It’s crowded but I’m going to go there anyway.
There's always that bit of heroism behind new brands venturing into mature markets, such as eyewear design. British designer Freddie Elborne founded MONC London in 2016, knowing he was up against developed competition in the industry, and decided he would pursue his business venture anyway. Each frame is hand-crafted in Italy, by one of the few remaining traditional family-run manufacturers. This means when you pick up a pair of MONC London glasses, it is truly one-of-a-kind.
Elborne had become disenfranchised with the modern throwaway culture, and decided to create a brand that focuses on quality, provenance and ethical production as its core values, taking on the same importance as the aesthetics of the finished item.
The frames are encased in naturally tanned leather cases produced by a leather workshop two hours away from the MONC studio, in Leicestershire. The brand wishes to spotlight the makers behind the brand, insisting on high quality craftsmanship every step of the way.
"At Monc, our vision is to continue to create compact, interesting product ranges with merit, supporting artisanal making and to show the story and inspirational people that come with it." - Freddie Elborne, Founder
Clockwise from top right: GRÀCIA, KALLIO, SÖDERMALM, KREUZBERG. All part of MONC's first unisex eyewear collection. Each style is named after an inspiring creative neighbourhood in Europe.
Our favourite pick from their first collection would be their London Fields style. Its vintage hooked temples, classic round shape and defined metal details, this style takes inspiration from the fast-paced design culture of East London. The delicate, classic style effortlessly dresses up any outfit.
With its quality craftsmanship, MONC frames are already sturdy and durable, yet Elborne invested the extra effort and went the extra mile to create an accompanying 'care kit' to increase the longevity of the glasses.
Each item comes with handmade leather case, micro-fibre cleaning cloth, hinge screwdriver and a MONC-branded leather key ring made from the off-cuts in the case-making process. Every detail is thoughtfully considered; the hinge screwdriver helps to tighten up loose temples as they become loose overtime, the handmade leather case colours and tans overtime for a unique look as it ages, and each micro-fibre cleaning cloth has a painting and a story printed on it tying it to the corresponding neighbourhood that inspired the design.
We are definitely impressed by the amount of attention paid to detail. While this unisex collection only carries 5 distinct styles, each style has been painstakingly designed and perfected, creating pieces that will be continue to be cherished by its owner over time.
We can't agree more with Elborne's vision of creating quality, timeless pieces defying the test of time. We look forward to seeing future collections from this thoughtful brand, as we are sure they will discover a growing fan base who identify with their dedication to quality.
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