NATHALIE BLANC: “Glasses have always been a part of my life”
Eyewear designer Nathalie Blanc launched her eyewear “Maison” in 2015, following several years of working as an optician, and opening two optical shops of her own. Today the award-winning designer says her passion for making eyewear remains as strong as ever. With attention to detail and a solid commitment to craftsmanship, her creations evolve into a reflection of her passion for art, design, and architecture, she explains, with the precision and style of French tradition – designed exclusively in Paris and made in the Jura and in Normandy in Northern France.
Like many eyewear aficionados, Nathalie Blanc first started wearing glasses as a child. “Glasses have always been a part of my life,” she says, “I must have been interested in them from the age of four because, being long-sighted, I had to wear spectacles very early on.”
Creating the brand ‘Nathalie Blanc Paris’ in 2015, she took the fast-track to success, winning a first Silmo D’Or award just two years after releasing her first collection.
Asked to pick out the high points of her career so far, Blanc lists several, including the Silmo D’Or wins. “I no longer count the high points of my career, but there are many!” she says.
“Between the awards I have won in France and internationally, the first few times I have seen my glasses worn in the street and on screen and the turmoil of a company that has to be managed, to see it grow without having been trained for it, I have so many high points in mind! My first Silmo d’Or was a highlight as this is a prize that symbolises recognition in the world of optics! Then, I would say my most recent prize obtained at Vision Expo East in New York City, an international prize, in a market where we were just entering is also a major achievement.”
Interior design work by Nathalie Blanc, who has many artistic interests beyond eyewear design including reading. Asked to name a book that has had an influence on her recently, Blanc cited Minuit dans la ville des songes (Midnight in the City of Dreams) by René Fregni, which invites the reader to take the train to discover life, words and books.
Made in France
A French-born designer, Blanc’s love for Paris is evident in her personal style as well as in her focus on elegance and “effortless chic” in eyewear. The optical frames and sunglasses are often named after her friends, and are characterised by shapes and colours with a luxury finish, highlighted in materials which include Mazzucchelli.
Nathalie Blanc eyewear is made exclusively in France: “I’m lucky enough to have grown up in the country which is the birthplace of the most beautiful eyewear, so it was a natural choice to work with the French factories that are the most inspiring to me….”.
Maison Nathalie Blanc released their second collection in the COLORSTALGIA concept in 2023, where icons of the 1960 and 1970s are explored and re-expressed. Blanc says it was a chance to dive into memories and make shapes and colours “dance”. Large shapes, bold curves and unexpected collage effects characterise the range which is playful, feminine and very classic yet bold, in line with the current trends.