November 8, 2011
To rehearse an old line: Designer Takahiro Miyashita marches to the beat of his own drum. (Asked once about the inspiration for one of his collections, the Sphinxlike Miyashita said, “I don’t know—ask my brain.”) He was the genius behind the much-loved, much-missed menswear line Number (N)ine, which he shuttered in 2009. He returned the following year with a new, unisex label called, appropriately enough, The Soloist. The Soloist has remained a cult item, available sparingly outside of Japan and priced in the contemporary-art range. (New York’s IF is one of the rare U.S. stockists.) But this season, The Soloist has a new collaborator: Oliver Peoples. Miyashita worked with Peoples creative director Larry Leight on two styles—a round ($425) and a teardrop aviator ($455–520)—inspired by the frames of the twenties and thirties and in many cases, using stock parts from vintage pieces. (Where deadstock parts were not available, new ones were created on original tools for a similar effect.) The unisex frames come in optical and sunglass models; they’ll hit Oliver Peoples stores for Resort this month, and continue to roll out at department stores and boutiques through the spring.
Photo: Courtesy of Oliver Peoples