0003 The Rotarian - Adrian Nelson

Adrian Nelson is the kindest, nicest person I never want to meet....

...unless he is in his Rotary Club attire!! Adrian's daily is one of sorrow and remembrance putting loved ones to rest, managing a family funeral business his great-great grandfather started Nelson Bros.

Colour match blue by Clockwork  Ψ

Colour match blue by Clockwork Ψ

Adrian’s level headedness is both refreshing and admirable in a world of decreasing sound bites, 144 character tweets, seconds of snapchat and a daily feed of augmented selfies by the billions.

To walk the timeless design and seasonal style trends tight rope, is a duality only a few can successfully negotiate and Adrian is one of those people. The ever increasing focus of advertising campaigns and resulting corporate commonality has made personal style a rare commodity in modern corporate life.  A place where decision by committee can water down inspiration and personality. To meet an individual who confidently executes both individual charm and corporate process, demands our attention. So I began by asking Adrian when did he first discover or really appreciated ‘good design’.

Adrian I’ve spent over 20 years designing as a professional, the final result for an Industrial Designer shows only a tiny percentage of the processes involved. In many cases ‘Good Design’ is taken for granted as “it just works”. How do you embrace Industrial Design into your everyday?
I get excited when I see good design. I remember first seeing the Dyson Airblade hand dryer in a restaurant bathroom in England and thought it was the greatest revolution! But for me the best design is simple. I call it elegant simplicity. There’s no need to over-engineer for the sake of it. In my industry, classic style works best. We are constantly in the public eye, so we need to make sure that everything we do works well on the first time.

At a personal level, I like colour. To have the classic simplicity with a flash of colour or style provides personalisation and individuality. My variety of eyewear (sadly not all Niloca) is probably the most obvious example of this.

Adrian, you’re one of the busiest calmest people I know. Do you find it innate or do you have a secret to balancing work, life and your contributions community.
It’s about priorities, plus not sweating the small stuff. With a growing family, you’ll only get to experience it once, so I don’t want to miss out. I’m fortunate in that my work enables to engage with the community, so my community work is really an extension of my working life.
Also, technology helps. I’m busiest on the phone in the car en route to picking the boys up from tennis lessons or cricket practice. It means I get my work done, make the decisions that need to be made, then can spend the last 15 minutes of the training watching balls being whacked around.


The circle of life is a time of reflection, reconciliation and mourning. How have you seen various generations change the way in which they remember a loved one?
As Nelson Bros Funeral Services is one of Australia’s 10 oldest family businesses, our family has been doing what we do for a long time. We often say that the one constant we have seen over the last nearly 160 years is change. Every family that come to use our services we treat individually. There is no “cookie cutter” approach.

State Funeral for Former Governor-General Sir Zelman Cowen.

State Funeral for Former Governor-General Sir Zelman Cowen.

Funerals have historically evolved from practical considerations. There are more cremations in Hong Kong than burials, for example, because land is so expensive. Jewish and Islamic funerals share similarities because they came out of countries with a hot climate and therefore became accustomed to burying the deceased quickly.

As Australian families become less involved with organised religion, there is more uncertainty about what to do at the time of death. The rituals that religion provides have evolved over centuries to assist those left behind to cope with grief. We find that we are now working with families to create new rituals that provide those similar benefits.

Rituals are important.

There’s a trend towards “celebrating” the life, in part because of some aggressive marketing by some funeral directors. I instead prefer to look at it as “honouring” the life. It’s OK to cry, to be sad, to miss the person who’s died, whilst still smiling when you remember how grandma always burnt the scones. There’s a push towards convenience ahead of responding appropriately to death and grief. People don’t like feeling “bad” and repel against it.

Social Media has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our life, whether it’s a latest product launch, social debate, Spring rising of the middle east, how have you seen this effect your industry?           

We were one of the first funeral directors in Australia to provide online memorials, about 10 years ago. We thought families may wish to set up a memorial page with photos, videos, and comments. Some do, but we find many use their regular social media to share these rather than a separate memorial. The most visited section of our website is our Upcoming Funerals section and we know how many families sign the online guestbook, share the information and maps of when and where the funeral is. Often where families are spread around Australia or the world, we can webcast the service for them.

We saw an unusual trend in the United States about 12 months ago of “funeral selfies” where people would take a photo of themselves at a funeral, often with the casket in the background, then tweet it or post on Facebook. When Rowan Atkinson did exactly that in his Mr Bean – the Funeral sketch, we saw the trend drop off!


When it comes to departing this mortal coil – what advice have you would you give your 16 year old self?
I’ve grown up with the funeral industry around me, so I’ve always been exposed to it. I think what’s important is that funerals are really for those left behind, so for those people wanting to pre-arrange it to the nth degree before their death, it’s probably not necessary. Let those left behind make some decisions because it will help them get through it. It’s also healthy to talk about death and funerals in advance.


How long have you been a part of the Rotary Club, how did you become involved and how can people join.

I’ve been a member of my local Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Glen Eira, for over 13 years. Quite simply I had a phone call one day inviting me along to see what they do.
Essentially we are there to “do good” in the community and beyond, to use our skills to help others. And we have a lot of fun doing it. There are over 30,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide, so for people who are interested, they just need to find out where their local club is and they are more than welcome to come along to a meeting to see what it’s all about.
It feels good to do good.

The Rotary Club sponsored surgery on Failyne.

The Rotary Club sponsored surgery on Failyne.

Your role with the Rotary Club is exemplary and community involvement often under rated. I find tabloid headlines and main stream media overlooking the good that is done locally and internationally by the Rotary Club. What are the proudest moment(s) you’ve been involved with?

You’re spot on Colin that in our tabloid world it’s easier to focus on the bad and the shocking than the plenty of good that is being done in the world.
I remember taking my then six year old son Harry out to Monash Hospital to meet Failyne, a four year old girl that Rotary had brought over from a remote island of Vanuatu. In her first night in Melbourne she slept on top of the bed because she had never used sheets before and didn’t know what they were. With Rotary’s support, she underwent about half a dozen operations to remove a tumour the size of an orange behind her eyes that was turning her blind and impacting her brain.
Rotary’s engagement and networking enabled teams of 15 of the best plastic surgeons and neurosurgeons in Melbourne create a better life for her.

At a more local level and being a junior football coach, I was also proud when our club established a Sports Scholarship scheme to enable those families who could not afford to participate be able to play junior sport. We have now given multiple scholarships across sports including netball, cricket, footy, soccer and athletics. We also established a fun run at Caulfield Racecourse that raised $100,000 in two years for local community organisations and projects. That felt good!!


For more information about Rotary Glen Eira and Nelson Bros.

MIDO 2016

Here it is again.
This year Niloca returned to MIDO where it all began back in 2013 when we officially launched our now famous 'Frame within a Frame' concept to the world. Commercially produced and professionally designed by an industrial designer (me) skilled in the art of facial ergonomics, to ensure fit and material science to ensure quality. Our original frame in a frame has inspired large design houses, 'faux-designers', independent designers, opticians, optometrists and marketeers worldwide. At the same time in 2013, Theo also released their amazing frame-in a frame concept, although different in execution to ours, it's agreed the design principle is exactly the same.
We're proud as punch to be known for this first along with Theo Eyewear and more importantly - it's great to know we inspired a whole design trend that continues today as collaborations, cheap imitations and some have even built their career on it.
Imitation is the best form of flattery. 

Enough self promotion.

MIDO 2016.
WHAT A SHOW - it's was non-stop for 4 days bridging February and March. This year I was flying solo presenting in a side-show alley arena known as "The Cage". This is an area where there is nowhere to hide. You're on display the whole day, 9am to 6pm - NO TOILET BREAKS..... 

Before MIDO – there was a short side trip to London as word had spread about our amazing frames. WATCH THIS SPACE!!

But even before London, there was another stop-over in Geneva to visit suppliers of fine materials and processes for our frames. Then onto London, then Austria, then MIDO. TimeZones – what timezones!!

Niloca was corralled in "The Cage” with younger, slimmer, faster start-ups, not something we're used to, but it was refreshing to see new designers trying to make their mark on the optical world. Styled as a neo-industrial zone, the bare walls, portioned divides, chain-link fence surround was a place where designers with no budget could present their wears to the world. In 2015 the first Design Lab was presented with some 16 stands, this year the area nearly doubled and the vibe was electrifying – a definite 'tip of the hat' to the organisers. Although the area was created for Independent Brands, a few well funded
brands snuck in, attempting to trade off the independent street kudos the Lab Academy brings with it.

Watch this space for more Italian accounts, I know you've all being begging me!! Soon, I promise!!

My favourite part of MIDO is MILAN.
This seriously is the new Paris of Europe, the fashion, the sites, the people – it’s all happening in Italy at the moment!! Every corner vendor and pop-up bar makes exquisite coffee. If there was ever going to be a national service in Australia, it should be a 12 months deployment in cultural culinary starting with how to make a coffee.

 After MIDO is always a special trip to Singapore to meet and greet the local conservative majority, but more importantly to support the overwhelming noise made by the younger more exciting generation of creatives,  – they’re just itching to try on Niloca frames!!!

0002 The Florist - Patricia Mason

Trish and her original 2012 Frame in Frame glasses.

Trish and her original 2012 Frame in Frame glasses.

Patricia Mason - A household name for many newly anointed households in Australia – because Patricia is the person behind the colours, behind the arrangements, behind the flowers infront of your wedding reception, birth, birthday and special celebrations. Patricia has been with Niloca from day dot – supporting us through the good the bad and the ugly – and never doubting us along the way. So it’s only fitting to ask her a few hard hitting flory eyewear questions.

But before I do that, let me introduce her amazing new store recently relocated from The Domain to Cremorne in Victoria, Australia. 

"After 15 year in a Domain Road South Yarra, last July we relocated to a big airy warehouse at 81 Green Street, Cremorne, Victoria, Australia 3121 where we have set up the Domain Flowers Studio. We now have a beautiful online shop and still take orders over the phone and by email as well as some of our old faithfuls coming into the studio. We do have a new phone number +613 9427 0306 but also have a diversion on our Domain Road one. After all those years in one spot it is a hard habit to break. We share the space with two gorgeous old Morgan cars, a mezzanine full of a life time of collecting (possibly could call it hoarding!) and we can spread out!"

If you could be any flower at any point of history, which one would you choose?
You know it is always a difficult thing to decide what is a favourite and driven entirely by what I love at the moment. The blue Hydrangea which goes in the hills and brought down to us is my special flower this month. The heads are huge and lush and the colour vibrant. That reminds me of one of my first pairs of Niloca glasses. I have them everywhere in my house at the moment.

A friend of mine once dated a girl who worked in a butcher, while I was seeing a girl working at a florist – needless to say we travelled in different cars. If you had to choose another more odorous profession, which would it be – Blood and Bone packing, Horse Poop sales or Amorphophallus Titanum curating?
OK. So you imagine this job to be all fragrant and lovely –think again! When some of the vases come back from our corporate clients after sitting in a non air conditioned office over the weekend I’m not sure it gets worse than that! I think that we could rival any other industry for smell, dirt and heavy work but then I guess we have the other side which is very rewarding.

iPhones and especially their photo albums, are a great way to see what makes a person tick, so please share your first, last and random image number 2527 in your iPhone?
I am no photographer which is very frustrating. I see all these beautiful things and think I’ll take a photo but sadly on a regular basis my thumb makes an appearance almost every time! My first photo on this phone is at a wedding where the bride wore a black tulle dress and the wedding was at a country property in the middle of nowhere (had potential for a very good photo) and my last was my “to do” list copied from the house diary.

Do you think the term Wall Flower is demeaning to Flowers or Walls, both or not at all? What flower would actually make the best wall flower in Melbourne?
I think wall flower conjures up all sorts of wonderful images and none of them bad. Just image a wall of fragrant roses, DIVINE. So you see both sides are winners.

Apart from living in the internationally voted most desirable city that is Melbourne Australia – where else could you see yourself setting up shop, excuse the pun?
It’s hard isn’t it as we are so lucky in Melbourne. I think I would have to find somewhere with lots of green space, great architecture and the inhabitants full of passion. Barcelona comes to mind.

There are some iconic polarising designs in history that create passion and stir debate, the classic SAAB Vs Citroen cars , Roses Vs Gardenia, Niloca Eyewear Vs Ray Ban  and computers – which one are you a fan of, Apple Mac, PC Windows or Linux?
I am a recent convert to Apple Mac. We installed Macs when we moved Domain Flowers to 81 Green Street and although I am still fighting them I love it. And, what would I do without my iphone 6 super size? That glorious large text- bliss.

Your job is very creative and involves a lot of problem solving on the fly, from picking seasonal flowers to managing the expectations forgetful husbands rushing in urgent orders for anniversary flowers (so a friend tells me) – so to recharge your batteries are you a Morning, Evening or Siesta type person?
I am a morning person absolutely. I get up at 5.30 am and exercise. Usually a run around the Tan or a cardio workout at our local oval. I also walk to work and keep challenging myself to find a quicker way. I have just invested in a smart new backpack which I figure will cut a further 1 to 2 minutes from the trip! I love the smells, the light and the sights you see early in the morning.

Recently Tesla has rolled out an autonomous car, capable of carting passengers all over the countryside, like the Leyland brothers. If you had a Robot that could do one daily task, which would it be?
A robot. I think I need one which takes instruction and will do what is required at the time. Maybe a robot driver who can drive me to wherever and I never need to find a park or worse still the coins for the meters. 

To see more amazing arrangements from Domain Flowers, click this link, they're also on Instagram.


BANG what a year 2015 was to survive and what a year ahead. While big bankers and politicians meddle on international markets of ego, the artisans and passionate leaders of style continue their soujourn seeking more inspiring eyewear. Never before has the same old, same old being so saturated in the optical markets. Same old designs, cheaper and cheaper prices with more scantly clad models - the formula hasn't changed since Mad Men days. 

So in January we opened 2 new stockists in California USA in January. We're tickled pink and blue with the new addition to our international stockist set. Presenting GoGosha in Beverly Hills and Rims & Goggles of San Fransisco Mill Valley. Both of these stockists are considered captains of industry within the international eyewear scene. They both skilfully mesh style and medical requirements into gorgeous eyewear. These are the stores that seek new designs and designers, rather than wait for goodness to drop in their lap, these guys, like all Niloca stockists - go out there and explore. So we're very grateful and humbled that they chose us - we don't have the budge to match other privately funded independant brands, so it means the connection is something special and respectful both ways - how independent business should be.

0001: The Artist - Mirta Kupfermic

This year we're introducing a new Blog segment, to compliment our monthly eyewear adventures. It will be called "Meet the People behind the Frames" (until that is, we come up with a more catchy title). The idea came about after a road trip with family and friends to Paris for the annual international eyewear trade show. Along the way in airport lounges we serendipitously bumped into a few Niloca wearers, who inturn, bumped into each other and got on like a house on fire. It was like being part of a secret society, where the hand shake is replaced with a tap of the glasses.
During a stopover, it got us thinking about all these interesting characters wearing our eyewear. Wouldn't it be great to bring them together online, as they have so much in common, apart from our eyewear.
So here we have it, a monthly sharing of a Niloca fan's professional and eyewear passion.

Mirta wearing her Gertie frame.

Mirta wearing her Gertie frame.

0001: Introducing International Artist, Mirta Kupfermic of Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Mirta is Niloca Eyewear's most die hard fan. She waited months to receive her frames after spying them online, as we don't have a stockist in Argentina and the postage rate was excessive. However we do have a stockist in New York and there she was able to add Niloca to her eyewear collection - this was after having her husband pick up a pair from Niloca HQ in Melbourne!! He happened to be in town for the World AIDS conference in 2014, as he is the director of an NGO combatting AIDS. 
I told you she was a die hard fan!!

Mirta is a multidisciplinary Argentine visual artist, lecturer and business woman. Her artistic work can be found in international Museums and private collections around the world. Her work has featured at exhibitions in Buenos Aires, París, Berlin, Madrid, Israel, London, Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York and Washington to name but a few.

Mirta is the Argentine Director of LABA- BA www.laba-ba.org, who works together with LABA in New York and is also a part of the international curatorial team of OTT –Citizens Of The Text- www.ott2017.com

To get to know Mirta better, (as I still haven't met her) I asked about her Social Media preference, as it was through Social Media she was introduced to Niloca Eyewear;

I prefer Facebook, I use it mainly professionally, but not to show personal family photos. I like Facebook because it is a very democratic means of communication, everyone can make publicity in that platform.  It allows me to show what I am doing at the moment and also keep updated of what is going on. 

It was through Facebook that i first contacted Niloca. I also use Fb to see in advance the face of a person whom i am going to meet or interview, and i can also know something else about that person through what he/she posts.

Turtles caught on iPhone at Mirta's Studio.

Turtles caught on iPhone at Mirta's Studio.

What is the last photo on your iPhone/phone?   

I am laughing……i took a photo of my mom wearing one of my crazy frames. I am an eyewear collector and i love crazy colourful frames. I wanted to give fun to her spirit wearing my glasses.

I also love turtles. I have 8 alive in my studio. 

Are you a morning or late-night person? Which do you prefer and why – is it Social or Creative? 

I am a very energetic and work-oholic person. I wake up very early and finish very late. I am in my studio all day long. My studio is my kingdom, but at night, at home, i continue also thinking on my projects. I am a non-stop woman.

If you had a time machine, which historical events would you travel to? Which 3 people would you invite for dinner?

It is not easy to choose where i would travel in time, because usually historic events, when they are a celebration, come after a horrific event. A time which i would try to avoid living. 
But i would choose to travel to the universal exposition of Paris in 1889, where the Eiffel Tower was shown for the first time.
I would like to invite for a dinner: Isaac Newton, Hannah Arendt, and Samantha (the character of the series “bewitched” and if you ask me what would i offer them for dinner… i would prepare a wonderful apple recipe, made with the help of Samantha´s magic power, and if anything is not good enough; i am sure that Hannah would help me to explain the reasons. 

Niloca Eyewear prides itself with a very polarising collection of original designs, there isn't a middle ground, you either love them or hate them. You obviously love them, but what brought you to the brand? 

The famous meet, Clockwork Phi and Mirta.

The famous meet, Clockwork Phi and Mirta.

I found Niloca Eyewear surfing on the internet. When I saw these frames I fell immediately in love with the energy of these frames.  Niloca is a prefect explanation of who I am.
We walk in this world without seeing our own face, but, when I wear this kind of glasses,  I see on the rest of the people´s face, the way they perceive me.
When I am wearing Niloca, people realize very easily who I am:  sense of humor, good quality in my choices, and also that I am not shy and very sure of where I am standing in this world. When I enter in a place, I usually get a friendly smile at reception, and I think that Niloca is a “friendly smile”

What is your biggest secret in life? I will not tell you!!!!!!!

Lastly, it’s Summer holiday time in Australia, where was your best holiday destination?

I travel a lot, but usually mixed with work, exhibitions, etc. But i will choose now when i went with my husband to Taiwan, when i won in the biennial, or our trip to Ecuador; or with my husband and little boys (many years ago) to Israel and the south of Spain.

To discover more about Mirta follow this link - www.mirtakupferminc.net