Today, we will provide you an insight into the recently released Fall/Winter 2015 issue of the German magazine “4SEE Magazin.” The magazine comes with a few high resolution images of will.i.am presenting the latest line of his ill.i Optics collection. We informed you about the magazine a while ago. If you are interested in purchasing the magazine, follow the instructions in our previous post. Nonetheless, we will provide you an English translation of the article and interview down below.
Here, you can have a look at a few images of the article and pictures from within the magazine:
And as promised, here is the English translation. Enjoy!
Creative director Graz Mulcahy is in charge of will.i.am’s cleverly named and latest collection of glasses, ‘ill.i Optics’. He leads the brand with innovations in the handling of materials, as well as the manufacturing process, into new regions; without showing off his deeply routed nostalgia or his encyclopedic knowledge about fashion. Will.i.am, the style icon of the brand, and Mulcahy, share the same views. They both met a few years ago in Australia, where Graz was the lead designer of the well-known label Ksubi. Will.i.am fell in love with his collection of glasses and bought the whole line. In 2014, when will.i.am decided to turn his hobby of collecting glasses into a new business, Graz was his first choice for the product design and development.
Will.i.am’s passion for music and cool retro sunglasses go well together with hip hop and make ill.i an unconventional and rebellious enrichment for the eyeglass market. Graz loves to transform jewels from the past and make them shine in new splendor, while using the latest materials and technologies. He calls it ‘glasses built for eternity’.
The brand combines premium classic materials and techniques, such as cellulose acetate, steel or titan. Graz has collected experience with those materials for the last thirteen years. Nonetheless, he does not hesitate to try some experiments. ill.i is testing their limits, with technologies like 3D printing. The latest collection of ill.i is a collaboration with hip hop legend Slick Rick shows the labels openness. Those collections are evidence for their love of experimentation and team spirit. When Graz was asked, if he ever considered rapping or being part of a music video, he replied, that he just finished courses in film and that he was in charge of the music used in the promotional videos for ill.i.
In addition, ill.i is will.i.am’s latest star in his continuous growing empire of fashion, music, art and technology. We asked will.i.am to deliver us an insight into his exciting life and his passion for music, fashion and futuristic visions.
How would you describe your style?
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Ever since the beginning of my career over 20 years ago, I love to collect experimental glasses. I love the glasses of hip-hop-groups and icons of the 80s, like, when they wore sunglasses as prescription lenses. That and those oversize glasses from graffiti figures is where we get our inspiration from – but we carry them over into our time, we make them fashionable.
You seem to have a big buzz for the past in your music, as well as in fashion – what does that mean to you?
My passion is futurism with portions of retro in it. As far as glasses are concerned, I am looking for vintage frames that I like- I play with them, change them and reinterpret them. We take our time to turn each model into a piece that stands out. We have a look at each detail and ask ourselves over and over again: “Is that unique?”
Which three words describe your own spectacle label ill.i Optics best?
How would you describe your relationship with fashion and music? Do you think there is a connection between the two?
Fashion and music are just like brother and sister. Both are a form of expression. One is based upon sound and the other upon visuals, upon clothing, that you choose.
It seems like you wear a different pair of glasses every time, whether in everyday life or in your videos. How do you choose your glasses?
Most of the time I choose the glasses that suit my hat or my jacket, that I wear at the moment. The ill.i collection gives me a huge variety for that.
Which is your favourite model?
I can’t possibly choose just one. I love the whole collection of ill.i!
Apparently, you are a big fan of glasses. How many do you own? Can we have a look at your collection?
I’ve been obsessed with glasses ever since I’m 13 years old. Back in the days, I always dreamt of glasses that Dwayne Wayans wore in ‘In Living Color’. Since then, I have collected and experimented with glasses – now for 20 years.