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July 28 2014

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3 posts tagged "Simon Jablon"

Take Five: Tracy Sedino’s Warehouse of Vintage Sunglasses

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Fashion folk are a curious bunch, and we’ve found that they tend to collect equally curious things. In our “Take Five” feature, we get the lowdown on our favorite industry personalities’ most treasured trinkets.

Vintage Linda Farrow Glasses

There won’t be enough sun-filled English days in this lifetime for Tracy Sedino to wear each pair of vintage shades in the Linda Farrow archive. “Oh, my god, I must have thousands,” she said last week at a dinner in New York. Sedino was behind the revival of the Linda Farrow brand, whose namesake designer worked with houses such as Yves Saint Laurent and Emilio Pucci to create glasses in the seventies and eighties. Farrow closed her business to start a family in the late eighties, and her crates of luxurious lenses were stored away in a London warehouse.

Over a decade later, Sedino—then a student at the London College of Fashion—began dating (and has since married) Farrow’s son, Simon Jablon. “His father had some warehouses,” Sedino recalled. “And he asked Simon to get rid of all the stock, because they were getting turned into residential properties. So I went with him, and we found original Pucci and YSL sunglasses piled three-floors high.” Obviously, their discovery couldn’t go to waste, so she and Jablon used it as a jumping-off point and rebooted the house of Linda Farrow. They sold some of the vintage styles but, more notably, began partnering with young talents to turn out glamorous—and often outrageous—designs. (Remember those Jeremy Scott Minnie Mouse shades? That was their doing). Today, the husband-and-wife team continues the company in Farrow’s spirit and makes glasses for everyone from Dries Van Noten, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Suno to Alexander Wang, Peter Pilotto, and The Row. “We thought there was a massive gap in the market,” said Sedino of her and Jablon’s decision to relaunch Linda Farrow. “You have these big luxury houses that sign licensing deals, but other designers, like Dries, will never do that, because they value their brands too much. We wanted to reinforce what Simon’s mother did in the seventies by working with designers to create eyewear as a fashion accessory, rather than a licensed product.”

Sedino and Jablon celebrated their company’s (and their relationship’s) tenth anniversary this year. And to mark the milestone, the duo have not only offered up a ten-year capsule collection but also opened a pop-up shop in collaboration with BOFFO, right here in NYC. The store, which is located at the Chelsea SuperPier, and open through December 24, boasts a bevy of Linda Farrow’s most covetable products. As for that archive of vintage sunnies, Sedino told us that it’s a constant point of reference. “We don’t want our collections to be too vintage, so we take inspiration from the vintage styles, and incorporate new technology and materials,” she said. Here, Sedino talks us through her five favorite pairs of old-school Linda Farrow frames.

1. “These are acetate Linda Farrow glasses from the eighties. They’re my holiday pair. I love them because the idea and design are fun, and they’re quite comfortable on my face. Ironically, it’s hard for me to find sunglasses that fit—for Asians, it’s difficult to find pairs that sit on the nose bridge. I’ve been wearing these for the last two years, and I’m particularly inspired their shape, because they’re almost like a big chunky Wayfarer. You can really wear them whenever.”

2. “These are Yves Saint Laurent glasses from the early seventies. They’re kind of a round Jackie O style. They’re handmade in acetate, with metal arms. This pair is a one-off, so we don’t have stock anymore. They’re one of my favorite styles, because they’re the perfect size. But I don’t really wear them, because I’m afraid of losing them.”

3. “These are Linda Farrow glasses from the eighties, and they were kind of inspired by Lolita. Whenever stylists call in for Lolita-style frames, we send them these. I wear them all the time in the summer.”

4. “These are amazing. This is another YSL pair from the seventies. They’re not one-of-a-kind—we still have a few—but not many. The lenses are polarized, and because of the orange, they’re my autumn glasses.”

5. “This is the most iconic Linda Farrow style. I love how the sides are beveled. We’ve actually launched a fine-jewelry collection of 18-karat-gold-and-diamond sunglasses, and this is one of the styles we used.”

Photo: John Munro

Linda Farrow Fetes the Big 1-0

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Linda Farrow

By now, the Linda Farrow story is one of lore. Ten years ago, Tracy Sedino and her boyfriend, Simon Jablon (Linda Farrow’s table tennis-champ son), were redecorating an old warehouse that belonged to his designer mom. And by pure fortune, they discovered a box filled with old sunglasses that Linda had created for Balenciaga, Dior, and YSL in the seventies. The rest is history.

Ten years on and happily married to Jablon, Sedino has been busy fulfilling her mother-in-law’s design dream that was put aside for love, marriage, and children. In the past decade, with Jablon quarterbacking the business angle, Sedino has developed the Linda Farrow brand to an extreme: Their stand-alone products have drawn a legion of fans (think Rihanna, Gaga, Queen Bey, Madonna), and their collaborations have raised the bar even higher. Jeremy Scott, Erdem, Dries Van Noten, Oscar de la Renta, The Row, and Matthew Williamson are just a few designers with whom the brand has worked hand in hand.

To fete their ten-year diamond anniversary, Sedino is taking the brand and its muse—a giant doe-eyed raven-haired doll called Penelope—on a whirlwind road show. First stop was Colette, where Penelope wore Sedino’s Alexander McQueen wedding dress, and now, to Selfridges, where the brand has a “shop-in-shop”—the new parlance for pop-up shop. Sedino and Jablon have called upon ten brands, including Nicholas Kirkwood, Mawi, Falke, and Agent Provocateur to come up with a limited-edition selection of goodies (which will be available until October) to celebrate. And these products are not your typical eyewear. A gold detailed heel from Nicholas Kirkwood, some very naughty bow-detailed pantyhose from Falke, a super-sexy aromatic candle from Cire Trudon, and a Lycra playsuit-cum-harness from Agent Provocateur (which reminds us of something out of Fifty Shades) gives us a clue as to what is on the couple’s minds as they commemorate ten years of marriage and business. A clutch from Bottega Veneta PT 1 and a fur from Saga give the collection just enough grown-up veneer to sugarcoat the boudoir naughtiness. Good to know the flame hasn’t gone out—all ten-year anniversaries should be like this one.

Photos: Courtesy of Linda Farrow

Peter Pilotto’s Only Happy When It Rains

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The British Fashion Council imported a truckload of London-based designers to hang out in NYC for the week, and more than a few of them turned up at the Jane Hotel outpost of Cafe Gitane last night for a dinner in honor of Peter Pilotto. Pilotto and partner Christopher De Vos got the wine ‘n’ dine treatment courtesy of hosts Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, and the guest list was suitably transatlantic: Team U.K. included Nicholas Kirkwood, Louise Gray, and Linda Farrow’s Simon Jablon, while Team U.S.A. was capably represented by Spike Jonze, Jen Brill, actress Greta Gerwig, and Fiery Furnaces frontwoman Eleanor Friedberger, among others. Naturally, talk turned-—as it will—to static cling. “Every other minute, it was ‘zap, zap,’” recalled De Vos (pictured, center, with Pilotto), unspooling an anecdote about the “epic” staticky-ness of the studio he and Pilotto moved into last summer. Long story short, the unusually hot and dry weather had combined with the studio’s layout and engineering to produce a superconductive atmosphere. “All the fabric was sticking,” De Vos continued. “People were telling us, spray hair spray on the models. I mean, it was impossible to drape.” Ultimately, the situation was redressed courtesy of about a dozen humidifiers, but De Vos and Pilotto admit that their Spring ’10 collection came this close to being ultra-body con, because it began to seem easier to go with the cling than to fight it. “You almost never hear this in London,” De Vos said, “but I have to tell you, we were happy to have some rain.”