THE MONC BLOG
Welcome to The MONC Blog, our Journal on all things that are happening and inspiring us in the MONC studio.
For our first collection for Spring Summer 2017, we took inspiration from creative districts from around Europe, where local designers and artisans are returning to the use of high quality materials, traditional techniques and unique processes to make products that last. We travelled from London to Stockholm to learn more about a neighbourhood that’s getting noticed for its flawless design culture – Södermalm.
As a British Sunglasses brand the Winter Months can be a bit scarce of sunny days...but a little down-time from the lack of Sun gives us an excuse to gather our thoughts, reflect on the months after our launch in August and the development of the brand going forward. We thought we'd highlight some of our favourite moments of 2016 and give an insight into our ambitions and journey going into 2017.
Revealing our journey was a natural beginning for Monc, as we wanted to show how each of our products are designed, sourced and crafted to bring items that are truly genuine. For us, this is the most exciting part of a complex and intricate design process, which is tailored by our distinct design values. Each value builds the lifestyle of what we believe in as designers, and is reflected in every product that we create.
In the build up to our launch we've been through intense designing, searching and testing so we could find the best craftsmen who help us in our vision to create truly artisanal and traditionally made frames. After finding the perfect match through long and agonising searching, each element of the MoNC experience followed down this same path.
The most thrilling part of the design process is not just a finished item at the end of the recycled development and testing process; it’s the experiences leading up to that. It’s what has inspired each element of the design, how concepts have formed through learning and experience. This is why MONC started - we have always wanted to create products that have a transparent and true story, with the hope that the things we design and make express a unique identity, that people are proud to be part of.
Over the last 18 months I have been searching for a milestone that I set myself at the beginning of this journey - to create a durable and fashionable product out of the best materials, innovative components, and made by the best people for the job. Naturally as a small studio, the costs for us were a big factor in the beginning. There is no question that we're all trying to save a quick penny here and there. But as I thought more and more about the quality vs. price conundrum I learnt (what may seem blindly obvious to most of us) that quality comes at a price. I realised I had to listen to what I've learnt as a designer from the very beginning; It takes trial and error, investigation, and rounds of development to make the best products for anyone to use or wear.
Earlier in our journey we spoke about the time it's taken to source the best materials and how all factors that go into a product define what the product stands for. The source of our Italian acetate and the 'Tortoiseshell Effect' are what the MONC design values are built on.
Over the 18 months of research that I've done into the industry, it's products and people, the forefront of my learning has been from visiting trade shows and exhibitions. At each event brands display their products for the current and upcoming seasons. It lets buyers, sellers, press and other brands see what (your brand believes) is on trend or will make an impact for the eyes of the market and their customers.
Similar to the wrapping that masks a Christmas present, the packaging around an item brings an element of mystery to a product and contents. Even if know what's inside - there's a big difference between seeing something on a screen or through a window and actually holding it in your hands.
A huge factor of the eyewear you choose comes from the element that you will be interacting the most with - the lenses. How dark? Polarised? Flat? Colour gradient? Reflective? These are a few of the factors that come into play when you're making your choice of eyewear. That's why we are going through testing and analysis of hundreds of lenses, and comparing each colour choice of our Italian acetate to finalise a list top list of frame and lens combinations.
We believe in the traditional design process; When we design a product at MONC we want to combine the fundamentals of product design with the improvisation in fashion. Although our initial design approach is quite conceptual, we apply these fundamental design rules in the development of our products. Finally creating a functional product that's not just comfortable for the user, but also provides a new and exciting look for the wearer.