Home News Americana on Screen and Expansion Behind the Scenes – WWD

Americana on Screen and Expansion Behind the Scenes – WWD

41
0


LONDON — Cutler and Gross has maintained its business since 1969, when the company opened its first optician’s office in Knightsbridge. Founders Graham Cutler and Tony Gross offered bespoke frames that quickly grew into a fashion eyewear brand.

Cutler and Gross has since become a mecca for artists, rock stars, writers and royalty, including the likes of Elton John, Grace Kelly, Manolo Blahnik, Kate Moss and more. The company now operates six flagship locations in London, where there are two, and Bath, England; New York and Los Angeles in the U.S., and Toronto in Canada, as well as having 1,500 stockists in 50 countries.

Alessandro Marcer, the company’s creative director since 2020, has been living vicariously through the brand’s archive during the pandemic. But as he re-emerges, he has found himself happily stuck in the past, reminiscing over the theme of Americana and the glories of Hollywood’s past as he prepared the latest collection.

“The new emergence of films and series relating to that era, for instance, ‘Blonde’ which is essentially a fictionalized take on the life of Marilyn Monroe; the ‘Elvis‘ biopic, and the series ‘Hollywood’ on Netflix are part of Hollywood’s golden era coming out of the shadow of World War II and the bounce of coming out of a terrible epoch in history,” Marcer explained as to why he has focused on the silver screen.

He started researching for the collection by rummaging through frames from the ’40s to ’60s. “The first thing that hits you when opening a box of eyewear is the smell of camphor, which was used to plasticize the acetate,” he said of his findings.

The frames in the collection take after the Hollywood icons Marcer’s been spending so much time with in Cutler’s memorabilia.

Courtesy of Cutler and Gross

“As any collector of vintage film reels would smell, it seemed to me that while unpacking the aura of old movie theaters and Hollywood was literally in the air,” Marcer mused.

The frames in the collection take after the Hollywood icons he’s been spending so much time with in Cutler’s memorabilia. (Tony Gross died in 2018, while Graham is still part of the business behind the scenes).

The Protagonist cat-eye sunglasses are based on Elizabeth Taylor and more; The Headliner wrap frame is based on one of Cutler’s vintage frames inspired in the style of Sammy Davis Jr. and Roy Orbison; the round optical glasses called The Prince takes on James Dean.

“Design is a process, it’s like sculpting or painting, you need to make mistakes and even welcome failure,” said Marcer, who confesses that he throws away 95 percent of his own designs. 

“I am constantly sketching. Sometimes I will be in a restaurant, or on a train or plane and see something that inspires me, like an Art Deco lamp or the hinges of a door, and feel the need to weave that into a design,” he said.

He carries his sketchpad with him everywhere because it’s part of his toolkit.

With company revenue up 30 percent year-on-year despite production constraints in 2021 and early 2022, Cutler and Gross is getting ready to secure a “major luxury license which will be in the top echelons of the accessory segment,” said Jack Dooley, sales director of the business. The brand will reveal the news at its sales meeting later this month.

Company revenue has been up 30 percent year-on-year despite production constraints in 2021 and early 2022.

Courtesy of Cutler and Gross

The brand has just collaborated with U.K.-based jewelry firm The Great Frog on a collection of “rock ‘n’ roll” sunglasses. “We do reach out to other demographics, but we do it in a totally authentic way through a collaboration or through a totally new product which fulfills a special need, such as sports glasses,” said Dooley.

Their core clientele in stores tends to be slightly older, while there’s a younger demographic online. 

“Our main markets are the U.S.A., U.K., Germany, and France but we are expanding rapidly into new markets like Brazil, India and Mexico,” Dooley said.



Previous articleValerie Bertinelli Selling Items For Her & Ex Tom Vitale’s Wedding
Next articleInternational Day of Democracy 2022 observed on 15 September