There is a reason why Chrome Hearts has previously been honored by CFDA as the Accessory Designer of the Year and why its designs have been included in such prestigious museum exhibits as “Rock Style” at the MET Costume Institute and in the Tokyo National Science Museum’s “The Nature of Diamonds” exhibit. A Chrome Hearts collection in appearance alone is bold, and always inspires a second look. In its newest eyewear collection, co-founders Laurie-Lynn and Richard Stark, yet again teamed up with eyewear crafted Troy Christensen to make waves in the optical arena.
Uni-Carbon, G10, and C-TAK are mere examples of the technical materials used in this eyewear collection. In addition, an array of exotic woods were used in frames including: natural Asian water buffalo horn, ebony, Brazilian mahogany, albino madrone, and American walnut.
“One of the things that we’ve done over the last 15 years in our eyewear history is consistently try to bring new materials to the optical business, which is not done very often,” said Christensen. Take the aforementioned material G10 for instance. This incredibly strong resin-based fiber has never been used before in eyewear (only knife and gun handles) and is seen in this collection with lamination coloring. C-TAK—aluminum infused with resin—was used in a honeycomb detailing. Uni-Carbon—one-directional carbon fiber—is typically used in the spacecraft and aircraft industry, as the super strong material gives a clean, matte look, while still allowing for structural detail. Chrome Hearts brought in the aircraft-grade 2mm titanium, too, for a rich feel, subtle thickness, and an overall ultra-lightweight accessory.
But Christensen is also adept at using classic frame elements, like the tortoise shell pattern in the Swampass sunglasses. “There’s a million different tortoise patterns, so we wanted to develop our own,” said Christensen. “We took our own repeating, random cross patterns and we used that as the dark color of the tortoise, and we basically made our own tortoise using our pattern.” If you look closely, you can see bits and pieces of the Chrome Hearts logo—tips and edges of the cross are seen in four laminated layers inside the frame’s plastic.
Another standout for this line is color. “For women, traditionally, we’ve been pretty classic as it relates to colors. We stick with clean tortoise and black, and things like that, but more recently, we’ve been delving into more color,” said Christensen, pointing to the glowing aqua Anita Ho sunglasses. And while this new sense of femininity is pushed through color, there is a balance, with the addition of previous metals and stones. “All of our products have precious metals,” said Christensen. “They all have sterling silver.”