A Knack for Design
Eyewear artisan Naoki “Nacky” Nakagawa’s path to success reads like a real life fairytale. As a seventeen year old sales assistant in a spectacles store in Japan he realised there were no styles on offer that he liked so despite not having any design training decided to design them himself.
“I decided to train as a true eyewear artisan in Fukui, the home of eyeglasses in Japan,” he says and so Nackymade was born. “At first I started designing for friends, then friends of friends and finally opened my own shop and workshop in Kobe in Japan.”
Using materials such as Japanese plastic acetate and European sourced antiques, and taking inspiration from fabrics such as African batik, Nakagawa creates unique sunglasses and spectacles (sold lensless so you can have your own prescription fitted) from US$200.
As well as his own store in Kobe, he sells to an exclusive clutch of menswear outlets: Kevin Seah in Singapore, The Armoury in Hong Kong and Drake’s in London. Nakagawa visits each stockist every three months when he is on hand to advise customers on the eyewear that will suit them. “I think glasses are not just an accessory but can be part of the face,” says Nakagawa. “I will suggest the correct size, colour and shape.”
These might be round, oval, cat’s eye or square; a block colour, tortoiseshell or a camouflage print; opaque, graduated or clear; classic black or brown or a bright red …… In an impressive display of attention to detail there’s also an array of the arm-to frame hinge colours. And the eyewear is also available with a quirky beast-like shape (such as a crab or dinosaur) on arm tips that fit behind the ears.
With the made to measure service, available at all the retail locations and made in the Kobe workshop, a mixture of any of the above is possible. Arms and front frames can be mixed and matched so the possibilities are huge (although we get the impression Nakagawa would step in to avoid any jarring decisions).
For bespoke, Nakagawa will delve into detail with the customer. “I want to know their personalities, taste in fashion, food, music…. in order to make their glasses.
“I like to see my customers’ happy faces when they get their new glasses that fit them really well. I tell them, trust me, and I will make the best glasses for you.”
[UPDATE: Nagagawa will be back at Kevin Seah in Singapore December 3rd -2016]