bal harbour blog

Morgenthal Frederics Opens at Bal Harbour

Q&A
Morgenthal Frederics Bal Harbour.

Jeff Press, head designer for Morgenthal Frederics, will be in town this week for a “Meet the Designer” and horn trunk show event at the new Morgentahl Frederics store on the second level from July 17-19th. In the days leading up to the event, we caught up with the designer to discuss tframes made of stone, championing exotic materials and some of the greatest moments in Hollywood eyewear history.

What do you think you gained in terms of perspective having began at the company as a sales associate 15 years ago?
I have been so fortunate to have worked with amazing professionals in my career, including, of course, Mr. Morgenthal, who was a true influence. With experience you learn to really know yourself and your brand, and understand the best elements of each, and how to expand upon the successes. As someone who has grown so passionately within a small profession like this, I have been able to allow history to be my guide, and work in a timeless medium that still evolves regularly.

The "David" from Morgenthal Frederics' Stone Series.

You recently began using stone in your designs. Tell us about that.
Stone is a very unique material, and like buffalo horn, gives us an opportunity to utilize a material which can help us create one of a kind pieces, by using a natural material we can continue to elevate the product to new heights.

What is your favorite type of stone—one that you’ve used or haven’t yet tried?
Slate is really the best stone material based on the testing we have done, in terms of comfort and beauty. It also has the ability to create truly unique pieces in partnership with beautiful wood colorations.

How do you make frames made from stone wearable?
We have a unique titanium hinge and eyewire, that allows enough of a space for mounting lenses safely and durability. Stone and wood cannot be adjusted so developing the proper fit is crucial, and we feel we have done that.

What is the most exotic material in use in the line?
We truly specialize in buffalo horn, and use the material in all kinds of unique and interesting manners. We have done different design elements with horn to continue to elevate this unique material.

Do you ever create bespoke pieces?
Absolutely, we regularly do exceptional custom pieces, and can create virtually any size, color and fit that a client might want. Since all of our horn pieces are made one at a time, we can customize any element on a piece to make it truly unique for our client.

What are some exclusive pieces being carried at the Bal Harbour store?
We have done limited edition collaborations with Maybach, Mykita/Mylon and Chrome Hearts, which are all truly unique and exclusive to Morgenthal Frederics Boutiques. We also have our new stone series: David, Bacchus and Pieta which utilize this amazing material in classic but impactful ways.

Does the design of the Bal Harbour store reflect the aesthetic of the brand?
Morgenthal Frederics’ design concept has always been based on a Shaker inspired concept. Much like our eyewear, the Shaker inspiration is one that pairs beauty with comfort and functionality.

How many pairs of glasses do you recommend someone has in rotation?
Depends on the person, but certainly there are many opportunities to show your personal style, so having a wardrobe of choices is essential.

What is your all-time favorite eyewear style?
There are some amazing and iconic styles out there, and so many of them have been great influences. For sunglasses, seeing Bob Dylan in an original Wayfarer in the mid-60’s is about as cool as it gets. The beauty of eyewear is how it captures the complete style of the person: Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Brad Pitt in his Oliver Peoples frames from Fight Club, Jean Reno in his classic Gaultier’s from the Professional. It is the eyewear that completes the look; the eyewear becomes as iconic as the style maker themselves.

It seems like in the last year or so eyewear truly reached accessory level, with many people wearing glasses without prescriptions. What do you attribute this to?
Eyewear is cool, and no accessory can transform you look so completely. I wear frames every day of my life—and I don’t have a prescription. I do it because more than anything else, eyewear changes your entire style makeup. Don’t tell anyone, but I’ll be wearing something for reading soon.

Do you think there have been key eyewear trendsetters?
Of course, some of the celebrities I mentioned above certainly fit the bill. Steve McQueen told us what coolness was through a pair of sunglasses, the way Jackie O introduced us to elegance. For me, eyewear is about the attitude you want to epitomize.

What can we expect for the opening celebration?
As always, we want it to be about the eyewear first and foremost, so I will be there to offer custom fittings, and we will have a host of one of a kind samples to view. We will have some champagne, and snacks for the guests, but mostly we want to introduce them to what we are so passionate about, and hopefully introduce an experience that is unparalleled in eyewear and retail.

 

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