Rigards eyewear. The name is based on a verb, a command — the French command to glance, to look. To Regard. And the rigorous craftsmanship of Rigards frames will stop you in your tracks, force you to scrutinize your eyewear and understand: is it utilizing its materials properly? Is it handmade, a direct result of a treasured realization between two future eyewear partners — a realization that there was a new way to create an eyewear line? Or is it lacquered — synthetic; a cheap knock-up of those hipster frames all the chic girl-next-door librarians are wearing. Put a pop in your style. Regard this.
Rigards eyewear brand is centered exclusively on the material of horn: the original makeup of horn rim glasses. And who can resist the material? But it’s different this time: more on the environmental side, which is, of course, the side to which nerd glasses wearers flock. The horn make-up of the Rigards glasses come from water buffalo growing up on small farms. Each piece has a different texture, a different personality — much like the water buffalo — and thus corresponds with a different style, enhancing the coloring and the wearer’s face shape.
The Collaboration Between Two Friends
The frames are handcrafted with ancestral, handed-down techniques in Hong Kong. They are specially finished with a treatment, and honed in for a smattering of sizes — fitting both western sized heads and more petite Asian faces. The Rigards line is the product of collaborators Ti Kwa and Jean-Marc Virard, both long-time glasses collectors and studiers of antique frames — thus, of course, they include these time-honored handcrafting resources. They know their stuff. Their brand equates them: Kwa is head of design and production. Virard finds himself director of marketing and branding.
Upon understanding the utilization of these old time materials and processings, you could dismiss Rigards are being just another vintage line. Wrong. They are avant-garde, almost strange — new-age. Their colors boast the real-world colors of the water buffalo horns out of Ethiopia and Egypt. They are thick — zoning in on this nerd-chic current craze but also mastering it with the vintage ideas of the original glasses. The frames hold structure — have a sense of architecture on your face. They yield a sense that what you view through those frames fill you with passion — they are the frames that elevate you into your dreaming reality.
Why horn rims, though? It’s an important choice. The horn material was originally chosen by the Inuits long ago: they sheathed the horn from mammoths and used the material to form sun-protectant lenses. Horn is natural, of course, therefore forming to your face overtime — adjusting to its temperature and shape. The water buffalo: the important factor in this Rigards utilization, are used sort of like cows in Ethiopian and Egyptian cultures. Thus, they work the fields; the owners and members of society eat the meat. They have a cycle of life and death that is fully formed. Rigards receives the horn material after the death of the animals. They are specifically not killed for the frame purpose. Rigards further package their frames in the leather material of a buffalo, fueling the concept that one must not waste in this environmentally conscious society.
Rigards Eywear is Made to Withstand the Time
The future of the Rigards line is unapologetic, taking leaps and bets in this recession that proclaim sheer lack of fear. One of their new lines, brought in for Paris fashion week, features a hazardous scratching technique on a black matte: thus creating texture on texture, grey on black. They’ve chosen to name the technique after classic Akira Kurosawa samurai film “Sanjuro”, thus initiating the frames in this old samurai order. Sanjuro is the sword-wielding samurais use to take out their victims. Viyard says, in an interview with Cool Huntings, that “Kurosawa created a whole series and another world; we are kind of creating a new world through this texture that is as natural as possible.”
Rigards frames are unusual, but hold this pulse of the natural, physical world that most other frames abandon for easier materials. Don’t overlook them as too avant-garde: the material and the brand speak wonders for the final products. You can ask the designers themselves: each product is handcrafted, made to order—from the natural world to their new home as a fashion statement on your face.