Oliver Goldsmith, Eyewear is a family business
Hard to summarize the story of Oliver Goldsmith’s Eyewear in a nutshell. To give you an idea of who and what we are talking about, there is a Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear collection at the V&A Museum in London which includes a large variety of unique pieces of his collection.
The Hugues has met with Claire Goldsmith the great-granddaughter of the founder to get a feel of the story of this great example of British craftsmanship.
H. How does Oliver Goldsmith’s story start?
He started the business in 1926 as a travelling salesman and optician, but it was his son (my grandfather) who was the true visionary. He transformed the business into its iconic status and produced some of the most famous sunglass styles in history.
The name Oliver Goldsmith still to this day represents British innovation and creativity set alongside heritage. Oliver Goldsmith is a brand with a story, a narrative and a reason for being. It’s a brand that help change the way people thought about glasses – from medical necessity to fashion accessory. It’s a name that people associate with quality and craftsmanship. It’s a company that people trust and it means everything to me to ensure that whilst it’s under my steer we stay close to those core values
H. How would you define your style?
Classic and Timeless.
H. Who or what inspires your collections?
I keep my eyes open all the time and photograph a lot, to capture ideas and inspiration for everything from surface finish, to colours, shapes, materials. I also love stories about invention and innovation. I would say the general public and London inspires me the most though – walking through town, looking at faces, looking at peoples style, what they choose to wear on their face, what I think would look good on their face, it creates endless inspiration.
H. What would be next trend to hit in eyewear?
It will be whatever designers come up with. I don’t subscribe to this trend forecasting. If I have an idea I like, I explore it. And if it leads somewhere the result is usually a beautiful new frame design. My grandfather never worried about trends. If he had I don’t think OG would have got where it got to in the world of eyewear. True innovation is a creative process that comes from unique thinking within individuals.
H. How important is to choose the right pair of glasses and what are the tricks?
My grandfather always said not worry too much about what did or didn’t suit you and to go with something you felt comfortable and confident in, and I stand by that theory. Saying that, the fit of a frame is something I see so often people get wrong. A badly fitting frame is horrible to look at and must be extremely uncomfortable for the wearer, either it will be pinching or constantly slipping off the nose. My top tip is to visit a very reputable optician or eyewear store and get professional help. This is the most important accessory you will wear – wear it well!
H. Who would you like see wearing your glasses?
I am always thrilled when I spot a pair of Oliver Goldsmith or Claire Goldsmith glasses on anyone. It means they made a choice and the choice was GOLDSMITH. Kate Moss was spotted wearing a pair of our Manhattan last season and I was really pleased about that. I would love to see Anna Wintour wearing a pair next time she is front row at a show perhaps. I love iconic glasses wearers. People you know for their glasses.
I wouldn’t mind fitting Ryan Gosling for a pair ;-)
H. What comes next for Oliver Goldsmith?
2016 saw Oliver Goldsmith complete an amazing 90 year contribution to the world of eyewear design and the arts.
2017 marks the start of a new decade that will ultimately lead to a phenomenal and historic centennial celebration. The next 10 years are going to be the most important in our history as a family-run British design company, responsible for creating some of the world’s most iconic sunglasses and spectacles. The contribution Oliver Goldsmith has made to eyewear design over 9 decades is undeniable. However I fully intend to make the next decade more important than any other. The best is yet to come!!
H. The corner (bar or restaurant) of the city you like most, your favourite holiday destination, the book that everyone must read!
A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara