Supermarket specials, knockoffs or designer shades, your eyewear is likely replaceable. And with that comes convenience but also the apparent lack of originality, cost of insurance and loss of focal protection. In the genes of diligence and exclusivity, Chilli Beans has been producing haute eyewear from the heart of São Paulo culture for over thirty years, maintaining one of the industry’s highest standards of quality hand-crafted originality in the lens department: Sunglasses you won’t want to lose. With only eight copies of a single model while refreshing their production with 10 new designs a week, the Brazilian boutique upholds serious customization and creativity as replicas are hard to come by and designs never repeated. From aviators, to prescriptions, casual and costume wear, this eyewear pushes visual limits fusing the work of Isabela Capeto, Herchcovitch, Carlinhos Brown and Ronaldo Fraga with Brazil’s tropical palette and native vibrance. Shapes, colors and prints cycle through marquees like an independent theatre. Either you caught the show or you hope someone else caught it for you. That is how these peppers roll and with the intimacy of a custom written song, their methodically crafted aesthetics and innate flame for fashion culture emerge in accessorizing an accessory. As though every Chlli Beans outlet were the capital of its environment, each location hosts eyewear tailored to culture-specific designs. An etched graphic of the infamous Venice Beach Ferris Wheel is reserved for the Los Angeles collection and available only in Venice. In other cities, location-specific collections vary between creative elements and trademarks all accentuating the diversity of urban culture while retaining the exclusivity of each model with limited editions.
An extended product line recently took off with the launched of Vista, an eyewear collection which overhauls prescription vocabulary in its daring attempt to allure via lens, reviving the prescription look, “Our investment is in the clients who like new things, regardless of needing prescription lenses”- President, Caito Maia. “Celebrities, opinion formers and connected people in general have already noticed the trend of using prescription eyeglasses to compose the outfit. More recently, even those who do not have any sight problems are investing in these products as fashion accessories.” Elaborately colored frames strike a chord with fashionistas who toy with their inner nerd and a stylish practicality. With five new models for this collection each month, the Vista collection further extends the brand into intelligent fashion.
The curbside fashion booth started in San Paolo in the summer of ’98 under the command of Caito Maia. With the aid of local persuasion, aka fashion icons and “Tipping Point” individuals, the brand carried itself to cultural iconicity serving Brazil as the largest network specializing in sunglasses. Having since branched out to over 400 outlets throughout South American, Europe, Africa, and the United States, the company continues it surge with Hotel Chili Beans, filtering through designers within the momentum of artisan work for another 200 outlets by the end of 2012. Their recent partnership with Blue Man boosts their identity for strict designs featured during Rio’s recent catwalk. Carol Makimoto, the designer behind the Blue Man edition, the technology of glasses her focal point, “On the other hand, gain from the exchange of ideas and inspirations.” If none of the above bumps Ray Ban off the radar, a visit to Chilli Beans near you will inevitably do the job. See for yourselves what these Beans are made of.
* Original post for London-based Catwalk Yourself