Juan José Blanco is the creative force behind CitriqueHeart Eyewear. Born in Cordoba, he is revolutionizing the world of optics with his daring designs and the quality of the materials that he uses and his glasses have become objects of desire thanks to trendsetters from different areas that have fallen in love with them. So Catchy! Where Fashion Begins spoke with him about the new collection that is set to be released in March 2015 and this is what he told us.
So Catchy!: You recently relocated from Cordoba to Barcelona, how has the move affected you and your work?
Citrique: It’s been inspirational in every sense of the word. The city is multicultural and full of feelings, art, young people into different things. I find myself wanting to know more and more about Barcelona and to meet people who are interested in the same things I am. It’s the kind of city where things happen and you don’t know why or how.
SC!: Your glasses have been around the world in a short period of time thanks to the celebrities, artists, models and football players who’ve fallen in love with them. How did you get them interested in your work? Was there a targeted marketing campaign that you organized or was it by coincidence?
C: I’ve been lucky. Citrique has been worn by people like Paris Hilton and Snoop Dogg and models like Stephen James or Clement Chabernaud as well as football players, like my good friend Dani Alves. Also, the designers, Brain & Beast have used Citrique glasses on the catwalk. There are a number of reasons for how they got there, from the viral impact of the ‘Rosalinda’ glasses to being in the right place at the right time. I was able to show what I can do and there was, of course, my favorite element, luck. I’ve found that the more I work, the more luck I have.
SC!: Since your glasses are becoming well-known, are you selling internationally? Where are you seeing more demand?
C: My glasses are available on the Internet all over the world. The best part of it is that people who are buying them are influential in their own countries, they’re references for fashion. I’ve got customers in the USA, Brazil, Dubai, Israel and Japan although the majority are here in Europe.
SC!: The “Rosalinda” glasses, were a definite turning point for you. Tell us about these peculiar glasses.
C: Rosalinda came about on one of those melancholic, rainy days when I was driving in the Sierra of Cordoba. After my trip, I lay down and closed my eyes and the shape and form began to appear in my mind. So, I got up and started to draw the first sketches.
SC!: We know that you’re working on your new collection now, is there anything that you can tell us about it?
C: The collection is inspired by architecture. I feel very close to the field and so I did a study for the collection on the greats of Japanese architecture, like Yosio Taniguchi, Arata Isozaki and the minimalist, Fumihiko Maki. The 4 pairs are made from acetate with a rough finish and hints of gold-plated metal, which is characteristic of my style. AS for the iconic Citrique glasses, Rosalinda and Sofaifo, there will be a special pure diamond encrusted edition with S1 quality diamonds and they’ll be exclusive pieces..
SC!: Where and when are you going to present the new collection?
C: I’d like to present them in the fashion city par excellence, Milan, at the MIDO Eyewear Show in March.
SC!: Can you tell us more about the creative process behind the 2015 collection? Where did you find your inspiration?
C: I don’t really know where my creative process begins nor where it ends. I’ve got a restless mind and am always searching for the artistic side of everything.
SC!: Have there been any changes in the production process in regards to previous collections?
C: Yes there has. I want to improve the manufacturing process in Italy as well as, if possible, the acetate, and change the color of the lenses. I want to introduce more elegant colors to the lenses, not use mirrored ones; I don’t like that trend.
SC!: We’ve got some friends in common like the designer Vanessa Murrell alias ‘Psycosmic Princess’, who was a great influence on your work. What can you tell us about her?
C: Well, what I can say about Vanessa is what I would say about myself. We are kindred spirits, creatively and personally, although she is much sweeter than I am. We both share a passion for the world of fashion and I though that the best gift I could give her was to dedicate one of my designs to her, the Psycosmic model. She has the same sense of curiosity that I do, the same desires and strength to overcome obstacles. She’s like my sister. We’re professional dreamers.
SC!: Are there any young designers who you admire?
SC!: Tell us about the team that will be working with you on this newest collection, the videographers, photographers, models, etc. How and why did you choose to work with them?
C: I don’t look for specific styles, I look for a sense of curiosity with a story to tell and a feeling to transmit. This team is like my family; we’re very close and connected. They’re all very inquisitive people and have a desire to be the best in their respective fields, and they are always positive.
The direction is being done by HUMANPRODUCE, with Iker Iturria and Manfre leading the way, the director of photography is Lucas Pintos and the models are Yulffi Reservado, Carlos López, Lindsay LoveJoy and Olis DoCarlo. The song for the spot is a “Madbek vs Citrique” exlcusive with Linzi Lu and Badman – Opium vs CitriqueHeart.
SC!: Where do you see yourself in the near future, or where would you like to be?
C: Well, soon enough I’ll be in Tokyo, getting to know more about Japanese culture and then I’m off to the USA to design some new projects, I can’t wait.
SC!: Are there any websites or blogs that you follow or inspire you?
C: Above all, I follow architecture websites but inspiration can come at any time or place. I’m inspired by feelings and everyday things and I like to go to the library a lot to look for anything related to design. I can’t stop studying.
SC!: And finally, what is your unattainable dream, at least for now?
C: To become an international icon in the world of fashion design, and more specifically in the field of eyewear.
More on CitriqueHeart:
All images courtesy of Citriqueheart
Translation and Layout by Michael Padilla