ILLO

.SYSTEMS

ILLO

NEW HISTORY
EYEWEAR DESIGNED & TESTED
LOS ANGELES, (CA)
C.2022

    PST, LOS ANGELES
  1. ILLO is a modern eyewear company merging performance with conceptual design.

    New History is the founding principle for ILLO; derived from historical and cultural movements such as neo-classicism and neo-historicism. It is the approach by which we research and study innovative developments within the canon of what we understand to be eyewear, forming interpretations of historical styles and silhouettes by infusing new elements and technologies.

    These developments in material, manufacturing process, and design understandings serve as our foundation to reimagine and redefine the purpose of eyewear for our wearers. Athletes, visionaries, and recreationists alike have been at the core of ILLO since its inception, brought together by the shared understanding that movement generates vision.

    This shared understanding of gaining perspective through motion is central to the philosophy surrounding ILLO and its product family.

    As natural-born storytellers, we are a culmination of our individual experiences, dialogues, and informed beliefs. To be able to share those experiences with others is how we participate in a larger human drama.

    This shared understanding of gaining perspective through motion is central to the philosophy surrounding ILLO and its product family.

    As natural-born storytellers, we are a culmination of our individual experiences, dialogues, and informed beliefs. To be able to share those experiences with others is how we participate in a larger human drama.

    ILLO makes products to enable that discovery, focusing on eyewear and protective vision tools that allow us to better gain experiences regardless of circumstance or environment.

    ILLO makes products to enable that discovery, focusing on eyewear and protective vision tools that allow us to better gain experiences regardless of circumstance or environment.

    ILLO is a modern eyewear company merging performance with conceptual design.

    New History is the founding principle for ILLO; derived from historical and cultural movements such as neo-classicism and neo-historicism. It is the approach by which we research and study innovative developments within the canon of what we understand to be eyewear, forming interpretations of historical styles and silhouettes by infusing new elements and technologies.

    These developments in material, manufacturing process, and design understandings serve as our foundation to reimagine and redefine the purpose of eyewear for our wearers. Athletes, visionaries, and recreationists alike have been at the core of ILLO since its inception, brought together by the shared understanding that movement generates vision.

    "The sun never knew how wonderful it was," architect Louis Kahn said, "until it fell on the wall of a building." It comes with the thrill of a slap for us then to hear praise of shadows and darkness;

    So it is when there comes to us the excitement of realizing that musicians everywhere make their sounds to capture silence or that architects develop complex shapes just to envelop empty space.

    "The sun never knew how wonderful it was," architect Louis Kahn said, "until it fell on the wall of a building." It comes with the thrill of a slap for us then to hear praise of shadows and darkness;

    So it is when there comes to us the excitement of realizing that musicians everywhere make their sounds to capture silence or that architects develop complex shapes just to envelop empty space.

    Thus darkness illuminates for us a culture very different from our own; but at the same time it helps us to look deep into ourselves to our own inhabitation of our world. It could change our lives.

    Thus darkness illuminates for us a culture very different from our own; but at the same time it helps us to look deep into ourselves to our own inhabitation of our world. It could change our lives.

    ILLO is a modern eyewear company merging performance with conceptual design.

    New History is the founding principle for ILLO; derived from historical and cultural movements such as neo-classicism and neo-historicism. It is the approach by which we research and study innovative developments within the canon of what we understand to be eyewear, forming interpretations of historical styles and silhouettes by infusing new elements and technologies. These developments in material, manufacturing process, and design understandings serve as our foundation to reimagine and redefine the purpose of eyewear for our wearers. Athletes, visionaries, and recreationists alike have been at the core of ILLO since its inception, brought together by the shared understanding that movement generates vision.

    With regard to many of these photographs, it was History which separated me from them. Is History not simply that time when we were not born? I could read my nonexistence in the clothes my mother had worn before I can remember her.

    There is a kind of stupefaction in seeing a familiar being dressed differently. Here, around 1913, is my mother dressed up — hat with a feather, gloves, delicate linen at wrists and throat, her "chic" belied by the sweetness and simplicity of her expression.

    With regard to many of these photographs, it was History which separated me from them. Is History not simply that time when we were not born? I could read my nonexistence in the clothes my mother had worn before I can remember her.

    There is a kind of stupefaction in seeing a familiar being dressed differently. Here, around 1913, is my mother dressed up — hat with a feather, gloves, delicate linen at wrists and throat, her "chic" belied by the sweetness and simplicity of her expression.

    This is the only time I have seen her like this, caught in a History (of tastes, fashions, fabrics). My attention is distracted from her by accessories which have perished; for clothing is perishable, it makes a second grave for the loved being.

    This is the only time I have seen her like this, caught in a History (of tastes, fashions, fabrics). My attention is distracted from her by accessories which have perished; for clothing is perishable, it makes a second grave for the loved being.

  2. PST, LOS ANGELES

    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Eyewear
Retrospective

VOLUME: 1 JAN 12, 2022

Every single object in our lives, even and perhaps especially the ones we take for granted, has its individual history, and it’s both surprising and ironic that the story of modern eyewear is perceptibly opaque.

When did “modernity” begin for the tinted discs we fasten together in a frame and perch on our faces? Was it when Nero, Rome’s fifth emperor, a patron of athletics and the arts (and arranger of his own mother’s murder) began tempering the sun’s impact on his pupils during gladiator matches by viewing them through polished gemstones? Or is credit due to 12th Century Chinese judges who hid their gaze from the sun and defendants alike with slabs of smoked quartz? Perhaps Carlo Goldoni, the 18th Century Viennese playwright who became one of the earliest adopters of tinted spectacles, was inspired by such figures.

Here’s something certain: the first to really get sun-protective eyewear right were the Inuits. Faced with the everyday threat of snow blindness in the bright and highly reflective Arctic environment, they engineered functional goggles from wood, bone, walrus tusks, and caribou antlers. They carved these materials into oblong bands that they could fasten to their heads with leather ties, making narrow but long slits over each eye that provided adequate protection and remarkably good peripheral views. While their contemporaries stared as much at glassy stones as through them, the Inuits hunted and survived in the world’s harshest environment with a design that remains functional to this day.

But hand-carved bone goggles probably aren’t what comes to most minds as modern eyewear. The thing is, all the way up until the 20th Century, inventors and innovators maintained a practical mindset toward specs that kept things medical and mundane. Leave it to a businessman to see how they could be so much more.
The industrialist in question was Sam Foster. In 1929, Foster offered up for sale a lifestyle accessory to Atlantic City beach-goers that they’d only recently begun to see donned by Hollywood’s glossy stars — mostly to protect their eyes from bright studio lights — and likely never considered affording themselves: sunglasses. They helped with the sun, sure, but they were also fashionable. This, Foster realized, was a shift worth some money; previously guided solely by material technology and prescriptive necessity, eyewear could now evolve along a new track defined by aesthetic, taste, and trendiness.

Fig. 1
Goggle Prototype
C. 1980
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