Eyevan began life in 1972, but the history of the company goes back over fifty years earlier. Founded in 1911, Yamamoto Kogaku, and formerly the Yamamoto Optical Lens Manufacturing Co., were specialists in creating protective eyewear for heavy industry, namely dust glasses.
The company, joining forces with Japanese clothing manufacturers Van Jacket Inc, launched an original eyewear brand, Eyevan, in 1972. Their first collection was made up of 42 variations across 27 styles. The founder of Van Jacket, Kensuke Ishizu, is widely credited for taking classic Ivy League style to Japan, and Van Jacket was among the most cutting edge brands for Japanese youth in the 60s. It’s no wonder Eyevan enjoyed a similar cultish status in its homeland when it was launched.
Eyevan were one of the first brands to produce and market sunglasses as a fashion item, updating styles as the whimsical world of fashion morphed and changed around them. However, it would be doing the brand and product a disservice to suggest that all they were interested in was fashion and ‘looking the part’; their industrial eyewear background is a crucial pillar of Eyevan’s success. The brand quickly began picking up momentum and popularity, particularly with the younger generations in Japan, but it didn’t stop there.
Fast forward to the mid 80s and Eyevan exhibiting at the Optic Fair West in Anaheim, California, which exposed the brand to a whole new audience in America, and almost overnight Eyevan’s popularity snowballed stateside too. A host of celebrity admirers also played a part in the brands growing international notoriety, along with their unique and often-futuristically utopian promotional adverts and campaigns.
Despite the brands expansion and popularity outside of its homeland, Eyevan remains fully true to its roots, with all production to this day handled in Japan. Like so much that comes from the country, the seamless blend of traditional craftsmanship with modern technology and design is second to none. The brand is steeped in tradition and remains wholeheartedly true to that, whilst pushing the envelope forward at the same time.
In mid 2013, Eyevan debuted its Eyevan 7285 collection, named after two crucial dates in the companys history; ’72 when they were founded and ‘85 when the brand was introduced to the U.S. The collection is built upon original Eyevan sketches from the brands archive, with all processes including design and manufacturing still based in Japan.
On top of their superior build quality and forward thinking design, it is the level of detailing in each pair that makes them one of the best sunglasses brands on the market for us. Each frame is timelessly and effortlessly styled and features intricate details throughout, including semi translucent acetate frames exposing inner framework and incredible filigree detailing.
By borrowing from the past and the brands rich heritage, and keeping traditions alive whilst having one eye firmly on the present and the future, Eyevan have carved themselves a unique place in the sunglasses and fashion world as a whole. The De facto mantra for many labels today often centre around the same ideal, but Eyevan are one of the purest embodiments of it. We are more than pleased to slot them into our sunglasses edit this summer season.
The miyuji-zoku in the mid '60s, devotees to VAN and American Ivy
Eyevan metal framework