“People will stare. Make it worth their while,” says the motto of innovative Norwegian eyewear label Kaibosh. As a multi-channel eyewear concept led by design above all else, Kaibosh was founded by Helge Flo and Michelle Rowley to make buying glasses more fun. Informed by a youth spent in and around the optical business, Flo felt that optical stores lacked in providing an enjoyable eyewear experience, which lead to the idea of offering an alternative. Though the pair first began working together after meeting in Paris in 2001, Kaibosh didn’t come to fruition until 2013, and it wasn’t until very recently that the fashion-focused brand opened its first store in Copenhagen, Denmark (to be followed by a store in Bergen soon).
As eyewear design veterans, Flo and Rowley create frames for their own brand as well as under license for other Scandinavian fashion labels, including Sweden’s Cheap Monday. With Kaibosh in particular, the talented duo hope to push the boundaries a little, and make people play more with their glasses.
Kaibosh’s playful, stylish collections feature frames with names like “Eyes Wide Open,” “Adorkable” and “Shut Up & Keep Talking,” and colors range from the translucent “Like a Virgin” to the bright “Blue Gradient.” For Fall, the brand is introducing a number of new hues, including “Wet Forest Green” and “Modern Tortoise.” The founders’ extensive optical knowledge and attention to detail also extends to the shape of their glasses; their “Sydney Harbour Bridge” was “developed specially for guys who have problems finding glasses to fit across their nose,” Rowley says.
Though there are plenty to choose from, possibly the most eye-catching of the current styles are the sunglasses they made together with Norwegian clothing label HAiK, which can be reversed to suit the mood or outfit of the wearer. Searching high and low for a craftsperson who could create hinges that can turn 180°, Kaibosh finally found him in China, and the HAiK glasses were born. Featuring different shapes, colors and patterns on the two sides, the frames are perfect for those who want to travel light or just get as much wear as possible out of one pair of sunglasses.
With both optical frames and sunglasses increasingly used as fashion accessories, the future of Kaibosh looks bright. ”With better choice and more affordability, people are able to have several pairs in their wardrobe rather than the old ‘one pair has to fit all occasions and all outfits’ scenario,” Rowley says. The brand is currently expanding and will be stocked in around 300 stores in Europe and the US by 2015. For now, Kaibosh eyewear is available online.
Images courtesy of Kaibosh