What's the story behind Finest Seven and what does the name mean?
FINEST SEVEN started as a passion project. We work as consultants for several other brands under the title of Fish Island Design, whilst this is very fulfilling we wanted to have a small collection we could call our own. The idea was born to produce a pair of sunglasses with the 'finest' of each of the components needed. We identified 'seven' different components we wanted to focus on and hence the name FINEST SEVEN.
The FINEST SEVEN Elements are:1. The Components: Every component of the sunglasses – from the hand-stitched Spanish leather cases to the vintage gold hinges - is carefully sourced from ateliers renowned for being the forerunners in their fields.2. The Lenses: All styles use the highly acclaimed ZEISS lenses in a selection of 3 exclusive colours. Each style is individually tested to comply with the strict requirements that working with Zeiss entails.3. The Construction Materials: All construction materials, such as the acetate used to create the frames, are either limited edition, custom-made or especially selected for the best quality available.4. The Colour and Finish: By working with the creative director of the acetate producer Jesse has developed a colour palette that is largely exclusive to FINEST SEVEN’s SS11 collection.5. The Design: The collection is created through a long and thorough design process, which represents Jesse Stevens’ pure vision. Testament to his highly directional collection, Jesse Stevens says “…the challenge for me when designing an individual frame; is its influence on the strategic direction for the whole collection, whilst maintaining a unique style and look of its own.”6. The Comfort and Fit: FINEST SEVEN has evolved a series of measurements that are ergonomic and have been specifically tested over time to fit the shape of the male and female face.7. Manufacture: FINEST SEVEN is committed to sourcing unparalleled manufacturers who maintain an ethos of innovation and beauty in all details of their products, using traditional crafting techniques as far as practically valid.
Interesting you should ask.... I have just finished organising my eye wear collection - it is made up of reference vintage, samples of frames I have designed and just interesting pieces. At a rough count I can tell you I have 1300 pairs of frames, of which I wear probably 7 or 8 pairs as personal sunglasses. As predictable as it might sound, my favourite pair is a pair of Finest Seven Zero 01 Aviators - they have the best lenses I have ever worn.
Have you always wanted to just solely design sunglasses or are there possible future plans for an accessories range?As the company grows we have become fascinated with other products. For example, we went to Spain and found a small village in the middle of the countryside where they have been making leather goods for over a hundred years. They have some very interesting traditional techniques - it was here we produced our handmade leather eyewear case. I am really interested in finding these small traditional suppliers from a production point of view. These are usually family run businesses and offer a fantastic personal work experience. We are now looking around the same area of Spain for other interesting leather-goods that we can make. Exciting stuff. I would love to develop FINEST SEVEN into a luxury line of accessories - the notion of selecting the best components to put a product together can apply to anything.
I adore your Felder Felder Collab but whats been your favourite collaboration to date?Felder Felder has been our only FINEST SEVEN brand collaboration thus far. We were able to take some ideas and turn them into catwalk samples in a couple of weeks and it really worked well. I hand make my own frames so it is very handy to be able to make samples so quickly. As a consultancy Fish Island Design has also worked with some amazing brands and we are very excited to currently be working on the Alexander McQueen eyewear collection, amongst others.
What are your 3 top summer staples?Summer is not summer with my top three S's.... Sunglasses, Sunscreen and Salad.
Advice for any budding sunglass designers?
Jesse Stevens the genius behind this very cool brand!