Retro glasses aren't just for hipsters. Replicas of the glasses worn by Zero designer Jiro Horikoshi as seen in Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises are proving to be hot sellers at the Studio Ghibli museum for 15,750 yen.
The spectacles are being produced by Nova Optics Inc., a glasses design company in Sabae, Fukui Prefecture. Their designer reproduced the glasses by studying the anime's storyboards and visual guides. Though Studio Ghibli asked Nova to create these reproductions, the studio did not allow designer Yasuhiro Kobayashi to borrow or copy the storyboards, so he was challenged to memorize what he was shown. He then had Studio Ghibli check his designs.
The frame is made of celluloid and the lenses are made of glass. The wider space between the lenses, compared to those of current eyewear frames, was also reproduced accurately after Kobayashi researched Showa Era frame shapes and lens sizes. A French sentence, “Le vent se leve, il faut tenter de vivre” (meaning, “The wind is rising, we must endeavor to live”) is written on the arms of the glasses.
“The (reproduced) glasses are exactly what we were hoping for. We could feel the accurate skills of the craftsman,” said an official of the Ghibli Museum.
The reproduced glasses were supplied to Ghibli only a week before the movie's July 20th opening. The 30 glasses that were in the first installment were sold out by early September. Now, an additional run was made, and sales were restarted on Oct. 7.