Maison Bourgeat has existed since 1879, and Guillaume Clerc is the master behind this wonderful bespoke house of fine frames and eyeglasses; classic, eccentric and retro. Guillaume is a couturier of glasses, where the frame is handmade in his atelier, with the help of Yann, an artisan working with Maison Bourgeat. Each pair of frames are drawn on paper, then the subsequent process is one of detail; in its design and the caliber of the frame; ivory, antelope, tortoiseshell… Guillaume, the couturier, answers a few of our questions.
You acquired Maison Bourgeat a year and half ago. Has it become a part of your identity?
Absolutely, the company has a nice and familiar back story as it was founded in 1879 in Morez and I came from this region, which is part of my identity.
What was it about Maison Bourgeat that caught your attention?
Definitely the story of the brand, its values and the incredible range of materials I discovered such as cellulose acetate, antelope, tortoiseshell and mammoth. The choice of materials are endless : over 200 models coming from the Morez workshop’s archives. I was completely astonished to enter this amazing traditional universe.
What was your childhood like? How did you become a craftsmen of “lunettes”?
When I was a child I wanted to become a scientist and to have experiences in order to develop new objects. It is quite the same today, I became like a scientific craftsmen of glasses, creating a new vision of luxury, developing new designs.
Maison Bourgeat is about traditions. Do you occasionally allow yourself to move away from traditions?
Yes Maison Bourgeat works in the purest tradition but I like to express my creativity by developing new shapes, sometimes classic, oval, fifties or seventies, sometimes eccentric, square, all mixing with different colors, materials, precious tones and even gold.
Do you remember the first pair of glasses you ever designed?
The very first glasses I designed was destined for a wonderful woman of modest origins, she was 90 years old.
Your greatest passion?
Music, I used to play the organ