Handcrafted horn sunglasses from one piece of ethically sourced horn in small, numbered editions.
HOW THEY WORK
Many designer glasses are produced in their thousands, but RIGARDS’s are made in their ones. RIGARDS frames are constructed of horn, a sustainable natural material that is lightweight, biocompatible (its low likelihood to cause irritation is worth mentioning), and beautiful to look at. The horns we use are an organic by-product of water buffalo rearing on small African farms, and reflect our desire to make recycling a part of our culture. Handpicked for their color, grain and thickness, each piece of horn is meticulously paired with the design that best accentuates the inherent traits of the horn. We could extol the virtue of horn frames endlessly, but here are the highlights:
One of the earliest materials used to make eyeglasses, natural horn is intrinsically varied in grain and color, each piece displaying stunning yet harmonious striations that make it a distinctive statement of timeless beauty. At RIGARDS, horn is handmade with tremendous attention into one-off frames, each pair automatically distinguished by their inimitable character and handcrafted look—perfect for connoisseurs who enjoy knowing that they are wearing something truly special.
We believe that only the best materials should come close to your eyes and face. Genuine horn is hypoallergenic and therefore very kind to the skin, an excellent choice especially for people with skin sensitivity or contact allergies.
Natural horn has the remarkable quality of adjusting to the skin temperature, allowing for an almost seamless feel. The pleasant warmth distinguishes horn from the standard manmade materials used in conventional eyewear and offers a sensual frame-wearing experience—a big plus for many luxury eyeglasses wearers.
As a material of nature, horn has the extraordinary ability to age gracefully with use. The gradual evolution and organic patina embody the very characteristics cherished by selective eyeglasses owners.
Sourced from sustained domesticated herds, the buffalo horns we use have minimum negative impact on the environment. Leftover horn chips and shavings from the production process are recycled as fertilizers in agriculture. The humble horn wastes are actually a first-rate quality manure as horn is an excellent source of slow release Nitrogen.
As with all items of value, your horn frames need to be maintained to keep them looking their best. Horn is a durable product of nature and, if cared for correctly, can last for many years to come.
My background is in apparel design and manufacturing, a somewhat logical extension of my lifelong interest in fashion and the technical construction of things,” says Ti Kwa, Creative Director of the buffalo horn specialist label, Rigards. “I started Rigards with my business partner Jean-Marc Virard, a French recording artiste, currently based in Los Angeles. Jean-Marc and I share a vision that combines the love for design and an appreciation for handcrafted eyewear. We met doing what we both enjoy— snooping around an old antique store, and now we’ve joined forces.”
“I have been wearing glasses since I was 8 so I guess it’s no surprise that I’ve parlayed my boyhood fascination with how to make things into Rigards,” explains Ti.
With horn, we saw an opportunity to produce our eyeglasses under conditions we felt were optimal: traditional craftsmanship, exclusivity, and sustainability.”
Rigards represents not only artisanal craftsmanship, but also a desire to try new and different techniques. “Horn is a material that translates our aesthetic into a physical object, yes, of course,” – explains Kwa, “it’s also a medium that presents unparalleled textural possibilities—the freedom to go where our creative imaginings can take us. Each piece of horn is absolutely beautiful in its own way and as unique as your fingerprint. Horn is warm to the touch and allergen-free, and therefore very comfortable to wear. Working with horn is a painstaking, labour intensive and time-consuming process, but the result is incredibly satisfying. Understanding the aesthetics and behaviour of horn has enabled us to use a conventional material in unconventional ways, to create frames that are both compelling in their beauty and complementary to the times.”