MODERN SPECTACLE MAKER CUBITTS ANNOUNCE THE OPENING OF THEIR
FIRST STORE BEYOND LONDON, CUBITTS BRIGHTON
CUBITTS is bucking the retail shutdown and announcing the arrival of their first store outside of London, Cubitts Brighton.
Located within the bohemian environs of the North Laine, on the corner of Sydney Street and Gloucester Road, Cubitts Brighton is a homage to Brighton in all its Great British seaside glory.
Founder Tom Broughton said, “This feels like somewhat of a spiritual homecoming for us. We are named after the Cubitt brothers, and one of the three, Thomas Cubitt, was involved in the building of Brighton’s Kemptown area, and lived here for a while too.”
The store’s interior is inspired by a mix of bucket-and-spade nostalgia, mid-century geometry, and the kind of bold typography that filled Brighton’s busy streets and beachfront in the not-so-distant past. The design, created in collaboration with Child Studio, includes Art Deco influences that reflect the city’s architecture, with a material palette that includes sleek chrome, pale pine, and sustainable recycled plastic surfaces from Smile Plastics.
A Modernist colour palette of soft, muted blues and warm wood tones ties the store into Cubitts’ new coastal home. Inside the store green foliage, sleek mid-century furniture, and a deep velvet curtain create a plush, welcoming atmosphere. It may be a far cry from the street’s origins as one of the city’s most notorious slums, but the design certainly celebrates the North Laine’s reputation as the centre of independent design and creativity by the seaside.
Cubitts Brighton will be home to The Brighton Collection, an exclusive series of four made-to-measure silhouettes inspired by the area’s rich architectural history, from the domes of the Royal Pavilion to the smooth curves of Saltdean Lido. The Brighton Collection is available in a choice of optical or sun, in one of over three hundred acetate colours and patterns, or ethically-sourced water buffalo horn.
Additionally, the store will offer customers the quintessential Cubitts experience, including eye examinations, repairs, adjustments, and personal shopping service.
Cubitts also continues to expand its sustainable initiatives, including a recent collaboration with celebrated artist and Brighton resident David Shrigley OBE, creating spectacle cleaning cloths using Shrigley’s artwork printed on REPREVE, a material made from recycled plastic bottles. All proceeds from sales of the cloth are being donated to Shrigley’s chosen charity, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.
THE BRIGHTON COLLECTION
The Arundel is named after Arundel Drive, which leads to the Grade II* listed Saltdean Lido. The Art Deco lido lends its curves to Arundel’s simultaneously bug-eyed but upswept shape, punctuated by round-oval lenses that are inspired by 1940s spectacle styles. The statement silhouette is finished with a chunky saddle bridge and blunted cat-eye lugs, in a nod to the confluence of lines and curves in the lido’s architecture.
The Steine is designed to mirror Brighton’s majestic Royal Pavilion, which is bordered by the Old Steine road. Its 1930s-inspired round-eye lens shape is drawn directly from the Pavilion’s floor plan, while its slender temple sides are reminiscent of the building’s taller towers. Finally, the Steine’s acetate is finished in a rounded style, signifying the bulbous domes of the Indo-Saracenic building.
The London to Brighton railway line opened in 1837, and this doorway between our two cities has served as the inspiration for the Trafalgar frame. Named after Trafalgar Street, which runs from Brighton train station to our new home, Sydney Street, Trafalgar is modelled after traditional D-shape ‘railway spectacles’ which were worn to protect the eyes of 19th-century train travellers. Rather than the hinged lenses of a railway spectacle, it features a corresponding D-shaped temple side that tapers into a straight silhouette reminiscent of train tracks.
The Madeira frame takes its name from Madeira Drive, the seafront road that starts at the base of the Grade II* listed Palace Pier, an iconic symbol of Brighton’s seafront. Its octagonal lens shape is inspired by a bird’s eye view of the end of the pier, and its undulating temple side shape is similarly derived from the slender length of the pier seen from the same viewpoint. This Madeira’s saddle bridge adds a touch of softness to the very angular silhouette, with the lens shape repeated in miniature at the end of each spectacle arm.
Cubitts is the modern spectacle maker, founded in King’s Cross, London, in 2013. Inspired by the engineering genius of the Cubitt brothers, Cubitts is driven by the belief that spectacles should be transformative objects – a confluent fusion of design, function, and style. Each frame is made by hand and built to be worn for life, repaired when necessary rather than replaced. By combining cutting-edge technology with traditional craft, Cubitts is modernising the global optical industry in its own quiet way.
Cubitts Brighton opens August 2020 at 1 Sydney Street, Brighton BN1 4EN