• An interview with Henrik Ørgreen

    Written by Michaela Widergren

    Copenhagen based eyewear brand Ørgreen optics just launched their collaboration with singer Melody Gardot and therefore we got some Q&A time with the designer and founder Henrik Ørgreen to talk about the new sunglasses and the history of the brand.

    MM: Tell us the story of Ørgreen…

    : I founded Ørgreen in 1997 with my two friends Tobias (today Head of Design and Partner at Ørgreen Optics) and Gregers (today Head of Sales and Partner at Ørgreen Optics).
    I had previously worked as an agent in the sunglass business, but I dreamt of creating my own company. One that could shake up the optical industry, which back then was rather conservative.
    All three of us rebellious young hearts with a restless and relentless drive to beat the crowd and be the best, we also shared a passion for extreme sports and lots of fun – from world cup skating to surfing and snowboarding to trade show organization and party production. A common flair for vintage car and aircraft design became the inspirational aesthetic starting point - still today visible in the essence and details of our design.
    We started out in a back yard in Copenhagen with only the three of us behind the brand and with no previous experience in the field of designing and producing eyewear.
    However right from the beginning we set a very high standard for everything we did. Compromise was – and still is – not an option for us! We have always been very ambitious with our goals, both from a design and a business perspective and equally keen on innovation in terms of developing new techniques and using new materials and combinations.
    Today we have grown into an international company represented in more than 50 countries. We’ve become a respected player in our field and we are considered one of the leaders in the optical world because of our creative ideas and unique directions – as well as our ‘no compromises’ policy, determining everything we do.
    Though the company has grown and every process has been professionalized, we still share the dream and listen to the rebel inside. And we hand pick our team members, partners and collaborators, so that they match our vision, personality and energy. As we see it, we have a big family now!

    MM: How did the collaboration with Melody Gardot happen?

    : Melody has been wearing Ørgreen sunglasses for several years – she is very fond of our brand and a true ambassador. Due to a car accident years ago, which damaged her nervous system, she is hypersensitive to light and obliged to wear sunglasses both outdoor and indoor, even while performing. When singing it’s essential that the frames don’t pinch her nose and risk altering her voice, and therefor she has always loved the perfect fit and lightness of our glasses. In addition to being a big fan of our design and aesthetic, of course. Likewise we’re all in for Melody’s music, passion, power and daring creativity.
    Melody’s favourite style is Capote and thus we decided to work together on doing something special with this style to make it represent her unique artistic universe and personal style through three limited edition colourways.

    MM: Has she been involved with the design?

    : Yes, Melody and our color designer, Sahra Lysell, have been in close dialogue. It was essential for us to create a trinity of extraordinary colourways reflecting Melody’s unique persona and talent. Colours that individually and together would sum up the jazzy, sophisticated and feminine aura as well as the adventurous spirit and ambience of Melody’s personality and music. So Melody’s input

    MM: Is there any other artist you’d like to work with in the future?

    : At Ørgreen we’re great admirers of artists – like Melody Gardot – being truly dedicated to their craft and at the top of their game. With our co-labs we want to celebrate that passion and talent. Whether it’s in music, art, design or fashion. I can’t give you any names, as we don’t want to ruin future surprises, but I promise that we have cool stuff cooking!

    MM: How do you keep evolving in terms of design and quality? 

    : Even though we’re at a high level today we’re never satisfied with where we are. We want to keep developing and pushing the limits for ourselves and the business. We gather inspiration on our many travels around the world and through the creative people we’re surrounded with, in Copenhagen and abroad. We have the privilege of being in a position where we hiring new people in several departments and that’s always a good way to be inspired and challenged to do new things and reflect on different directions. In general we believe in taking epic chances. We’re very particular with our demands and wishes in terms of our standards for quality and design – only the very best is good enough.

    MM: Which sunglass style is your own personal favorite?

    : I really love our Kjeld T sunglasses - a tribute to one of the greatest Danish DJs ever!

  •          image courtesy of Marimekko

    Favorite looks Marimekko AW16

    Written by Michaela Widergren

    Finnish Marimekko showed their AW17 collection at Palais de Tokyo in Paris last week and these are our favorite looks. We especially love the green print which feels like a more friendly take on the classic military pattern. More love, less war. Another thing we like is the commitment Marimekko’s showing to print, which is growing stronger and stronger for every collection.

  • G-Shock Black & White Collection

    Written by Michaela Widergren

    Johanna Burai is the illustrator interpreting the G-Shock collection Black & White, as a result a divided triptych poster were created as an extension of the watch design. The Black & White collection is being launched this December and consists out of four watches with different black and white combinations. The patterns and styles are discrete yet experimental giving a modern and sporty look including the perfect 90s vibe. You can check out the watches at Caliroots in Stockholm.

  • Guy Bourdain at Fotografiska

    Written by Michaela Widergren

    For all of you who knows photography well, Guy Bourdain is a familiar name. But for those of you who doesn’t know his name or his work, we can tell you he’s a bit of an icon. As the protégé of Man Ray, what can you expect? The Parisian Guy was mostly known for his editorial work with Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. He also photographed extravagant campaigns for Chanel, Issey Miyake, Versace and many more. The aesthetics of Bourdain was at the time groundbreaking. His imagery was always surreal, radical and humours. The colours were bold and the shapes strong. Bourdain was a perfectionist and has inspired many photographers such as Sarah Moon and Inez & Vinoodh.

    You will be able to see the work of Guy Bourdain at Fotografiska in Stockholm until the 21st of February.  

  • OIDE - おいで

    Written by Jörgen Axelvall

    OIDE is the title of Jörgen Axelvall’s latest art project. The work in this series has evolved over the course of many years and consists of both new and old images with varying subject matter but all are united by the unique method; how Axelvall treated them, and all images are done using Polaroid instant film.

    The project and the concept came about from Axelvall’s fascination with details and his love for abstract imagery. What you see in the finished image is a mere fractional detail of the original Polaroid.

    OIDE is a Japanese word and expression and translates roughly into “come closer” - as in how a mother would call to her child when she wants to share something important or when she would want to keep her child in a safe and close proximity.

    OIDE, when used as the title for this project, refers to Axelvall’s attempt to bring the viewer closer into the images and see the secrets being revealed once you focus on a detail. There is nothing random about the selected detail. It has been done very carefully in order to find a visually interesting composition and the right esthetical balance. At the same time the final images remain true to the original Polaroid, without any color alterations or digital manipulation.

    An important aspect of this series is Axelvall’s desire to challenge the way we look at photographs. Photography can be so much more than a depiction of reality. The word Photography literally means, “drawing with light” and some of these images can be seen as nonsensical abstract drawings where as others give you a clear hint of a face or a portrait. The “real picture” in these photographs is not important; the viewer’s own perception, feelings and fantasy are. 

    Jörgen Axelvall is a photographer and artist from Sweden currently based in Tokyo.

    Before moving to Tokyo in 2011, Axelvall lived and worked in New York City for 15 years.

    In September 2013, Axelvall was the international winner of the prestigious New Exposure Award presented by US Vogue and Bottega Veneta. The exhibition and award ceremony was held at Openhouse Gallery in Soho, New York City.

    In March 2014, Jörgen Axelvall published his first monograph together with an exhibition and installation at Idol Aoyama in Tokyo, titled Instant Moments, and in June 2014, Instant Moments was shown at the Swedish Embassy in Tokyo.
    In October 2014, Axelvall had a solo exhibition titled Always Looking through Glass at 0fr. TOKYO Gallery.
    In November 2014, Axelvall’s seven-year-long art project I was looking for Park Hyatt Tokyo materialized into an exhibition at Park Hyatt Tokyo with the simultaneous release of a limited edition photo box, designed and art directed by world-renowned book designer Satoshi Machiguchi.
    On opening night it was announced I was looking for Park Hyatt Tokyo was chosen as a Jury Selection by the 18th Japan Media Arts Festival and was again shown at the National Arts Center in Tokyo in February 2015.