We like to obsess over automotive design here, often focusing our affection toward classic designs that are truly beautiful, and often produced in limited quantities. We share an appreciation of craftsmanship, and see the value in objects that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but exclusive in numbers, and crafted with an interesting story behind the product.
Vidal Erkohen is the owner of RVS, and the designer behind their exquisite frames. Raised by parents of Turkish and Moroccan heritage, Vidal may have been born and raised in NYC until he was 11, but he has been exposed to global culture his entire life. His father worked in the textile business, and was a great source of inspiration, frequently traveling throughout Europe and returning with artifacts from his trips as gifts for his son. Boys naturally look toward their father figures to learn how to become a man as they grow up, and Vidal was no different. One thing that particularly resonated within the example his father set, were a special pair of Persol Sunglasses. Struck by the difference in his father's image when he returned home from Italy with his latest purchase, he began to realise how powerful a pair of expertly designed sunglasses are in terms of expressing an individual's personality and taste.
An addiction was created in that moment, and countless hours would be spent researching and collecting rare vintage sunglasses from that day forward. His collection grew to the point he had duplicates of a number of frames and decided to sell them, and a small business blossomed from there - until in 2003, RVS was founded. Supply of his lovingly curated collection of vintage sunglasses soon found a dedicated following, including a raft of celebrity clients (just check the RVS Instagram account) that were searching for pieces that were beautiful and exclusive. These are not manufactured by the thousand on an assembly line in one of the giant factories that run the sunglasses business, and that is important to many. I won't lecture you on why you should be looking to support independent brands in this sector, but I'll give you a head start that will have you reading for hours if you were unaware of the state of that market.
Thankfully, RVS has been able to step out from underneath the giant shadow cast by Luxottica, and make it on their own. Vidal's frame designs are brought to life with their signature matte-finish Italian mazzucchelli acetate. With vibrant colours and custom coloured lenses, one frame can take on a huge number of personalities. Customers are not bound to set configurations - RVS will produce an exclusive combination if their customers wish to tweak a design they have seen online.
When we spoke about showcasing one of his latest designs in a then upcoming shoot of a 1968 Jaguar E-Type, Vidal selected the Robert frame due to its classic design and luxurious touches. This time period was of great inspiration to him when he began to pen his own designs and we thought it would be a great fit. As sometimes happens, the shoot fell through - but I pitched Vidal a new idea and he agreed to trust my judgement. The resulting images have the glasses juxtaposed against the stunning solar roof of the Fisker Karma on location in Switzerland. I love the way the gradients of both the frame and lenses look, somehow both eye-catching and subtle, unbranded and yet instantly recognizable as a quality product in person.
The details are delightful (I love the hand-painted red screws nestled in the frame) and the lightweight nature and excellent quality of the lenses used now make these the pair that I reach for when I head out for a drive. I can't give any more genuine praise than to say that they look like they will last a lifetime, and that I hope that one day my own son will look at me the same way as Vidal looked at his father - and be inspired to live a life filled with quality and craftsmanship.