–JAMES J. SPINA
Christian Roth in NYC circa 1979. He explains: “I understand it’s a bit out of focus, but [I] like the feel of it. We didn’t take that many photos back then…”
I LOVE SAYING… I’m a New Yorker at heart. I moved to the city as a young man in 1979, it was a very special time. My generation had the opportunity to bond with big-hearted creative visionaries and to ultimately fulfill a dream in the world of fashion.
MY HANDWRITING… even my high school teachers said it’s beautiful! It helps, I am very attached to writing personal notes, so I got to used it. And people are so kind to write me back.
IN MY POCKET RIGHT NOW I HAVE…a gold medallion Eric offered me for my 40th. I am a bit superstitious, and this small love gold coin became one of my good luck talisman “+ qu’hier - que demain” (from French: “more than yesterday - less than tomorrow”).
I ONCE VISITED… this market in 1987 on Union Square in Manhattan when we moved into our new headquarters on 5 Union Square West. In those days the contrast: a seedy place for elicit dealings at night versus fresh Bio food on the (called then: Green Market) Farmer’s Market in the morning was the quintessence to the beginning of the cultural transformation of Manhattan. And lucky for us, our favorite flower, peonies in the springtime.
I LOVE THE SCENT OF… Monoi oil, made from the Tiare flowers of Polynesia. It always reminds me of the wonderful time I spent in Tahiti and the islands of French Polynesia.
THE BEST PHOTO I EVER FRAMED WAS… by Rico Puhlmann, the famous photographer I was assisting in New York from 1979 to 1983. It was part of my first compensation. I treasure this gelatin print (taken in 1960) which inspires me a lot. It pictures (the first super model) Suzy Parker chatting with (the legendary lensman) Richard Avedon. Richard had come over to Rico’s studio for a chat, and Rico always said “This was the time when fashion photographers were dapper, they showed up in a chic suit and tie.” And perfect spectacles.
MY MOTHER ONCE TOLD ME… “I understand you are inspired to become a designer. Why eyewear?” It took time for her and many others to acknowledge that eyewear designers play a role in the creative world.