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Interview with 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR Designer, PAZO HO


Pazo Ho(Left), the designer of brand 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR and the assistant, Randy(Right) in 22 Optical Showroom

Above: Pazo Ho(Left), the designer of brand 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR and the assistant, Randy(Right) in 22 Optical Showroom


EYEWEAR CULTURE interviewed Mr. Pazo Ho, the designer of the eyewear brand 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR, established in Hong Kong in 2019. The eyewear frames are designed and made in Hong Kong. The interview will explore Mr. Pazo Ho’s passion for eyewear and eyewear design, along with the crucial concept of the brand that is sustainability. Additionally, the interview will introduce Mr. Pazo Ho’s perspective on Japanese culture.

 

Thank you for allowing us to visit your showroom and see frames from brand 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR in Hong Kong. Could you kindly share your background leading up to the establishment of brand 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR and the opening of your optical store, 22 Optical Showroom?


Thank you very much for your visit and the interview. My Name is Pazo Ho from Hong Kong, I have been working in the eyewear industry for over 33 years since 1990, and I am also a registered Optometrist in Hong Kong. I founded the Optical Store called 'Visual Culture Optical' in Hong Kong in 2008 and is also the distributor of different handmade eyewear brands around the world back then.


After I left 'Visual Culture Optical', I created my own eyewear brand in the end of 2019. As Hong Kong is located between 22°08' and 22°35' North Latitude, that’s why I named my brand 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR, and they are all handmade in Hong Kong, so the brand is also representing Hong Kong.

22 Optical Showroom opened in August 2021. The concept of the store is mainly as the showroom of 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR to present all the collections.


We had the opportunity to visit your workshop on the second floor of 22 Optical Showroom and we felt it was filled with energy and creativity. There are not many brands that handcraft optical frames in Hong Kong. What led you to produce all your frames by hand in your Hong Kong workshop?


In terms of population ratio, Hong Kong has the largest number of people wearing glasses in the world. However, most of the glasses worn by Hong Kong people are foreign brands, so I want to produce my own handmade eyewear brand that can represent Hong Kong and made in Hong Kong.


"Sustainability" is an essential concept for your brand. Could you introduce us to some of your models and their features?


Yes, sustainable is our brand's first priority. There are few series of my brand, for example, the F series, F stands for "Floating", all styles in this series can float on water. The material I used for this series is mainly EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) and Titanium.


And for the T series, they are shaped only by hand twist and tweak with one single titanium wire, which requires quite a technique and skill to finish. I also anodized the titanium for different colors.


Above: Model F3 from F Series, using EVA and titanium for the materials


Above: Model T1 from T Series, crafted by twisting and shaping single titanium wire


Are there specific reasons why your brand is focused on sustainability?


Sustainable is the future! I advocate nature and casual aesthetics, respect the craftsmanship, therefore all my products are made by hand and eventually everything is combined into nature, So when I design my brand, I want to create something innovative and sustainable and also be responsible for our environment at the same time.


22 DEGREE EYEWEAR collaborated with Japanese model master Mr. Kow Yokoyama and released three models in October 2023. Could you please tell us how this collaboration came into shape?


As I like Mr. Kow Yokoyama’s Sci-Fi story and his artworks very much for quite a long time, so when I think of my brand’s 4th Anniversary Project, the thought of collaboration with Mr. Kow Yokoyama has appeared. Therefore, I contacted Mr. Kow Yokoyama through some of my friends to make this project happened. It is my honor to work with Mr. Kow Yokoyama and I am very thankful for this opportunity.


The 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR X Kow Yokoyama collaboration features three of my brands best selling styles from the N Series and the eyeglasses in this series are all screws free, electric plating free, nickel free, and welding free. The material is sustainable polymer with titanium. The weight is 40% lighter than acetate.

An illustration for the the new "pollutant" series, the collaboration between 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR and Japanese model master Mr. Kow Yokoyama, as the 4th Anniversary Project of 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR

Above: An illustration for the the new "pollutant" series, the collaboration between 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR and Japanese model master Mr. Kow Yokoyama, as the 4th Anniversary Project of 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR

Model N23style, the collaboration between 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR X Kow Yokoyama

Above: Model N23style, the collaboration between 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR X Kow Yokoyama


How do you gather inspiration and ideas for your designs? Does running the showroom influence your designs in anyways?


As I distributed different handmade eyewear brands in my previous company and as an Optometrist in the eyewear industry for over 33 years, and communicate with different customers on a daily basis, those make my views of eyewear design more three-dimensional and rich. Therefore, it definitely influences my designs in certain ways!


What is your perspective on Japanese culture? Are there any aspects of Japanese culture that you find interesting or are interested in?


I think Japanese culture has its diversity and I admire the rigorous and seriousness of Japanese in doing things.

I am very interested in Japanese Craftsman Culture. In addition to handmade eyewear, I also like the Japanese handmade paper culture and I know that Japan also has handmade paper craftsmen.


If there is any information you could share with us regarding the upcoming events or information about brand 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR or 22 Optical Showroom, please kindly share with us.


For the 22 Optical Showroom, we had just became the "Zeiss Vision Expert", which is one of the four optical stores in Hong Kong. For my brand 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR, I will be launching the new models in Tokyo eyewear show "RAMBLE" in April.


Could you tell us about the new frames that are planned to be presented in Tokyo eyewear show "RAMBLE"?


Yes, the 2024 Spring /Summer Collection is going to be launched during the Tokyo Optical Fair in April 2024. The collection with the optimized Paddle temples are designed based on the sunglass arm designs from the 1950s to 1960s. Added the in-house handmade titanium hidden flex hinges and utilize the traditional Chinese woodworking techniques, such as mortise and tenon joints. The addition of ergonomic 3D contours will also improve the comfortability for the eyewear wearers significantly.

(Left) Handmade titanium flex hinge adopted in the 2024 new collection (Right) New model, model N1P


For the F Series, the new style F18P will be available. This style is made by EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate), titanium and recyclable polymer. All colors are either painted or tie-dyed by hand. Also the frame is so much lighter than most of the normal eyewear. Combined with the above features, it becomes a very unique pair of glasses.

New model, model F18P from F Series

Above: New model, model F18P from F Series


Thank you very much for your valuable time and cooperation, sharing insights from designer Mr. Pazo Ho and the story of the brand 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR, as well as the forthcoming new releases at the spring exhibition.

 

22 DEGREE EYEWEAR Brand details:

Sustainable is our brand's first priority. We advocate Nature and Casual Aesthetics, Respect the craftsmanship, therefore all of our products are made by hand and eventually everything is combined into nature.

22 Degree Eyewear - An Experimental eyewear brand that was born on earth at 22.16-22.38 degree Latitude North (hand made in Hong Kong). The brand is developed, designed and produced in Hong Kong.

‘‘The raw should not be Art’’ is our slogan.


INSTAGRAM: @22degree_eyewear_official

 

Afterword by EYEWEAR CULTURE staff:

When I visited Hong Kong for the first time after six years, I had been looking forward to visiting the showroom of brand 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR. I have met the designer Mr. Pazo Ho and the brand 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR at the optical fair "RAMBLE" in Tokyo in spring 2023. Despite various circumstances, I was fortunate enough to be able to make a visit to the showroom. It was a busy time for Mr. Pazo Ho, as he was about to depart for an optical fair in China. I would like to express my gratitude for the precious experience to visit 22 Optical Showroom and also see the workshop, where all 22 DEGREE EYEWEAR frames are handmade. Thank you very much for the chance to conduct this interview.


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