Luxury has never been about shortcuts, about fast and easy pay-offs, or burning the bridges of the past for the skyscrapers of the future. True luxury is about the utterly respectful understanding and incorporating of history; its about creating goods with a studious attention to craft; its about believing and investing in artisanal processes and developing products—and stories—that last.
The Jacques Marie Mage story is rooted in next-generation production techniques that are deeply informed by our dedication to heritage and craftsmanship. Our eyewear combines historical motifs with a modern sensibility, and does so by introducing rare features and a wide range of subtleties, incorporating decorative components that celebrate our strong and unique identity, such as precious materials (mineral glass, sterling silver, 18k gold) and other custom details (think concealed hinges, Native American-inspired arrowheads, and star- shaped rivets).
At the core of this process is the handmade production of our ultra-premium cellulose acetate frames. Cellulose acetate is a renewable, non-petroleum, plant-based hypoallergenic plastic that originates from wood pulp and natural cotton fibers. All Jacques Marie Mage acetate is produced by Takiron, a Japanese factory that has been around for nearly a century.
Appealing to the highest standards of craftsmanship and ethical responsibility, the Takiron factory is steeped in a rich manufacturing heritage drawn from the golden age of eyewear production, beginning first as producers of celluloid (an early material used to produce eyewear) before switching in the 1950s to the production of the highest quality cellulose acetate.
The process of manipulating and customizing the acetate is arduous and complex, as J.M.M. is the only active manufacturer utilizing 10-mm-thick acetate sheets. Using state of the art machinery, our frame fronts and stems are cut from acetate blocks that are extruded as a sheet.
Production of these sheets requires two months for the extrusion of the material and four months of drying time. Original color combinations are then created through the unique process of layering several blocks together, otherwise known as lamination, a process that by itself can take over eight weeks.
The acetate frame fronts and temples then go through a rigorous three-part tumbling process, in which the frame parts are prepped for polishing by being tumbled in large barrels containing wood chips. Each step takes approximately 36 hours, beginning with a rough tumble at high speeds for initial conditioning of the acetate, followed by a second tumble at a slightly lower barrel speed.
The wood chips used for tumbling are small custom bamboo chips of various sizes and shapes, eventually giving the rough acetate a soft, tactile and shiny finish, and preparing a smooth surface for a final hand-polishing. The hand-polished process uses techniques that take decades to master, and require as many as 10 additional steps to give the J.M.M. frames their signature brilliance.
The resulting products are intricately crafted frames of artistic and technical excellence that appeal to the highest standards of craftsmanship and ethical responsibility. Achieving a holistic balance of form and function, this is how Jacques Marie Mage honors the long history of eyewear manufacturing — through the innate beauty of our eyewear's materials and the laudable skills of its artisans.
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