Today the brand stays true to its heritage with modern yet timeless styles that “make classics fashionable.” The same design aesthetic has been applied to the newly launched Anne Klein Eyewear collection from Altair Eyewear. SVP creative director Jeff Mahshie, who joined Anne Klein in 2012, drew inspiration from the brand’s archives in designing the collection, incorporating design elements deeply rooted in its heritage including the lion icon, a tribute to Anne Klein’s birth sign Leo, which Klein herself viewed as a symbol of strength for women. Reinvigorating the brand’s U.S. and worldwide presence, Mahshie is set to unleash the lion’s roar to women everywhere.
An eyewear enthusiast, Mahshie, much like 20/20 subscribes to the philosophy of eyewear as more than an accessory; it’s a statement piece that transforms any look. He shares his design aspirations with 20/20 on the new Anne Klein Eyewear collection.
20/20: Please discuss some eyewear heritage design elements that were incorporated into the Anne Klein Eyewear collection.
Jeff Mahshie: The Leo (lion) logo, lion mane print and gold are signature design elements that have been a staple of the Anne Klein brand since its inception. These aesthetics have been incorporated into the eyewear collection through the use of rich gold accents, tortoise, printed and color frames, color lenses and lion temple icons. Additionally, silhouettes inspired by Anne’s original sketches are seen throughout the collection.
What signature Anne Klein design devices were used to relate the eyewear collection to other Anne Klein brand products?
The lion logo is a staple across all categories, signifying Anne’s zodiac sign, the Leo. This, along with the lion mane print and gold hues can be found across all categories, including apparel, footwear and accessories. Seasonal prints and bold, optimistic colors, which are inspired from the Anne Klein archives, are used by all divisions in their respective designs, creating a unified brand presence.
As a designer, what was your objective when it came to reaching out to both former and future Anne Klein customers?
The overarching Anne Klein design philosophy is easy, effortless dressing. The integration and styling of eyewear complements any look by creating an instant transformation and wardrobe upgrade. The cateye and oval frames are iconic shapes that are essential for the Anne Klein woman.