Words Antonella Reina
The function has the same importance as emotion for Konstantin Shilyaev, founder and Creative Director of a brand which goes far beyond the standardized idea of luxury
Konstantin Shilyaev was talking about gender neutrality when the concept was known by just a few of us; showing his special talent for capturing and conveying the spirit of modern times through the shape of objects. The designer founded Fakoshima in 2012 in Moscow, Russia, with a precise aim: that of making eyewear with a recognisable style and quality that would not conform to the standardized idea of luxury. And so it was. Now, new challenges are opening up, like the launch and development of the Fakoshima perfume line.
Fakoshima eyewear is..? What is the best definition to fit the brand in 2021?
The brand definition is still short and succinct – Fakoshima is ‘contemporary classic’.
What is the concept behind the brand today? Has it changed during the year?
I adhere to the main and closest approach in my design: to me this is simplicity. I want to connect with a client through the sensations and experience of wearing glasses. And not only this; I want to interact at more subtle and deeper levels of perception. That is why I decided to launch and develop the Fakoshima perfume line.
How would you describe the new Fakoshima frames?
Masculine femininity and feminine masculinity.
You are ‘disruptive’ because...
Perhaps I'm destructive because of the anger I feel towards formalism and bureaucracy.
What are the features of your new collection and its inspiration?
One of the most powerful sources of inspiration for me is cyberpunk; in fact, it’s deeply embedded in the DNA of the brand. It’s curious for me to see how public reaction has changed over the past 10 years: bold forms are no longer a challenge or a statement.
Why this inspiration?
We are already practically living in science fiction reality. Science and technology are heading into the future at abreakneck pace. The ability to react quickly and predict events can be key factors for the survival of our species.
How much has the brand changed over the years?
Since my debut collection, I've talked about gender neutrality, time has passed and this has become the new normality in the fashion world. I like to blur the boundaries of stereotypes. I keep doing it.
Future achievements and things you are still striving for...
I'm currently working on several collaborations, both in optics and in other directions. With my companion and perfumer Yaroslav Simonov, we are working on the creation of a large perfume line as well as ambient fragrances. In addition, my goal is to create a collection of household items.
What feeling do people get from wearing the new Fakoshima frames?
I want to convey a sense of comfort and confidence at the same time. I want to capture and convey the spirit of modern times through the shape of objects. It's a little like undertaking a game with the present time.
How does the world look through a pair of new Fakoshima glasses?
I probably would never start designing glasses if I were relying only on the utilitarian function of the object. I like the design to have not only function but also emotion. Unexpectedly, I discovered that my favourite material is pink polarized lenses. I used them in the High Line collection; they provided a stunning visual effect and make you want to smile. It's great, isn't it?
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