Craft / September 2015

Maison Bonnet: Bespoken nostalgia

This passionately personable atelier houses the affable and highly esteemed brothers Franck and Steven Bonnet, one of the last remaining artisans of bespoke eyewear.

Hidden down an obscure passageway on Rue De Champs, lies the world of Maison Bonnet where restricted sight is not an impediment, but an influential opportunity in personal style. Stepping into the slick and modern boutique is likened to reaching Nirvana for spectacle afficianados; frames of any size and model are displayed with surrounding tortoise décor to greet you, walk downstairs into the stone-walled laboratory and you will find Franck Bonnet fervently moulding a pair of frames over a Bunsen burner.

Franck is in fact the fourth generation of Bonnet, maintaining the title of Maitre D'Art prestigiously bestowed upon by the Parisian Minister of Culture. Having been taught a concise 17th century Florentine skill-set from his father Christian and grandfather, Alfred, Maison Bonnet conveys a family-led practise to it's clientele.

'I work with the same tools my grandfather used to use,' says Franck, 'I find it very nostalgic. It reminds me of when I was a boy coming in to the workshop every Wednesday and make little tortoiseshell trinkets for my teacher.'

This well-kept set of skills creates tortoiseshell and horn frames shaped through a heating technique with no glue or metal except for a couple of screws, while this isn't just passed down exclusively to blood relations; craftsman Leo Fromenteil has been here for four years, while two other craftsman work with two other opticians.

'We're considered a working family here,' states Franck. 'We use only the best for our extended family of clients.'

 

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Sufiyeh Hadian

Sybarite: a person who is self-indulgent in their fondness for sensuous luxury. Synonyms: hedonist, sensualist, voluptuary, libertine, pleasure seeker, playboy, epicure, glutton, gourmand, gastronome...