Oliver Peoples Takumi: A sublime transformation inspired by simplicity
The word Takumi, in Japanese, translates to “artisan” and the title is not one to be taken lightly. To be a Takumi, one must master the skills of their trade through years of dedication and a devotional work ethic.
The philosophy of the Takumi, though, is far from simply achieving technical supremacy in the material world; it is a spiritual and social obligation to deliver one’s very best, no matter the circumstances.
It is this obsession with craftsmanship that compelled the founders of Oliver Peoples to collaborate with Japanese producers since the brand was established in 1987. This decades-long connection to Japanese artisanry reaches its zenith in Oliver Peoples’ latest titanium collection - the Oliver Peoples Takumi.
Designed in Los Angeles and manufactured in Fukui, Japan, the Oliver Peoples Takumi capsule— which consists of two optical styles, one sunglass, and one clip-on sunglass—blends Japanese exceptionalism in craft and aesthetics with the brand’s legacy to create undoubtedly timeless works of art.
A custom filigree, artfully pressed into titanium, appears on all styles proving that boldness only exists in the subtlest of details. Its design is a celebration of the Japanese philosophy of minimalism and Oliver Peoples heritage. While the smart geometric pattern of diamonds and circles on the corewire of TK-1 and TK1-Clip was found within the Oliver Peoples archive, the modern shape of TK-2 and TK-3 features a titanium topline with varied thicknesses inspired by Japanese architecture. A cylindrical weighted temple tip and adjustable nose pads, available in tortoiseshell and solid colors, adds an improvement of form and the invaluable unseen function of resting more elegantly on the face. Its inclusion is seamless and graceful, enhanced by the surrounding titanium.
Within each small space, different shades convey their own story. For Takumi’s titanium frame colors themselves, Oliver Peoples turned to the past. Its sleek warm and cool tones—Pewter, Brushed Silver, Brushed Gold, and Antique Gold—fuse harmoniously with the tortoiseshell shade in order to create the ultimate in luxury and sophistication. Complementing the frames are custom-made lenses rendered in vintage-inspired colors of varying saturation. Every element—from the acetate nose pad to the metal eyewire—was carefully deliberated when selecting a corresponding lens color and density.
From the frames to custom-made packaging, the Takumi Collection is a physical manifestation of some of the highest ideals deeply rooted in Japanese artisanship and Oliver Peoples’ design heritage. Here, artisanry is favored over mass production, and each choice—no matter how seemingly small and imperceptible—is made with intention and reveals the Takumi behind the piece over time.
This extraordinary attention to detail is fully apparent in the small Kanji symbol printed on the front part of the rice paper box that houses each frame. Designed by a master of Japanese calligraphy specifically for the collection, the symbol, which means Takumi, went through several iterations. Every line, every curve, every sweep of black ink: each minute component of the symbol was tweaked to perfection. Perfect in its entirety, inarguably complete. A true representation of the Oliver Peoples Takumi collection.