Sabre Vision launched onto the scene last year in a big way, an eyewear company targeting the streetwear market, making them unique in many ways. Their classic styling has enabled them to produce a number of great styles and continue to receive great press and acclaim around the world. We spoke to the guys at Sabre about the brand and their progress after the production of our own colab with them, which you can buy here.
Tell us about Sabre, when where and who?
Sabre started as a bit of a joke actually. My friends and I started a blog style website with random debauchery, skateboarding and also a splash of trendy art by cool alcoholics to be culturally relevant! As a joke we made a few offensive bumper stickers for example "support mental health or I’ll blow your fucken head off" one of our close friends suffered from Psycho Schizophrenia and he put one on his parents cars! Too funny. And the next thing kids from all over the town had these stupid bumper stickers on the bikes, skateboards and parents cars! Next thing I know it’s a sunglass lifestyle company.
What was the philosophy behind starting an eyewear company?
Sunglasses are a really great accessory. You can really have some fun with them and they make even really ugly people look cool! Except for my friend John Robertson, he is so ugly not even my sunglasses make him look cool…Sorry John it’s the truth but we still love you.
You’ve definately become involved in the streetwear market, have you guys always been fans of streetwear? What pulled you in?
Skateboarding in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia in the late 80’s was a major influence on my life and also opened the doorway into the streetwear market. Brands such as the late Shred Threads, Vision Street Wear and Stussy always inspired and provoked me. Strong Proactive local retailers such as Mocean, Snake Pit and Cheapskates always stocked really cool threads and hard-wear. Actually I noticed on Slam X Hype a week ago my all time favorite Australia street wear labels Blank has just colabed with HUF from SF, thats so cool! It brought back all kinds of great memories hanging on the bay-side Melbourne trains with my friends.
There are alot of Eyewear companies now, and you’ve hit an industry heavily controlled by big hitters, as an independant company what have been the biggest challenges and the biggest advantages? The challenges are similar with any new brands, spreading brand awareness and gaining the confidence from the conservative retailers to place your brand in their stores, and for all those kids out there thinking it’s easy I’m still driving a 98′ Honda Odyssey….The big advantages are that we have no corporate suits holding us back with our brand’s direction or decisions, and I think thats the main problem with most of these ‘big hitters’ today.
Based out of LA, but carried all over the world, do you find the markets in Europe etc very different from the US?
I think the internet has made the world very small over the last few years, like back in the 50’s European fashion was so exotic and sheik, but now the world is so up-to date and constantly informed with trends and fads it’s almost an international look. Don’t get me wrong, each corner of the world has unique looks, but not like the 50’s. So to answer the question the brand has been strongly accepted across the world, with countries like Japan and Sweden really relating to Sabre.
When looking at the design aspects of your business, where do you take the most inspiration?
It’s a culmination of many influences that once upon a time could never be mentioned in the same sentence, Heavy Metal, Hip Hop, Skateboarding, Rock N Roll, Graffiti, Punk music, Hot Rods and Politics. I know it’s a broad answer but I’m sure many will relate.
We all know how a tee shirt is produced, but whats the process behind producing a glasses frame? Take us through step by step?
Fuck, okay here I go…..2 common ways to make a sunglass. The first process and the most common is an Injection Mold, it’s a basic plastic filled mold 95% then 5% hand finished. 2 is a process that Sabre uses primarily Hand Made- Don’t be misled by the term, a loose plastic mold is still used for the basic shape, then it is hand finish like a wood carving, cleaned and buffed. There are so many decisions from color, material, lens material as well.
Whats next for Sabre?
It’s all moving so fasts at present, the brand is gaining some strong traction from key retailers internationally which is great. The main focus for me is to continue to maintain the brands integrity and have some fun. I mean it’s always so serious, love Rick from Freshjive or hate him at least he runs his mouth and is not afraid to offend! I think it’s great for such a sensitive scene to poke some fun at it self.
Its coming to the end of the year.. tell us a little about the year so far… 2007 will go down in history for me personally as one of the most difficult, but successful and interesting years to date! I haven’t made truck loads of money, haven’t really made any money at all but it’s been exciting I have meet some really cool people and 2008 is looking very exciting.
Best Film? Hands down no competition "Blazing Saddles"
Best Song? Ain’t no fun (waiting around to become a millionaire) AC/DC…..Bon Scott R.I.P.
Best Streetwear company? CTRL
Best event in LA last year? Napalm Death show…..totally satanic yet filled with love
Worst trend of the year? That’s easy ALL OVER PRINTS yuk man or was that last year?
and best Trend of the year? Bush hating tee’s, oh they are so good! Keep em coming!