The inspiration behind Blake Kuwahara

Henry Ford once wisely said, “Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement.” And Blake Kuwahara Eyewear is a consequence of one such mistake.

In a world full of designer eyewear, Blake Kuwahara, founder of Blake Kuwahara Eyewear, struggled to find an eyewear brand that matched his sense of design aesthetic and minimalist fashion. When many struggled to find a suitable eyewear, he designed one for himself. Driven by his design aesthetics a prototype came to life. And the very prototype was a start to something brilliant as Blake Kuwahara eyewear- artful yet, practical.


Kuwahara, a celebrity favorite designer first gained international acclaim as the creator and designer of exclusive KATA eyewear brand. Known for his bold experimentation and innovation, Brilliant Magazine named him one of the 100 most important people in the eyewear industry today. Also a holder of a doctorate in optometry from UC Berkeley, his groundbreaking use of production and technique sets aside Kuwahara Glasses from others. After the Eyewear Brand launch in Fall 2014, the Blake Kuwahara Eyewear have strived to discover the perfection in imperfection.

Blake Kuwahara’s keen sense of design aesthetic, balance and proportion is what Kuwahara eyewear reflects. When the market was being eroded with glasses that were either too trendy or too classic, Kuwahara found inspiration to blend two different aesthetics and created a masterpiece.

In search of combining two aesthetic with a classical and artful approach in design, Blake Kuwahara found his inspiration in an antique wooden stool display that was encased in a clear Lucite block. This piece of art became a foundation for numerous collections by Kuwahara as it perfectly matched his concept by taking something familiar on the inside but the outside context makes it very different.

Inspiration behind Blake Kuwahara’s Eyewear: An antique wooden stool displayed that was encased in a clear Lucite block .

Inspiration behind Blake Kuwahara’s Eyewear: An antique wooden stool displayed that was encased in a clear Lucite block .

The artistic inside is engraved in a practical outside. From far you’ll notice the silhouettes inside the frame and the outside frame will reflect character. But try to take a closer look and you will discover that the closer you get to the shades the more it opens its secret of what lies under the frame.

 The Reason He Calls his collection “slow Cooked”

Blake Kuwahara likes to call his collection as “slow cooked”. Special attention to little details is paid to each pair, the extra edge and curve in the frame create the nuance of texture and dimension. A lot of work goes into the finer details and that is what makes the frame special. As per Kuwahara, a perfect pair of eyewear must not only look good but feel good in hands too.

To achieve that correct texture and get the details of the designs right, each pair of Blake Kuwahara glasses are handcrafted. It takes up to 8-9 months for a pair to reach a shelf at Cobalt International (Cobalt BKK). A total of 87 steps are repeated each time a pair of designer glasses are crafted. A lot of handwork and sculpting is carried out to achieve the required design and texture in the frames.

The Kuwahara glasses is a fine example of what marrying two aesthetics would look like. It blends two different aesthetics to one, creating glasses that appeal to people with appreciation towards nuance sensibility.

 Paying respect to his roots: Embracing Wabi-Sabi Sensibility

True to his roots, Blake Kuwahara infuses Japanese Wabi-Sabi sensibility, an aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The frames are hand drilled to get the texture and the detail. The front of the frame is hand scratched to create the highs and lows as well as to highlight the dimension.

The frames incorporating two different aesthetics bring something artful, yet classic in a frame for the designer eyewear lovers. The Wabi-Sabi sensibility is characterized as simple, imperfect, asymmetric and modest. An understated elegance is reflected in Blake Kuwahara eyewear that can rarely be seen in designer eyewear elsewhere in Bangkok. Each pair is unique and the imperfection brings out the unique character. The frames are specially hand carved to give it the texture that feels right when you hold the glasses in your hands. Infusing Wabi-Sabi to frames brings out an imperfection in the frames that show character and beauty is the object.

Blake Kuwahara demonstrating one of his frames with nuance identity.

Blake Kuwahara demonstrating one of his frames with nuance identity.


The inspiration behind the brand’s design comes from a lot of things. Kuwahara gets attracted to things with a sense of character and soul to them. That is the reason why each pair of shades by Blake Kuwahara has its own personality and exclusivity. Surface writes, ”It’s evident in his artful frames that Blake Kuwahara approaches creating eyewear as a meticulous discipline of design.

His brand’s handmade styles evade that status quo with their experimental and nuanced identity.” For instance Chambers, one of Kuwahara’s initial design that he crafted for himself and also his most favorite of all the designs. The Chambers was not supposed to go on the shelf as Blake thought it was too simple, but designer glasses enthusiast around the world loved it and made it one of the most sold frames from Blake Kuwahara selection. The inside crystal silhouette is encased in an outside black frame.

The blend of these two different frames is so real that one will not be able to differentiate it in a glance. Surface also stated,” Through a laborious, handmade process, the seamless fusion of two separate frames and the juxtaposition of contrasting form and color create a design tension that is thoroughly modern yet comfortably familiar.”


Blake Kuwahara’s refined sense of design aesthetics, knowledge of proportion and balance is reflected in his designs. The Blake Kuwahara eyewear available at Cobalt International (Cobalt BKK) holds authenticity in its frames. The authenticity in frames is captured by Kuwahara by infusing Wabi-Sabi sensibility. Though initiated as a mistake, these limited pairs of designer eyewear are handcrafted taking months for a frame to complete today.

The Blake Kuwahara eyewear is inspired by Kuwahara’s attraction to things with a sense of character and soul. But as artful these glasses are they are comfortable and practical to wear. His aesthetic sensibility to objects and a sense of balance and proportion makes Blake Kuwahara Eyewear what it is today. These look good, feel good, top celebrity picks, Blake Kuwahara glasses are available through Cobalt International, Bangkok.


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