Since its inception in 1983, Christian Roth has reveled in its hard-earned reputation for subverting the conventions of luxury fashion. Christian Roth sunglasses first appeared on the runway in 1985; soon, the designers were tapped to create custom frames for the fashion shows of industry heavyweights and served on the eyewear design teams as well. “This was a time before every designer had an eyewear license,” Domège explains. “They wanted something avant-garde, and we worked with factories in Italy and France that could create exceptional pieces.” These and other early successes earned Christian Roth an invitation to join the CFDA in 1990 – a first for an eyewear designer. Christian Roth became a founding executive member of Eyewear Designers of the CFDA (edCFDA) in 2014.
Now, in its first collection as a part of DITA Group, the storied label deconstructs its own archive to begin a conversation with a generation of consumers for whom a new paradigm of style and design has gained traction with breathtaking speed. “Ours is an era of unprecedented disruption,” the designers explain. “The rapid pace of technological advancement has forever altered our social interactions and enhanced our ability to devise methods of self-representation that are unencumbered by traditional gender or social roles. For a designer, this creates an exciting opportunity to challenge outmoded concepts of beauty and function, to empower people to find new uses for durable ideas. Modernist notions of clarity and logic can be turned on their head and used – or not used – in an emotive way.
The subversive legacy that Christian Roth has forged over 30 years has never been more relevant than it is today, as a new generation rejects the racial, gender, and class labels that once confined designers and their customers.
CHRISTIAN ROTH + ERIC DOMEGE