The Brotique Meets the Maker - Finlay and Co.

by Richard Murphy February 18, 2015 4 min read

Finlay & Co have fast become the go-to brand for luxury wooden sunglasses with timeless, style and design. We at The Brotique have been admirers of the brand since first setting eyes back in 2012 when we knew we needed them within our store. Worn by the likes of David Gandy and Jenson Button, Finlay & Co has rapidly reached iconic status as the go to British Eyewear brand, so we thought we would catch up with them before they hit London Fashion Week to reminiss, talk wood and where they plan on going next. 

There's four of you who started the brand, can you tell us triggered the decision to make sunglasses?

It all happened when two of the four founders, Dave Lochhead and Dane Butler, were on holiday in Portugal. At the time, the friends were investigating options for starting their own business and discovered that there wasn’t a British eyewear brand of any note that they liked and wanted to wear. After much research, Dave and Dane realised that they weren't the only ones that felt this way. After looking at various materials and different shapes and enrolling friends Tom Stannard and Sam Lawson Johnston; they started to play with the idea of wooden frames and it was at this point that they felt there was an opportunity for a unique product story and Finlay & Co was born.

All your eyewear has a nod to times gone by, do you design with a particular person or era in mind?

Finlay & Co sunglasses are definitely inspired by British design and heritage, with the Ledbury for example nodding to the classic shape made famous in the 1950’s. Each frame has been named after a particular street of significance to us in London. For example the Carnaby frame is named after the popular shopping destination, Carnaby street, where we had our first pop-up store during summer, 2014.

Our products are also designed for the individual, rather than the masses and that is reflected in the unique nature of each handmade frame. Working with wood for example, each frame is slightly different in it’s grain so no two Finlay & Co frames are the same.


Your eyewear is known for striking wooden frames. How do you source and treat your materials?

Wood is a very difficult material to work with, but it’s so rewarding – there’s a real beauty to it, and the grain makes every piece completely unique. However, because of this, it has been really important to find the right manufacturers in order to source and treat the wood in a way that results in high quality, distinctive frames. We source our materials from sustainable sources only and use a waterproof varnish and anti-allergenic treatment on the frames which both provide our frames with their luxurious, smooth finish.

We love the introduction of metal into your frames shown in the Beaumont and Thurloe frames. What inspired that direction?

The Beaumont and Thurloe frames which bring together hardwood with a gold frame have taken our collection into its next chapter. We always want to challenge expectations and continually design and offer our customers innovative products. We are more that just a wooden sunglasses brand and these frames are just a taster of what’s to come in the future...

The Thurloe

You have started embossing your frames, what made you add a customisation feature?

We decided to offer an engraving option for our sunglasses simply because so many of our customers were asking for it. Unique, quality sunglasses are not just an outfit accessory, but a style statement which many people will wear for years to come.  Engraving something meaningful on your Finlay sunglasses gives you the opportunity to create a totally unique gift for yourself or someone else.

What is the most popular frame and your personal favourite?

The Beaumont Ebony, with it’s combination of dark wood and gold frame is our best selling frame to date and at Finlay & Co HQ, we all have our personal favourites! The Ledbury Ebony with its Gold or Silver lenses is definitely a popular frame in the office.

If you could see Finlay & Co frames on someone dead, living and fictional, who would it be?

Dead: Steve McQueen

Living: Johnny Depp

Fictional: James Bond

David Gandy wearing the Ledbury frame, available at The Brotique 

Your fast becoming the UK's top eyewear brand, what’s next for the company?

For SS15, we’re going to be launching an iconic new range in a material never seen before from Finlay & Co. Those who are familiar with Finlay & Co’s design ethos, in terms of handcrafted quality, can expect to see three new frames, made from the finest Mazzucchelli acetates, which will carry forward the range into a new aesthetic direction.

Is there anything you would like to share with our readers?

2015 is set to be a pinnacle year for Finlay & Co, so expect disruptive designs and new innovations from March onwards!

Shop the full Finlay & Co collection here at The Brotique. 

Is there any other one of our makers you would like to get to know? Sent us a tweet over at @the_brotique and we'll be sure to answer all your questions! 

Richard Murphy
Richard Murphy

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