farrow’s “Luxe 18K” collection is made with 18K yellow, white or rose gold frames accentuated with brilliant-cut white, black, pink or yellow diamonds, rubies and sapphires. The rimless eyewear version of the Linda Farrow “Luxe 18K” line are made with 18K rose gold or 24-karat gold and platinum-plated nylon lenses in a variety of colors, finished with the option of personalized engraving. Prices for these statement eyepieces average P300,000 depending on the customization request; clients are given a free hand in selecting where and how many stones are used for their personalized pieces.

If bling is not your thing, there are just as many fabulous choices from the in-house designs and collaboration pieces of Linda Farrow aside from the one-off Luxe 18K collection. With eyewear becoming fashion statement pieces, stylish men and women are getting a fashion infusion from Linda Farrow eyewear developed very closely with renowned designers. I must say that these highly conceptualized eyewear selections are impressive and the beauty of these limited-edition styles is that, if you own a pair, the chances of you seeing someone else wearing the exact same piece, no matter where you are in the world, are slim, if not zero.

There are Oscar de la Renta pieces that draw inspiration from his very elegant and feminine ready-to-wear and jewelry lines. Matthew Williamson went for bold, very sassy aesthetics. The Row’s Olsen twins came up with updated concepts of modern-day basic eyewear, of which their huge, round lenses are immensely popular. Alexander Wang opted for edgy and geometrically savvy, while Jeremy Scott of Moschino went pop culture with his outrageous “Mickey Mouse” and “Manicured Hands” designs, which were both instant sellouts. Prabal Gurung chose to go futuristic and Agent Provocateur got darkly romantic with confident, sensual, irreverent and provocative eyewear. Belgian designer Dries Van Noten — the latest Linda Farrow collaborator — took his cue from vintage styles but applied angular shapes and modern colors.

There is no longer any need to travel overseas to get your Linda Farrow fix, as many of these styles are now available here in the Philippines at the Linda Farrow Gallery in the City of Dreams. The well-curated selection features some of the brand’s most iconic styles, including oversized snakeskin sunglasses and gold aviators that I personally tried and liked; coincidentally they are two of the bestselling styles of the brand.

There are only four Linda Farrow Galleries in the world and the one in the Philippines is the fourth and latest; the brand is distributed only in high-end optical shops and select department stores such as Lane Crawford and Selfridges.

In keeping with their policy of luxury, Linda Farrow carefully vets their business partners worldwide. In the Philippines, Linda Farrow is distributed by Brand Gateway, Incorporated, which Italian entrepreneur Gabriele Boschi spearheads with the support of his lovely wife, Julie Jalandoni-Boschi and several Filipino business partners. Both fans of Linda Farrow, Gabriele, a 25-year resident of the Philippines who hails from Bologna, and Julie, who comes from Bacolod, instinctively knew that Linda Farrow would become a certified hit with the fashionable set in the Philippines — the domestic market was ripe and ready for a true luxury eyewear brand such as Linda Farrow.

I mean, with its superb quality and unparalleled lightweight designs, a “Handcrafted in Japan” seal of excellence utilizing unique and often exotic materials made in very small quantities, wouldn’t you want to have a Linda Farrow of your own?

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The Linda Farrow Gallery is located on the Upper Ground floor of The Shops at the Boulevard, City of Dreams, Manila. They are also available on consignment at LS Pascual Optical shops in Shangri-La Plaza and Power Plant malls, and Sarabia Optical in Greenbelt 1.

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Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @tettaortiz

ACIRC AGENT PROVOCATEUR ALEXANDER WANG ANGELINA JOLIE BRAND BRAND GATEWAY EYEWEAR FARROW LINDA LINDA FARROW LINDA FARROW GALLERY
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