When Jerome Mage was commencing his sunglasses line, in 2015, no one particular needed to spend in it. Its identify, Jacques Marie Mage, was a mouthful, they said, and the eyewear sector was currently saturated. Also, Mr. Mage’s layouts — thick, substantial, with an architectural heft — went against the prevailing minimalist glance of the day. Oh, and they had been really highly-priced.
But Mr. Mage has a observe report that permitted him to dismiss individuals critiques and soldier on. Immediately after all, the Frenchman has used the greater aspect of two decades in Southern California it is there he crafted a job developing eyewear for labels like Spy Optic and Arnette. In point, for him, glasses are considerably less profession and extra obsession: He owns extra than 1,000 classic pairs.
“I try to remember when my brother arrived household donning a pair of Vuarnets,” he said a person early morning in his studio in the quaint courtyard of the Granada Properties, a Spanish Colonial Revival advanced in the Westlake community of Los Angeles. “He was 15, I was 10, and I was like, ‘Wow, what are all those?’”
As a style item, sunglasses sit at the incredibly intersection of Mr. Mage’s best passions. “I studied sculpture and item design in Paris, so I required that form of physicality,” he mentioned. He required to produce a little something that, like apparel, served as a car of self-expression.
“What I love about eyewear is it’s an remarkable, sensual object, when you think about it,” said Mr. Mage, 47. “You slip it more than your nose, it’s the very first factor that individuals see. It defines your experience.”
Right now most sunglasses occur from just a couple of conglomerates, building Jacques Marie Mage a uncommon issue: an impartial label concentrated on hand-craftsmanship. It specializes in common silhouettes — aviators, cat-eyes, wayfarers, wraparounds — and injects them with a feeling of cinematic attract, a nod to its Los Angeles roots.
The frames come in chunky, strong cellulose acetate or aerodynamic, streamlined titanium the lenses vary from translucent tinted blues or yellows to impenetrable, aloof black. Several are punctuated with a sexy flourish of sterling silver hardware and hardly noticeable aspects — a smoothed edge right here, an embossed groove there.
As these, they conjure mental images of model icons of yore, specially of the Previous Hollywood and French New Wave ilk: McQueen, Delon. Quite a few are named appropriately, like the Yves, the Jagger and the Seberg.
The organization operates with producers in Italy and Japan, which use devices that day back again to just immediately after Entire world War II. These machines require plenty of adjustments, and if that yields frames that are fewer exactly slash than mass-created types, that fits Mr. Mage just fantastic. “The imperfections expose a human touch and presents our body this heat and sensual end,” he claimed.
Releases are little, no a lot more than 500, and offer swiftly. Rates variety from $575 to $895, with specific releases costing upward of $2,000.
“They have a whiff of the earlier, but there is a sleekness that speaks to the planet we’re dwelling in these days,” stated the stylist George Cortina, who has set the glasses on the faces of Keanu Reeves and Brad Pitt in the internet pages of GQ.
In February, Mr. Cortina and JMM, as the label is colloquially referred to, unveiled a capsule selection of two frames, manufactured in portions in the low hundreds. They offered so perfectly that in June, there was a different launch. This month, JMM is accomplishing a assortment with the actor Jeff Goldblum, who, in modern years has turn out to be a thing of a clotheshorse.
Mr. Goldblum mentioned that his stylist, Andrew Vottero, had launched him to JMM eyeglasses. “They’re just definitely magnificent objects,” he explained. “They’re distinct but not costumey — they truly feel true and reliable.” Alluding to the collaboration, he extra, “Andrew and I experienced a notion that if you have been to lessen me down to just one merchandise of clothing or accessory, it would be a pair of glasses.”
Mr. Mage himself cuts a striking figure in his trim blazers, skinny ties, restricted denim, rocker boots and fingers festooned with silver and turquoise rings. His hair is styled in an extraordinary mix of mohawk and pompadour. He has a Gallic urge for food for existential introspection, and he is a collector at coronary heart: In addition to those people vintage frames, he stockpiles Saint Laurent satisfies from the 1970s (someplace concerning 50 and 60), rocker boots, BMX bikes and far more.
Irrespective of his French origins, Mr. Mage feels a deep relationship to the American mythos. In September, he moved, section time, to Jackson Gap, Wyo. He had very long been drawn to the elegance of the region, so a lot so that he developed a pair of sun shades with Yellowstone Without end, a nonprofit that supports Yellowstone Countrywide Park, and performs with the Dwelling With Wolves firm. The pandemic gave him an justification to lay down a lot more long-lasting roots.
It’s a much cry from daily life in Los Angeles sightings of a grizzly bear mama with her cubs is entrance-website page information. “She’s our Kim Kardashian,” he mentioned, laughing. Whilst most of his staff members, which totals around 30, are living in Los Angeles, he hopes to have all around 20 per cent in Wyoming at some level.
Sun shades, 1 could argue, are a crucial part for a specified kind of mythmaking. Mr. Mage has a hunch as to why. “Eyewear lets you become a unique man or woman,” he said. “Change your sun shades and you modify your temperament.”