Interview with Linda Farrow’s Simon Jablon
Inspiration in the Daily Circus
It’s been a busy year for Linda Farrow. The brand recently wrapped up a much-lauded campaign with Alessandra Ambrosio. It also launched an ambitious new collection: “Life Is a Circus” captures dreamlike whimsy and surrealistic ambitions in soft, hazy tones and a combination of shimmering metallic and sheer acetate.
We sat down with Simon Jablon, owner and creative director of Linda Farrow, to discuss the new collection and where he finds inspiration.
“Alessandra Ambrosio, Muse of the company”
We see the current SS19 campaign features the gorgeous Alessandra Ambrosio. What attracts you to come up with this collaboration with Alexandra?
Alessandra is old friend of mine. She has been wearing our glasses for a long time, and has become somewhat of a muse of the company. She is a beautiful woman inside and out, and I think she represents the beauty of the product as well.
“people want a little escapism from their everyday lives”
The new collection, “Life is a Circus”, has a very glamorous and mysterious feeling to it. What does the theme mean to you?
“Life is a circus” is a saying that means life is a bit crazy. If you look around, the world is a little bit of a depressing place right now.
The goal is to remember to enjoy life. That’s part of fashion and creativity, to do something interesting to lighten things up a bit. I think people want a little escapism from their everyday lives. When they work hard, they want to play hard. Escapism is what “Life Is a Circus” is about – having fun despite it all.
“We try to be genderfluid nowadays … to create eyewear that suits everybody”
We’ve noticed more unisex and men’s styles among Linda Farrow’s designs lately. Is the brand’s goal to expand into men’s eyewear?
Our goal is to just make beautiful eyewear. We try to be genderfluid nowadays – the idea is just to create eyewear that suits everybody. I think our brand speaks more directly to a female audience—I am aware of that—but at the same time, we do create some beautiful styles for men as well.
“Inspiration can come from anywhere.”
We love to see Linda Farrow incorporating different heritages in its designs, like last year’s Moroccan theme and the recently debuted Dear Kowloon. Do places often inspire your design?
Inspiration comes from a multitude of places. Sometimes it just develops through a process of design, and suddenly the story starts telling itself.
At Linda Farrow, our heritage is from the 1970s and our DNA is London-based. With Dear Kowloon, what we loved was the fact that there’s this British and Hong Kong/Chinese connection there. It’s not just bringing the Hong Kong element, it’s bringing the cultural connection between the two, especially during the 1970s. I just love the story and fashion of that time, so it just felt really good to tie them together.
When we design, there is no limitation. Inspiration can come from anywhere.
“My childhood dreams…”
Has the business of design always interested you? What did you dream of doing as a child?
My childhood dream was just to do things in a creative way. I think you can do anything, commercially and in business, as long as you do it creatively, having fun with what you do.
The fact that I’ve been able to follow in my mother’s footsteps and take on the business – I love that I can be creative with the eyewear, but I also think it’s about being creative in business. I love working on all the projects: the campaign, “Life Is a Circus”, designing the stores, designing the products, all these different elements. That was my passion when I was young, to do things that were different.
“Something beyond eyewear? Who knows?”
It’s always exciting to see Linda Farrow and Puyi collaborating. What kind of future collaborations would you be interested in doing with Puyi? Do you think about expanding beyond eyewear, into related products?
For now, I don’t think we are looking beyond accessories that complement eyewear. There’s a lot of potential, which doesn’t necessarily have to be other products. Jeffery [Yau, founder of Puyi] and I have many ideas, so maybe watch this space. Who knows?