From downtown New York City to Denmark, designers of sunwear find themselves inspired by anything and everything in their surroundings; nature, hip-hop culture, even a favorite childhood candy. While their canvasses are small, their ideas are big and bold. We invite you inside the worlds of some of the most compelling artists who continue to push the eyewear envelope.
Co-Founders: Barbara McReynolds & Gai Gherardi
Year Founded: 1979
Brand in a Nutshell: With unique shapes and colors, l.a.Eyeworks collaborates with artists to offer its audience an abundance of tools for self-expression, making its eyewear offerings stand out in the crowd.
Design Philosophy: “When we opened our first store in 1979, the impulse behind our design philosophy was reactionary in many ways. Whether it was color, scale or gender expectations, we were intent on challenging the prevailing norms of eyewear. We sensed that people shared our hunger for a new paradigm that celebrated faces in a provocative, original way, and we’ve never been afraid to swim against the current.”
The Approach: “We often compare eyewear to an amplifier that you can turn up a little or a lot, depending on the wearer. The amplifier serves the instrument, and the great privilege of our profession is watching someone take the next step in their journey of becoming themselves through a great pair of glasses.”
What Sets Us Apart: “Beyond our eyewear designs, we continue to evolve l.a.Eyeworks as a brand that invites people to explore the concept of vision along many trajectories. From our well-known portrait campaign and tagline to the window messaging of our retail stores to our numerous collaborations with artists, we are always working to radiate knowledge that we find compelling and to excite people.”
Founder: Henrik Ørgreen
Year Founded: 1997
Brand in a Nutshell: Danish tradition meets handmade artisanship for elegant frames with smart details. Designed in Denmark and handmade in Japan, Ørgreen is all about natural beauty—both in regard to the frames themselves and the faces they grace.
Design Philosophy: “Our frames exude a timeless and minimalistic style. [They offer a] subtle elegance with discrete details mixed with unique colors enhancing the individuality of the wearer. We’re all about perfection in terms of details and finish.”
The Approach: “I hope the wearer feels that the lines of the frames enhance the character and beauty of his/her face and that the colors express the individuality and attitude within him/herself. We don’t use big logo or flashy labels on our frames —they communicate through design and colors. We target individuals who make independent choices and have an exploring spirit. Wearing Ørgreen frames amplify their own way of perceiving the world.”
What Sets Us Apart: “Since the beginning we’ve been driven by a ceaseless curiosity and a restless desire to do things differently. We continuously experiment and explore with new concepts, shapes, colors and materials. We’re never satisfied with where we are or with the idea of standing still. We’re a dynamic company where innovation is everything.”
Kate Young for Tura
Year Founded: 2015
Brand in a Nutshell: Kate Young, a Brooklyn-based designer, began as an assistant to Anna Wintour and went on to dress A-list celebrities for the red carpet, style photo shoots for major magazines and author a book last year (Dressing for the Dark: From the Silver Screen to the Red Carpet). Most recently, Young was named 2016’s “Most Powerful Stylist of the Year” by The Hollywood Reporter.
Design Philosophy: “I love modern retro styling, so I paired vintage references with updated silhouettes for an original look that will withstand the test of time. Only styles that I would wear myself or use to style on one of my celebrity clients are added to the line each season. Each style is designed in NYC and then impeccably crafted by Tura in Japan and Italy.”
The Approach: “I hope the wearer will feel as glamorous as one feels walking down the red carpet and sophisticated and chic when wearing more casual apparel. The collection was created with the history of eyewear in cinema in mind, taking cues from iconic styles from the golden era of Hollywood, while infusing modern detailing and materials.”
What Sets Us Apart: “My passion for vintage
glamour, modern sophistication and earthy colorations unite to create a chic luxurious style. My frames will make any woman feel modern and high fashion but not overdressed.”
Kate Young for Tura • 800.242.8872 • kateyoungeyewear.com
Coco and Breezy
Co-Founders: Corianna and Brianna Dotson
Year Founded: 2009
Brand in a Nutshell: Twins Coco and Breezy have exploded on the fashion scene since establishing themselves in 2009. They designed the third-eye sunglasses, Tres, famously worn by the late Prince on Saturday Night Live and the 2015 American Music Awards. Additionally, celebs like Rihanna, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga are big fans. The duo has recently collaborated with Hershey’s for two collections inspired by Twizzlers and Jolly Ranchers (see right).
Design Philosophy: “Our design philosophy is creating a design that has a story. We love to create a unique frame that is not only fashionable [but also]functional. All of our designs are produced by hand under our supervision. Our team brings each style from conceptual drawing to digital rendering to materials, sourcing and manufacturing.”
The Approach: “We feel that our eyewear is the outfit and the clothing is the accessory. When [someone]wears a pair of our frames, we hope it gives them that extra boost of confidence to know they are not only looking fashionable but they are also protecting their eyes from the sun.”
What Sets Us Apart: “We honestly feel that since there are not a lot of us-independent eyewear companies- we should all stick together. This is the only way we can grow that market. We feel that we are our own competitors, and we do what we can to be better than yesterday.”
Founder: Cari Zalloni
Year Founded: 19769
Brand in a Nutshell: Once defined by its influence in the “˜80s hip-hop movement, Cazal frames have been embraced by moguls such as Spike Lee, Jay-Z and Beyoncé. The brand created its name to honor its founder, taking the CA from Cari and the ZAL from Zalloni. Carl Zalloni passed away in 2012 at the age of 74, but his legacy is very much alive.
Design Philosophy: Cari Zalloni once said, “To have something that is a true vintage, you must first have something that is a true original.” Cazal is widely known for its vintage designs and statement looks for female and male wearers who exude individuality and extravagance.
The Approach: “A Cazal wearer is confident and proud while wearing frames that represent such an iconic heritage. Not just a frame, a Cazal piece is considered a true work of art. Unique and luxurious, Cazal frames are truly striking.
What Sets Us Apart: Cazal creates bold, unique designs using eye-catching materials such as thick, beveled acetate and gold metal features for a striking design.
Tom Ford Eyewear
Year Founded: 2006
Brand in a Nutshell: Innovative and provocative designs are conveyed through the designer’s trademark combination of mystique and sensuality. A-list celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig, Gwen Stefani and Tom Hanks are regularly spotted in the sleek, sexy sunwear and ophthalmics.
Design Philosophy: Marcolin Eyewear recently launched the Tom Ford Private Eyewear collection that comprises 11 luxe styles for women and men in exclusive materials such as buffalo horn and Japanese titanium. “These are the frames that I personally wear and in some instances originally designed only for myself,” Ford said. “In most cases these editions of my favorite frames have been produced in new elevated materials that are uncommon in most commercially produced frames.”
The Approach: Whether the designs are strong and bold, feminine, vintage-inspired or brimming with modern influences, they encourage wearers to embrace their individuality while also flaunting the best versions of themselves.
What Sets Us Apart: A powerhouse name in fashion, accessories, beauty and fragrance, Tom Ford prides himself on the discreet branding of his eyewear, indicated only by a horizontal “T” that runs from the front of the frame down the temple. With 64 freestanding stores and shop-in-shops around the world, this empire only continues to grow.
Tom Ford Marcolin • 800.345.8482 • marcolin.com