Jean-François Rey, interview with eyewear designer

Eyewear creator Jean-François Rey designs colorful, decorative frames with intriguing embellishments, unexpected shapes and innovative colorations. Based in Marseille, France, his company has two brands, both made in the Jura region and famous for eyewear craftsmanship. J.F. Rey, his inventive eponymous label, features opticals and sunglasses for men and women, while Boz Eyewear offers charismatic design-focused women’s collections that explore cultural mixes and botanical influences. — CLODAGH NORTON

This article originally appeared in the June 2015 edition of INVISION.


1

I live in Marseille. I have lived here for a long time now and I’m still fascinated by the beauty of Marseille’s bay and the magnificent — almost magical — southern light. The light in Provence has influenced many world-famous painters such as Cézanne, Matisse and Picasso.


2

My favorite color is blue, any shade of blue. The color is the DNA of both the J.F. Rey and Boz collections. But the art of color is my wife Joëlle’s great passion. She is the colorist for our collections: she plays with color charts to produce interesting contrasts, two-tone associations and combinations that give our designs their signature.


3

My garden is very special to me: I have a mix of Japanese inspired trees and flowers and local Provence plants.


4

Every summer, I spend my holidays in Italy, on the volcanic island of Ischia on the Amalfi Coast. We rest, relax, swim and just enjoy the beautiful landscape. That’s what holidays are for! Every year, I take a trip to a new place. I love to discover new countries, new cultures, and different ways of life.


5

Tokyo is my favorite city in the world. It’s a wonderful place to walk. I know it by heart, but I discover new things each time I go there.


6

The United States is a very special country for me. I am fascinated by New York City’s outstanding architecture. It is also a huge country with enormous business potential. We are a niche label, but we’ve succeeded in working very well with the American opticians. For example, the J.F. Rey Petite line was originally launched especially for the U.S. market to cater to women with smaller faces. This was a success and we decided to extend the distribution in other countries.


7

I have been to the Antarctic! Snow, icebergs and spectacular shades of blue, blue purple and transparent subtle effects ... I was inspired by the natural landscapes and seeing the whales. It’s an extraordinary experience and really difficult to express how wonderful.


8

Issey Miyake is one of my favorite fashion designers. He’s unique; he has a very personal and consistent approach in his work. I admire how he has succeeded in mixing Eastern and Western inspirations.


9

In my spare time, I like walking in the French Alps or in central France. I enjoy sharing wonderful privileged moments with my friends and my wife, Joëlle, and our family at home, eating good food and drinking French wine.


10

International relations, history and civilization have always fascinated me. I once wanted to become a diplomat.

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