Crafted for Lexus: handmade sunglasses

Crafted for Lexus is an exclusive curation of contemporary lifestyle products available at Intersect stores and other Lexus outlets worldwide. The items are produced in collaboration with traditional artisans and emerging designers, with the expressed aim of delivering fresh interpretations on classic products, in harmony with the Lexus spirit of craftsmanship.

In this series we focus on individual products within the Crafted for Lexus collection, continuing with…

Crafted for Lexus: Kaneko Optical sunglasses

For more than a century, the Japanese city of Sabae, Fukui Prefecture, has been recognised as one of the world’s foremost producers of high-quality eyeglasses. It is said that approximately one in six of the city’s 70,000 residents work in this industry. However, of the dozens of manufacturers located in Sabae, Kaneko Optical is alone in continuing production using skilled, traditional handcrafts.

Two pairs of unisex sunglasses from the Kaneko Optical range have been produced specifically for the Crafted for Lexus collection. Both are designed for lightness and comfort. Identified simply by the colour of the frames, the first is known as Yellow Brown (main image), while the second is known as Brown (above and below).

Both wellington style frames feature a tortoiseshell appearance that is original to Kaneko. It is made by blending Japanese acetate with flaked and powdered binchotan, a traditional, high-quality oak charcoal produced in the Kishu region since the Edo period (1603 to 1868). This unique composite is then carved into shape (sometimes as thin as 3.5mm) and meticulously polished for more than 150 hours to achieve a smooth, lustrous finish that is accurate to within 0.05mm.

Kaneko sunglasses

Finally, high-quality tinted and polarised lenses are inserted into the frames to reduce brightness for the wearer without compromising their vision – qualities that make the sunglasses well suited for driving.

Kaneko sunglasses

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Look out for the next post in our examination of the Crafted for Lexus collection, which will focus on traditional Japanese silverware.

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