Uma Wang × Rigards: UW2 LE WOOD

From artisanal designer Uma Wang and handmade eyewear specialist RIGARDS come a fresh installment to their collaborative project, debuting with the Fall/Winter 2019-2020 season. Wang’s spotlight on the Incan period and pared-down aesthetics inspired a reflection on the ancient home of the Incas—where the Andes meets the Amazon, and today earth’s last refuge for biodiversity—and the relevance of sustainability in high fashion. In line with Wang’s more measured approach, the new release is conceived on simple Bauhaus lines— representing also our own small homage to the movement as it celebrates its centennial this year.

Embracing a deceptively unfussy shape, the frame juxtaposes two natural materials of opposite properties, and also two different worlds of traditions, skills, and associations. The perfectly round rims are crafted of aluminum-magnesium—minimalist and strong at the same time, besides being lightweight and green. New proprietary anodizing processes further strengthen the material, while a unique vintage treatment imparts elegantly nuanced patina.

The twist is the pairing with solid blackwood—production offcuts of premium furniture timber that are too small or unevenly-shaped for larger projects but too precious and wasteful not to be repurposed. Rich in natural oils and possessing a dense grain structure (which make it both warmly beautiful and hard-wearing), the wood sees new life as the frame’s thick bridge and sturdy temples, with hand-filed, tapered bevels on the edges that add exceptional detail and definition.