Interviews | November 26, 2019

Fleye Copenhagen – Danish Icons

Fleye’s Owner and Head of Design, Annette Estø, tells us about the inspiration behind the brand’s latest Nordic Light collection and inspirational artworks

words Cayce Pollard

Recalling th beginning. What was the drive to start the brand?

My two partners, Hanne Anderson and Lars Halstroem, and I founded Fleye simply because we are passionate about eyewear design. We asked ourselves: Why should people buy frames from us? What can we offer that is different from what is already on the market? We created a concept of feather-light and allergy-free eyewear in innovative color combinations, and customers loved it from the beginning.

How has the brand developed its own style?

All our eyewear styles are designed by Fleye’s own in-house design team. We always create our own inspirational images for the collections. It is very important to us, as we want to illustrate our creative design process and to tell our own original stories. For the past years, the theme of our inspirations has been closely aligned with our Danish heritage featuring a modern twist.

What are the key features of your latest collection?

For our latest collection, Nordic Light, we have introduced classic, organic shapes combined with design concepts such as transparency, light, depth and structure. Inspired by the Skagen Painters, a renowned Danish icon from the late 19th century, we have designed an eyewear collection that captures the painters’ fabulous composition of colors and light.

Are you inspired by vintage designs or not so much?

Sometimes we can be inspired by vintage designs, but we always take it to the next level by combining it with something more edgy. We have for example been inspired by the classic panto shape and wayfarer model but made them slimmer and more contemporary in its expression. As I mentioned earlier, Danish icons have been the main inspiration – this season it is the Skagen Painters. The Skagen Painters were a renowned Scandinavian artist colony from the late 19th century, who settled in the village of Skagen to portray the remarkable light and scenery. It was especially this unique quality of light that had drawn them to the northernmost point of Denmark. A translucent light that merged the sea and the sky.

What is your current direction in colour and new shapes?

With a modern take on the iconic Skagen paintings, we have spent the last couple of months creating our own inspirational artworks by experimenting with various materials with different characteristics; solid, transparent, glossy and liquid. We wanted to see how these different materials interacted with each other and how the surfaces interacted with light. It turned out that condensed milk with its liquid and glossy surface combined with solid and transparent gelatin could bring texture, contrast and depth to a blank canvas.
Our abstract artworks, captured by still life photographer, Ida Emilie Risager, led to the new shapes and colors found in our ‘Nordic Light’ eyewear collection. Here we could play with matte and shiny surfaces, contrasts, the soft natural light, and beautiful reflections, which we have applied to our eyewear – with an understated reference to the Skagen paintings.

What are your plans for 2020?

In the beginning of 2020, we will launch the second part of our Nordic Light collection and introduce our new Signature sunglasses and Signature frames. We will then continue to work within this nice path, which my team and I have worked so hard to get to, where we keep on surprising and challenging ourselves positively as well as our customers.