interview by JANA LETONJA

Oliver Peoples and Roger Federer are teaming up for the release of their first eyewear collection, which will be revealed on 14th March. The four-collection partnership under the Roger Federer and Oliver Peoples brands begins with six new styles, including four sunglasses and two shield frames. 

Founded in 1987, Oliver Peoples’ frames were inspired by an estate collection of vintage American made eyewear purchased by the founders of the brand in the late 80s and this vintage aesthetic, along with the unique culture of Los Angeles – elements of fashion, film, art, music, and the Southern California lifestyle, remain at the core of the brand’s DNA and serve as inspiration for designs with global appeal. 

Roger Federer is one of the most beloved and decorated tennis players in the history of the sport. He holds the men’s record for most Wimbledon titles with 8 and has won 20 Grand Slam titles in his illustrious career. The Roger Federer Foundation has created educational opportunities for over 2.5 million children in Africa and his home country of Switzerland over the past 20 years.

How did your story with Oliver Peoples begin, and how was the collaboration for your first eyewear collection born?
It’s been over twenty years since I purchased my first Oliver Peoples frame and I feel this is a very special full-circle moment to come together for a collaboration with such a storied and elegant brand. I wanted to work with Oliver Peoples because I appreciate the integrity of their product and it felt very natural to expand my RF brand with them. There was also a strong alignment on what we wanted performance eyewear brand to be, something very functional, yet also a luxury piece. 

How important were the little details for you when designing the collection? Which detail is your personal favorite?
I’m a big fan of details and we focused very closely on making every angle and function of the frame special, whether it’s the lightweight design, high optical quality lenses and dedicated details, including a custom corewire and temple tips inspired by a tennis racquet and the usage of number 8, aligning with the amount of career wins I had at Wimbledon. 

If I had to choose one, my personal favorite is the custom corewire pattern inspired by vintage tennis racquets. It’s a special, subtle reference to my sport.

Every pair from the collection is designed for comfort and ease. Tell us more about how you achieved that each pair fits consistently throughout the performance, whether uphill biking or being in the midst of a tennis match?
Fit was a big focus for me when working with the development team. I wanted to make sure our sunglasses especially did not slide on the face in any activity, whether sport or everyday life. The end result is rubber grip details on the nosepads and temple tips that help prevent sliding. The lightweight design also helps the frame balance on the face.

The collection has a lot of exclusive details that honor you and your legacy. How did you decide on including particularly number 8, the custom corewire pattern and the octagonal RF metal logo piece?
These elements are such nice hidden details in each frame. The number 8, like previously mentioned, is a reference to my career titles at Wimbledon, as well as my birthday, which is 8.8.81. The custom corewire pattern and octagonal temple tips are a subtle reference to tennis, with the corewire inspired by vintage strings and the temple tips being octagonal like the shape of a tennis racquet end piece.

One of the most recognizable pieces of the collection is the Mr. Federer frame. What makes it so recognizable and how did you come up with the name?
The shape of Mr. Federer is inspired by the Oliver Peoples sunglass that I wore to the Met Gala. I’ve always been a fan of that timeless square lens shape, but for our collaboration, I wanted to incorporate this look in a sportier way. This resulted with a timeless, sophisticated style, yet still having all the same performance details as the other frames in the collection, including the high optical quality lenses, rubber grip features and custom details.