VALLEY BLACK RAIN MMXVIII
Valley Eyewear is renowned not only for their premium, edgy and affordable frames, but also their creative innovation. Mad genius behind the label Micheal Crawley gives us an exclusive insight into what is going through his mind when he is designing for a collection. He gets real and raw with us about what makes him tick, what inspires him, and how he forms the collections.
Read on for the BTS of Valley's latest collection, BLACK RAIN MMXVIII
How do I start to build a new collection?
That’s a weird one to put together of how it really comes together. This year it came together quite easy really and in a short space of time which sometimes can be an issue but when it comes to you, I guess it's better to keep the ball rolling. I really looked back at what we had produced in the past and I wanted of course to make sure that the collection had evolved, and I wanted to introduce materials and looks that people hadn’t seen from us before.
I had also changed what frames I was wearing. I'd never been a fan of rolling metal frames and loved big oversized acetate frames and I kind of swore that VALLEY wouldn’t be a brand that would be known for metals. I guess at that point in my own personal venture I wasn’t stoked on metal frames I'd seen or hadn’t even explored the option of going down that road, which made it a good challenge to do it within a VALLEY realm like no other brand had done before.
I always like to hear people tell us that they can pick my designs from afar before they even see any kind of branding on them, so that's exactly the same effect I wanted to continue with the metals and acetate and metal combo’s in the BLACK RAIN COLLECTION.
I wanted it to be unique.
I showed Marilyn Manson the first prototypes I got back of the CHATEAU frame and he called it "TRANSYLVANIA" comparing its titanium bridge to some vampire fangs tied into SPIKEY arms as he called it haha and complimented its original look. So that was good as a sounding board for the first prototype.
I also speak to my team in the office about collections - what they think and what they would like to see. Blake our sales weapon is a young wild man so I asked him what he’d like to see from us and passed him a drawing of a frame he had previously worn and told him to draw his ideal frame. So he did and then we added some touches to it; face angles and some metal detailing and we named it the BRAKE. One of our Asian stores calls up asking for him on the phone and says "HERRO BRAKE" in his classic Asian accent so the frame became the BRAKE.
It was killer to let him put Blake's spin on a frame and have the team contribute. Tenielle has also done some frames at home, she will draw on sketches I’ve done and do frame son her own she’s previously done the SPLEEN and ADCC2. It's a team effort around here haha.
I was going to base the range around certain architecture and I kind of referenced the Temples and the top face lines on the ANVIL frame off German war bunker lines sitting along the Atlantic Wall in Europe. They are just such strong looking structures and I’m completely obsessed with them.
When I’m designing new ranges, I just try to have a lot of art around me. I think I may potentially have the world largest Jessie Drawler art collection! My office is covered in Jesse art, concrete tables, chairs and leather seats. I have all kinds of music on rotation from Radiohead, Slayer, David Lynch, Dirty Beaches, At The Drive In, Marilyn Manson, Chelsea Wolfe, the Black Angels, and even some Mozart and Bach depending on what's happening.
I guess that kind of freedom and ability to do whatever contributed to what I believe is our best stuff yet. I hope people feel the same.
When I’m designing a range I’m thinking just as much about the direction of the campaign and the meaning behind it. I wanted BLACK RAIN to blow people away like some kind of forward pushing that knocks you off your feet and I guess that’s whats left after an atomic bomb has destroyed an entire civilisation. The calmness and aftermath is then BLACK RAIN. The text artwork was done by my good buddy Casper at ATTAK in The Netherlands. I had THE BLACKmath do some face artwork on an image we shot of one of our models in the new ADCC III titanium frame.