Now Playing

Vision Zest

As they strategize to grow their eyewear brand around the world, Christian Roth and Eric Domège continue to let Miami into their hearts.
 

Eyewear designers Christian Roth (left) and Eric Domège (right) with their muse and good friend Erin Newberg (center) at their Miami Beach residence

Christian Roth and Eric Domège, the partners behind the Christian Roth eyewear brand, have shared a passion for glasses since they were teens, when Roth was in Germany and Domège in France. Together they’ve been crafting said passion into works of art for the face for the last 30 years. “It’s a fascinating product—it’s for protection; it can disguise; it can make you look fabulous and feel secure,” says Roth. “Eyewear just makes people happy.”

From the early days, they made the style mavens happy as well, and, in 1990, the two became the first eyewear designers to ever be inducted into the CFDA.

Both given to warm climes, Roth and Domège live in South Beach part-time, and they share a place in Monte Carlo. “Miami was not love at first sight,” Roth concedes. “We lived in New York and came here for weekends.” But the pair started visiting Florida more frequently some years ago, and eventually set roots in a home on the Venetian Islands in 2009. “Each year we feel more in touch with the city,” Roth—by a mile the more voluble of the two—enthuses. “Europe is at a standstill and Miami has so much energy. It’s beating out every other place in the world.”

This year finds the CR brand in a strategy evolution with Roth and Domège avidly growing their e-commerce business (started in 2013) and developing new collections. But even as it becomes more accessible in the digital realm, Christian Roth is getting leaner, less diluted and more exclusive in the brick-and-mortar world. “We used to have a really wide distribution, but we decided that wasn’t the way to satisfy the demands of the luxury eyewear consumer,” explains Roth. “Now we’re planning stores in most fashion capitals in the world.” But there’s a caveat: No more than one Christian Roth showroom in each of those cities. Wherever their storefronts end up, style and seductiveness will likely follow.

“It used to be said that ‘Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses,’” says Roth. “Now it’s the opposite.” That the two did more than their fair share to make that happen is left unsaid.

Roth’s and Domège’s Hots: Claude Chabrol movies, The September Issue, Tahiti, the Park Hyatt Paris, Helmut Lang, any season in New York

Roth’s and Domège’s Nots: Unreliable men, unkempt women, junk food, pretentious people, winter in Northern Europe