Roland Keplinger has been Head of Design at Silhouette since 2012, working on all the collections produced under the brand in that time. He constantly feeds his creativity by exploring the worlds of art and design, so he can bring new ideas to the table. What is it that inspires him most?
1. Inspiring architect
Whether it’s a skyscraper or a pair of sunglasses, the basic elements of modern design still apply, that is, creating the impression of airiness and space through a simple, fluid structure. It’s no wonder, then, that Roland is inspired by the engineering prowess and elegant style of modern architecture. In particular, the work of architect Santiago Calatrava, who’s famed for the distinctive lightness of his designs and how he draws on the visual language of nature.
“If you look at a design like Calatrava’s Alamillo Bridge in Seville, you wonder how the intricate minimalist structure can carry the load,” says Roland. “We take a similar design approach at Silhouette: minimalistic use of materials, maximum stability, and fluid contours.” These three aspects seamlessly unite in Roland’s favorite model: Accent Shades 8177.
2. Inspiring artist
Roland is inspired by two photographers in particular: Helmut Newton and Andreas Bitesnich, who both focus on black and white photography with human subjects. “I prefer taking black and white photographs myself,” explains Roland. “Bitesnich created an entirely new form of nude photography, and his travel books are also very impressive.”
3. Inspiring travel destination
Even though he’s only been there once, Vancouver instantly became the designer’s favorite destination for the art, design, sushi places and incredible nature. “Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to really explore,” says Roland. “But I immediately picked up on the vibe and the laid-back attitude. I’d love to get back to that city sometime soon.”
4. Inspiring design
Camera brand Leica has a legendary history, and the simple design elements of the Leica Q-P model make it Roland’s favorite design of all time. “I love how it’s reduced purely to the essential,” he explains. “It combines perfect proportions and sophisticated ergonomics with a simple operating design.”
5. Inspiring happy place
When he is not busy being creative, there’s one place the designer always heads to recharge, and it’s in his own back yard. “On warm summer evenings or weekends, I love to lie around at home in my hammock and stare into the blue sky,” says Roland. “Sometimes my two kids join me and we rock back and forth, not a care in the world.”
Final question: favorite Silhouette?
While Roland has overseen all of Silhouette’s varied designs, the new edition Accent Shades are his current favorite. The original collection feature lenses inspired by the shape of the Peruvian giant blue morpho butterfly, and the latest designs build on this with intricate cutouts.
“What makes these Accent Shades so special is they take texture to a new level,” Roland explains. “The new cutouts give the shape even greater lightness and evoke intricate structural elements seen in minimalistic architectural design.”
Model Accent Shades 8177 in particular pairs dark polarized lenses and cutouts with flashes of gold on the bridge and temples. “It’s the perfect interplay of shadows and light,” adds Roland.