British Craftsmanship in Partnership
An innovative British design company - a high-end producer of handmade sunglasses - has caught our eye. Finlay & Co. is renowned for its stylish wooden-framed eyewear. Each pair they produce is unique, with its own grain and its own character. They enjoy a serious celebrity and fashion following and we wondered, might they be able to produce sunglasses from Glenmorangie malt whisky casks, casks only used twice to age our flagship expression, Glenmorangie Original?
It turns out they can. The four friends behind the London-based brand – all design-orientated, creative and committed to excellence – have Scottish roots. They have an affinity with wood and an affection for whisky and the limited edition range they have created for us goes by the name, Glenmorangie Originals. Each is individually numbered and can be personally engraved.
The wood is the slow-growth American white oak which has been used to age our whisky. Following long years spent in the traditional warehouse at our distillery on the shores of the Dornoch Firth, Finlay & Co. has transformed the wood into something ready for a bright new life in the sun…
A subtle hint of whisky remains in the wood, a delicate aroma at most. It’s not something you notice when you wear the sunglasses. But leave them in their case for a while and there’s a note of Glenmorangie’s distinctive and delicious house style when you open up, a reminder of the remarkable journey they’ve undertaken, a journey made possible by the creative collaboration of two pioneering brands. Glenmorangie’s renown has increased steadily since its beginnings in 1843 and Finlay & Co. is building its own status with its frames sported by models and stars, from Cara Delevingne and David Gandy to Rihanna, its presence firmly established at New York, London and Paris fashion weeks.
Bill Lumsden, our whisky creator, loves to think of his wooden casks being reinvented and making their way in the world!
“At Glenmorangie we dedicate much time, care and respect to wood. And our casks, in making Glenmorangie Original, are only ever used twice. So we’re delighted to see a British company, specifically one which thinks the same way we do, create these memorable sunglasses from them and give them, literally, a new lease of life.”
David Lochhead, the Managing Director of Finlay & Co., says both brands have a profound connection with wood and a shared ethos, always going to great, often unseen, lengths, to create the finest products possible.
“We aim to delight our customers and could only work in partnership with others who set similarly high standards. Our sunglasses are often the most noticed accessory somebody will wear, the item that draws the most compliments. And Glenmorangie is a whisky that also stands apart. The partnership made much sense to us. At the same time it was exciting because, despite the similarities, it’s not exactly something anyone was expecting. With Glenmorangie Originals we’ve crafted the wood down to reveal the true nature of the grain. It's been a chance for us to give each cask a new chapter in its story.”
A cask, it turns out, produces between 50 and 60 pairs of glasses. Finlay & Co. follows a careful 16-step process which sees them create frames which mix strength, lightness and inimitable style. Like the 16 Men of Tain, the highly-skilled craftsmen at our distillery whose experience and expertise have always ensured that Glenmorangie is Unnecessarily Well Made, the artisans at Finlay & Co. have called upon considerable skills in producing these handmade sunglasses.
They cost £300.00 and are available online at finlayandco.com