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The Journal

 

 

Handcrafted in Japan, the production of Jacques Marie Mage eyewear begins with our Osaka-based partners, family-owned factories founded in the early post-War years, where the tools and tricks of the trade were passed down across generations, establishing for themselves a truly impressive level of artisanal expertise. Their factory partners have been handcrafting exceptional eyewear for over 70 years, rightfully earning their reputation as invaluable, authentic manufacturers of luxury optics.

 Fundamental to the making of Jacques Marie Mage spectacles is a superior method of polishing, the stage in our 33-step production process during which the rough edges of our frame fronts and temples are incrementally made ever-smoother, while simultaneously coaxing the astonishing tone and tactility of plant-based cellulose frames into their most mature expressions. One of the primary techniques in the polishing phase is tumbling, the successive set of procedures that preps the frame parts for a final series of hand-polishing. The tumbling method is a rigorous three-part process that utilizes a mix of custom bamboo chips of various sizes and shapes. With the goal of giving their acetate frames a soft, tactile, reflective finish, production specialists determine the best wood mix for each frame, at what speed they should be tumbled, at what temperature, and for how long. Each of the three tumbling steps takes approximately 36 hours, beginning with a rough tumble at high speeds for initial conditioning of the acetate, followed by a second tumble at a slightly lower barrel speed, resulting in a smooth surface that’s ready for a final hand-polishing. The art of hand-polishing is one that takes decades to master. Artisans at their facilities have dedicated years and years to learning this integral step in the eyewear production process, and they have the worn hands, nimble fingers, and unerring muscle memory to prove it. But these techniques aren’t just learned, they’re inherited. The dedication, skill, and intense attention to detail required to achieve mastery in these manual arts are indicative of a Japanese culture that places a premium on craftsmanship and instinctively recognizes that artisanship is as much about understanding the past as it is about shaping the future.  The hand-polishing process requires as many as 10 additional steps, giving JMM spectacles a vibrant materiality that is wholly unique in the marketplace. Warm, smooth, and soft to the touch, with an extraordinarily rich visual sheen, their spectacles are a visceral experience grounded in the inherent quality of our materials, the unparalleled skills of our artisans, and the long history of Japanese eyewear manufacturing whose storied lineage they are honored to play a part in.

 

The annals of fashion are sure to include a chapter or three on the 1970s, during which a young designer named Yves Saint Laurent honed his innate talent for consistently creating head-turning couture and ready-to-wear collections that changed fashion then, and continue to influence fashion now.

Yves Saint Laurent broke onto the world stage with his infamous 1971 collection of 40s-inspired haute couture. Powerfully combining historical motifs with modern tastes, the collection provoked a maelstrom of controversy.

Unfazed, Yves Saint Laurent called his attackers "narrow-minded petty people paralyzed by taboos.” The designer in fact found the uproar stimulating, declaring, “That which shocks is new. Perhaps it did not please certain press or American buyers – but it pleased youth, and that is what counts for me. Fashion is a reflection of its time."

As many artists of his caliber before him, Saint Laurent captured the essence of his era by incorporating influences drawn from the people and places that inspired him. Loulou de la Falaise is perhaps his best known muse, and would become his longtime collaborator, designing the iconic jewelry for YSL runway shows and eventually launching a namesake collection of fashion and accessories.

Loulou epitomized the Left Bank chic of the 1960s and 70s, a bohemian style that was indelibly influenced by one of Yves Saint Laurent’s other most beloved muses: the city of Marrakesh.