This summer sees the release of the new Sabae Edition, a celebration of Japanese craftsmanship and the long tradition of producing eyewear in the Japanese city.
”On our visits to the craftsmen and women we have got to know the incredible heritage, and wanted to interpret some of the classical features that originate from here. We decided to create Sabae Edition as an homage to the craftsmanship, where we have looked at vintage models and given them a modern Scandinavian take, celebrating our connection. Sabae is constantly being threatened by cheaper labour, and this is a homage to their loyalty to quality and hand craft,” says co-founder and creative director Christopher Hunt.
We will start off with the classic Nawate frame which is designed with curved temples and ichiyama feature, a special nose bridge for immaculate fit
The delicate glasses come in light metal in three variations: matte black with an acetate ring, gold-plated metal and silver-plated metal, matched with different coloured lenses, including light yellow, faded brown and ruby red. Besides sunglasses, the drop also includes our first optical frames.
The process of making the Sabae Edition includes 200 different stages and takes up to five months to craft by hand.
Japanese eyewear production in Sabae started more than 100 years ago. Craftsmen from the town, west of Tokyo, were among the first to innovate robust, yet light materials for a classic fit.
Originally, it was a poor farming village often hidden by snow in the winter months. In 1905, Masunaga Gozaemon and his brother Kohachi started producing glasses to secure additional income during the farming off-season. They invited skilled artisans from Osaka who taught the villagers the art of eyewear production, and until this day they still advance innovations, techniques, and drive world-class product quality.
Ninety percent of the people of Sabae work within the eyewear industry. Whether it is making temples, small metal parts, glazing of the lenses or plating of metal colours, they all have their own expertise that together makes up the final high-end product.
“The result is a perfect match between Japanese and Scandinavian values: wearable and timeless design with a great attention to detail, perfect for all-year-round use,” Christopher Hunt says.