When Reed Space proprietor, Jeff Staple, turned to us last evening and asked, “Do you think we’ve brought the essence of what Oakley is about to Reed Space tonight?” We were at a lost. Then again, knowing the perfectionists Jeff and Team Oakley are, we shouldn’t have.
A part of Foothill Ranch, Oakley‘s headquarter, landed in Lower East Side last night as Jeff Staple, Staple Design, and members of Oakley opened the door to The History of Oakley by Staple Design. Celebrating the iconic eyewear company’s 35th anniversary, Staple Design curated a visual storyboard of how it all started, its past accomplishments and future undertaking. Through the generosity of Oakley, archival products were shipped from its museum in California to New York. Some of the earliest known products, the Eyeshield, M-Frame, to Frogskins, and prototype samples were on display. A treasure trove of original design renderings, inspirational sketches, either by hand or by CAD dotted across the wall of Reed Space. Then there were the memorable printed advertisements, a standard 2-page wide of laconic statement in bold lettering of either black lettering on white backdrop or vice versa. Severe, humorous, with a bit paranoia mixed in, the ads were laced with terminology of Oakley’s own (i.e. What is Iridium process?) or new definitions of pre-existing terms (i.e. Instead of calling it “Sun Protection”, Oakley calls it “Thermonuclear Protection”)
Last but not least, the centerpiece of the exhibit, the new Staple Design x Oakley Collection, 6 models that not only cited key junctures within Oakley 35 years. Each is also a reference point to the most copied yet least known creation by Oakley: its athletes sponsorship program, one that set the current standards in sports marketing. (i.e. Oakley foot the bill to Lance Armstrong’s cancer treatment)
So to return to Jeff Staple’s question earlier. The answer is a resounding yes, you and Team Oakley brought the essence of what is about to Reed Space, and perhaps even more… Portion of The History of Oakley by Staple Design will be is on view now. Meanwhile, the first 2 eyewear tennis inspired Oakley Eyeshield and golf inspired Oakley Radar, are both available at Reed Space.
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