Believe it or not, sunglasses staple Illesteva has only been around since 2009. The line, architected by Daniel Silberman and Jus Ske, has been seen on the faces of such stars as Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, and Julia Roberts, to name a small few—the inventively-shaped, vibrantly colored frames made from such materials as acetate, bamboo, titanium, and natural buffalo horn.
Although the brand is admittedly heavy on famous admirers and earns big-time publicity (and just launched a new collaboration with Dasha Zhukovae), the designer duo attributes their success to quality, not celebrity. “Our whole goal with designing is that you can give the glasses to your grandkids 50 years from now,” Silberman explains, adding that the two made it a point to work with a factory from Italy. “That’s why I never wanna go too extreme—we definitely like things to be timeless,” says Jus Ske, whose other job is celebrated DJ.
The pair’s maintained importance of work that endures seems to be a smart move. This past September, Illesteva was spotted on Zac Posen’s runway as part of a new collaboration. “Zac is a friend of mine—we grew up hanging out in Tribeca and Soho,” says Jus Ske, who Posen met through Davide Sorrenti, brother of photographer Mario. “He always had this really cool, old-school movie style.” Despite the old ties, the business bond sparked in Paris at Vogue’s 90th anniversary masquerade ball. “At night, everyone was wearing masks, but we were wearing our sunglasses—it’s kinda the only time where you can get away with it,” Silberman quips. “Zac saw us, we met in New York, he showed us the collection and that was it.”
Never ones to slow down, Silberman and Jus Ske (who’ve so far planted their shades in 37 countries) are already working on their next Illesteva venture—two permanent stop-n-shops in Paris and Milan, with the help of accessories designer Corto Moltedo, whose parents founded Bottega Venetta. “It’s a good extension of our brand,” Silberman says. No argument there.
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