Akoni Eyewear offers a refreshing take on high-end eyewear, emphasizing quality and care over flash and spectacle. Their devotion to detail and time-honored craftsmanship is an expression of their overall philosophy of intelligent design and honest luxury.
Akoni Eyewear is the latest brand hitting our online “shelves” and we couldn’t be more excited.
This purveyor of fine glasses and sunglasses is based in Switzerland, but you’d be forgiven for mistaking them for a Japanese brand at first blush. The heart and soul behind the brand — as well as the materials and fabrication — borrows heavily from the land of the rising sun.
The name itself is inspired by the “Akoni Shokunin" philosophy, which describes a complete devotion to craft and is a hallmark of Japanese culture. Under this philosophy, crafting eyewear goes beyond merely making a product and takes on the sacred duty of a calling. Every line, dimension, and detail is considered with a kind of hushed devotion, creating a final product so elevated and awe-inspiring that it teeters on the cosmic, in design, function, and timelessness.
It’s no wonder Akoni has taken up “intelligent luxury” and “honest luxury” as their unofficial slogans. Here you will find no flash or pomp for its own sake, only the kind of breathtaking quality that reflects the inspired vision of its maker.
If this all sounds a little esoteric, don’t shy away. While Akoni has intelligence and depth, it’s also an eminently wearable brand, with a simplicity and versatility that is unmatched. Let’s take an in-depth look at Akoni Eyeglasses and Akoni Sunglasses and explore why we’re so a-flutter for this Swiss-based brand.
Akoni Eyewear may be a relative newcomer in the world of eyewear, but the brains behind the brand are veterans of the luxury market. Rosario Toscano and Salma Rachid are co-founders of Lugano-based Akoni Group, and Toscano (left) on his own brings with him more than 20 years of industry experience. He had a notable turn as global managing director for Dita Eyewear, where he spearheaded the launch of Thom Browne’s collection, as well as a stint at Sama Eyewear.
The design team is another feather in the brand’s cap. California design duo Jeff Solorio (right) and John Juniper (middle), founders of the Dita brand, are credited with the meticulously detailed collection with style names like Leo and Skymapper, the latter an aviator style with small side shields.
The eyewear industry has seen seismic shifts in recent years with the merger of Luxottica Group and Essilor and the move by Kering and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton to bring production in-house. With the field dominated by such giants, a small, nimble eyewear brand that isn’t constrained by tradition has the opportunity to carve out a real niche for themselves. That’s just Toscano and Rachid set out to do. It didn’t take long for the fledgling brand to catch the eye of Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing, who rushed to include the designs in his January 2020 men’s runway show. Last year in 2021, the brand launched its own line of upscale, artisan-crafted eyeglasses and sunglasses in select stores.
Akoni’s non-traditional offerings aren’t its only appeal. Its commitment to sustainability and community is a real draw for consumers who want their spending to reflect their personal values. “Green Harmony” is incorporated into every aspect of the brand. From using earth-friendly materials to sustainable production methods, their process is geared to leave the lightest environmental footprint possible.
The brand sees sustainability as inextricable from quality, with truly superior creations possessing a timeless, enduring quality that makes them inherently sustainable. This is eyewear that lasts for a lifetime and evolves in tandem with the wearer, untouched by passing fads and flash-in-the-pan trends. Akoni’s insistence on timelessness is a conscious rebuttal to the fast fashion trends that have seen the market flooded with low-quality frames that get tossed after a season or two.
As eyewear insiders, craftsmanship is where we really geek out. And Akoni sets a new standard when it comes to engineering, design, and fabrication. Each frame is developed with Japan’s finest artisans and includes only the very best materials, chosen for their quality, durability, and overall exquisiteness.
The frames are made from titanium or cotton-based cellulose acetate (a material unique to Japan) with hypoallergenic ceramic nosepads that sit light-as-a-feather on the face. The result is something akin to Swiss watches and French writing instruments in its precision and rarity.
Now, onto the best part: the frames! Each of Akoni’s offerings is named for a piece of the cosmos, inviting its wearers to keep wonder and boldness always in their view.
These minimalist-inspired frames feature a classic rounded shape preferred by some of history’s most notable thought leaders, from Steve Jobs to John Lennon. The handcrafted construction ensures a level of quality and durability that approaches the timeless.
Artistic director Salma Rachid sees Akoni as fashioning “frames for the soul.” Certainly, there is something spiritual about the Ara frames, which elevate an iconic silhouette to something never before seen on this plane of existence. The depth and embellishments are balanced by the sleek curves and lines, for a look that is truly out of this world.
Gemini takes rounded lenses to the next level with an eye-catching, bookish vibe popularized by visionaries like Andy Warhol.
Legendary designer Gérald Genta’s revolutionary wristwatch designs inspired the Akoni // Sprint-A’s streamlined shape and technically sophisticated construction. Perfectly harmonizing classic and modern, Sprint-A features mini side shields with perforations reminiscent of the finest vintage sports car interiors. An adjustable temple system demonstrates Akoni’s ongoing commitment to technical innovation and insures a precision fit.
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