|Parasites made their first attack at SILMO in 2002 and continued their invasion at MIDO 2003. That’s Parasite Eyewear, a French– based eyewear company headed by designer Hugo Martin. The sunwear collection, also called Parasite, is a hingeless frame system which, instead of traditional temples, uses two forked prongs that gently affix to the head just above and below the temple.|
The designer, who comes from an optical family—his parents own an optical shop in Southwest France—started his career as a product design, creating such diverse items as toys and electronic books. Then a champion mountain climber friend needed glasses that would stay in place at all times. “I thought about how to affix a frame to the head so it would stay on, designed a prototype and thought about it for two more years before launching the collection six months ago in Paris,” Martin says.
“The concept behind the design is a living product that moves subtly with the movements of the wearer. Like a parasite, the frame gets its energy from another being and evolves with its environment,” the designer explains. Made of tempered hypoallergenic stainless steel, the frame is highly flexible. After one adjustment by an optician at the time of purchase, the frame retains its memory permanently. Available in various shapes and colors, the sunglasses take their name from Parasite species: Loa, Mantys and Mue. Lenses are six-base Rxable polycarbonate.
The development of the product has gone hand-in-hand with a marketing program. “We’ve centered the product around the fusion of design, packaging and communication,” notes Martin. “Parasite, the same word in French, is also a verb in French. Our tagline is ‘Parasite moi’—infect me. Because just like a parasite gets life from others, the power of our product depends on others seeing it and wearing it.”
Merchandising materials consist of suction cups so the sunglasses can hang on walls like true parasites, presentation mats, double-sided posters, totem poles and stickers. The eyeglass case is a thin, pliable membrane, like a second skin, that wraps around the eyewear.
“It’s important to us that there’s a symbiosis between everything associated with this brand,” the designer says. “We see Parasite as a mutant that’s created its own niche somewhere between high-quality fashion eyewear and something organic. Its client base runs the gamut from the truly trendy to those seeking to create their own personal style.” To be infected, visit www.parasite-moi.com.