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Matsuda Eyewear | A Closer Look

July 20, 2017

Matsuda Eyewear | A Closer Look

In a world that emphasizes immediacy Matsuda chooses to anchor themselves in the tradition of craftsmanship and thoughtful execution. Their process begins with only the best materials and ends with forms that can be admired for a lifetime.

Matsuda Eyewear: Luxury through material, quality through craft, innovative by design.

Matsuda Eyewear has always been one of our favorite eyewear brands for its build quality and unique styles. Every time we get an opportunity to see the collection we turn into fan girls excited to try on every pair. It wasn’t until recently that we had an opportunity to really sit down and understand the Japanese eyewear brand. What we found was a rich history tied to the arts as well as unparalleled commitment to Japanese craftsmanship.

We’ll be taking an in depth look into this fascinating eyewear brand as we go over the history, Japanese craftsmanship, stunning campaigns, and styles that make Matsuda one of the elite eyewear brands.

History

The original founder - Mitsuhiro Matsuda started his career as a fashion designer under his label Nicole Company. Mitsuhiro was considered one of the leading Japanese clothing designers of his time. Looking for inspiration for his clothing line, Mitsuhiro moved to Paris. What he found was a love for the art deco period, industrial metal work of the late 1800’s, and details of gothic cathedrals.

After years of success with his clothing label, Mitushiro released his first eyewear collection in 1989. The Matsuda Eyewear line was an instant hit and became a big part of pop culture during the 1990’s. Featured in films such as Terminator 2, Beetle Juice and Boomerang the Japanese designer continued his love for the arts by collaborating with photographers like Nan Goldin. Together they produced Goldin Meets Yukio Kobayashi that won an award in 1996 from the Art Directors Club of New York.

After being off the market for a few years, Matsuda was re-launched in 2012 by CEO James Kisgen. Coming from Cartier as the director of sales, James continued the vision that drove Mitsuhiro.

“When we first re-launched the brand, the goal was to bring Matsuda back to what it was in the past. We did that successfully, and that allowed us to step into where we are today, which is very much a forward thinking mentality. We are going to continue pushing forward in terms of materials, designs and style.”

                        - James Kisgen (Interview from 20/20 Magazine)

Today art and Japanese craftsmanship remain as Matsuda’s fundamental inspiration in creating their unique eyewear. Their beautiful campaigns continue to amaze and are considered one of the greatest Japanese eyewear brands.

Japanese Craftsmanship

All Matsuda frames are hand crafted in the city of Sabae, Japan. Over 250 steps are required to create one Matsuda frame by craftsman that have mastered their work through decades of learning and knowledge being passed on from generation to generation.

Materials

“Our frames are made from the finest metals, alloys, and acetate in the world - each material is chosen based on its unique properties that make it ideal for specific components.”

The most preferred materials used by Matsuda are their Japanese titanium and acetate. Both materials are lightweight and durable with an array of colors and finishes diversifying each pair. 

Their Japanese titanium is stronger than steel yet lighter than aluminum while being completely hypoallergenic. In order to create a perfect finish, each titanium frame is put through a drum polisher for over 24 hours making sure there are no defects throughout its build.

Matsuda Eyewear Drum Polisher

Ensuring stability, the Japanese acetate is aged for three months then polished using a combination of tumbling and hand polishing techniques. The nose bridges are then hand formed to ensure a perfect fit along the nose, a technique that takes years to study let alone master. Only a few people left in Japan are able to complete this level of work.

Matsuda Eyewear Bridge Sculpturing

Plating           

Many Matsuda frames are plated with palladium, 22.5k gold, ruthenium, or other precious metals by a process called electroplating. This technique passes an electrical current through the frames plating the fine metals onto the surface.

Matsuda Eyewear Electro-Plating

Engraving

The most intricate components of Matsuda frames are their engravings that can be found throughout their wide rims, bridges and temples. Only two-master engravers are left in the city of Sabae with one of them exclusively working with Matsuda.

Matsuda Eyewear Engraving

Assembly 

After completing its almost 250 step process, the frames are perfectly aligned and adjusted then fitted with lenses before being packaged and shipped out all over the world.

Matsuda Eyewear Polishing and Assembly


Campaigns

Matsuda's love for the arts is apparent in both its eyewear and campaigns. They manage to out do themselves with beautiful one of a kind photography that sets the tone for their eyewear collections every year.

2014

Matsuda Eyewear Campaign 2014

2015

Matsuda Eyewear Campaign 2015

2016

Matsuda Eyewear Campaign 2016

2017

Matsuda Eyewear Campaign 2017

Sun

All Matsuda sunglass lenses includes 100% UV A & UV B coatings with an added 7 layers of scratch resistant and anti-reflective coatings. We handpicked these sunglasses for our collection combining both avant-garde and timeless styles that can be admired for a lifetime.

Originally released in 1995, the 2903H is a bold style with strong architectural lines that exude an industrial feel. Ribbed detailing, visors, and an elegant lacquered top bar all lend a nod to the Machine Age.

Matsuda Eyewear | 2903H Sunglasses - Heritage Collection

Inspired by glacier glasses, the M2031 is composed of Japanese acetate and fitted with semi-flat mirrored lenses. The removable side shields are crafted of micro-perforated leather and subtly feature the signature Matsuda "M" as a badge.

Matsuda Eyewear | M2031 Sunglasses

Considered as one of the most iconic sunglasses of modern day culture, the M3023 is a modified aviator made of aged Japanese acetate and titanium. Subtle placements of Matsuda detailing can be found on the side-shield and throughout the outer rim.

Matsuda Eyewear | M3023 Sunglasses - Iron Man 3 - Tony Stark

The M1014 is a unique style constructed of Japanese acetate and engraved metals. The round shape and visors mounted to the front were inspired by headlights found on cars of the 1920’s.

Matsuda Eyewear | M1014 Sunglasses

The 2859H was originally released in 1992. A throw back design, the decor draws inspiration from rimless eyewear from the mid 19th century. The temples are crafted of ultra-lightweight and flexible beta titanium with hand-lacquered details.

Matsuda Eyewear | 2859H Sunglasses

Optical

Our Matsuda Optical Collection has been curated for the person looking for the latest styles by the Japanese brand while also focusing on timeless specs that can be worn for a decade or more. These are just a few of our favorites…

The M2028 offers a unique crown pantos shape constructed of aged Japanese acetate and titanium with art deco hand engraved filigree. Tooling from the original collection is used to craft the M2028 frame continuing Matsuda's tradition of combining handcrafted techniques and innovative technology.

Matsuda Eyewear | M2028 Eyeglasses

The 2835H is unique yet refined with an elegant V-shape where the temple meets the frame front. Originally released in 1991, the 2835H has been updated by using lightweight titanium and aged Japanese acetate to craft the inserts.

Matsuda Eyewear | 2835H Eyeglasses

A combination Japanese acetate and titanium frame, the M2029 is characterized by floating acetate rims that are fixed onto the eyewear using a unique rim-way construction. Hand lacquered details are added to the temples completing this technical yet elegant pantos.

Matsuda Eyewear | M2029 Eyeglasses

A classic pantos shape with keyhole nose bridge, the M2026 is constructed of aged Japanese acetate and sleek beta-titanium temples. Designs based on the art deco period can be found throughout and is completed with Matsuda's "M" detailing.

Matsuda Eyewear | M2026 Eyeglasses

This classic "P3" shape is one of the most iconic styles in eyewear. The M3006 is crafted of titanium and accented with a Japanese acetate insert. The rim and temple core wire feature Matsuda's signature "M+N" engraving.

Matsuda Eyewear | M3006 Eyeglasses


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