Tony Hawk Brings the Soul of Skate to Eyewear.
San Diego, CA-born pro skateboarder and one of the most recognizable athletes in the world, Tony Hawk, oversees several successful businesses including Birdhouse Skateboards, Hawk Clothing, and the Pro Skater video game franchise. Hawk’s fan base is impressive: 6.3 million followers on Facebook, 1.5 million on Instagram, and 3.8 million on Twitter. His latest licensing partnership with Eyewear Designs, Ltd. brings his uniquely authentic action-sports aesthetic to an ophthalmic collection, with sunglasses launching sometime next year.
The Tony Hawk Eyewear collection rolls out in August featuring eight styles in three colors, with an additional four styles slated for October. Classic shapes and colors team up with iconic branding such as truck bolts and action-sports graphics for a youthful lifestyle appeal. The timing couldn’t be better for Hawk, who needed corrective lenses as a young boy, had Lasik surgery at 26, and now at 47, is experiencing presbyopia. I recently spoke to Tony about his involvement with the collection, his penchant for aviators, and how he can’t wait to wear glasses again.
MICHELE SILVER: What was your
design inspiration for the eyewear?
TONY HAWK: It’s heavily influenced by the skateboard culture and the action sports lifestyle in that it’s a little edgy. The styles are functional, in terms of being active, but in the aesthetics, they are identifiable as a skate brand. We’ve been successful in making it authentic, and that’s the most important thing to me.
I also like the idea of bringing a high-end look of an aviator sunglass, for example, to an affordable price point. If I had some extravagance in my life, it would be collecting aviator sunglasses from high-end brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton. So that was one of my first go-to’s in terms of design input.
MICHELE: What has been your favorite part about this project?
TONY: The idea that we get to bring cool eyewear to young people as something that represents what they do. Their apparel and appearance represents their skateboarding culture, and now we can include eyewear. For me, it’s cool because I had to wear glasses as a kid and the selection was stale, at best. I chose the least expensive frames that wouldn’t make me the butt of jokes. I had Lasik surgery almost 20 years ago, and it is now starting to fail. I’m going to have to start wearing glasses again, so that’s exciting for me.
I love that we can get into extreme detail with the design, down to the color of the screws or the size of the logo. When you’re talking about a logo, just a millimeter more changes the look of it. Each one of those little changes can either make or break the continuity of our whole line.
MICHELE: How do you explain the target demographic as 4 to 40?
TONY: Our line spans a larger age group because the parents of a lot of these kids who are into skateboarding and action sports were skaters themselves in their youth. So the parents identify with the aesthetics. It’s fun to see that generation merge.
MICHELE: What do you think young kids are looking for in glasses?
TONY: I think they’re looking for something edgy that sets them apart from the mainstream. I’m trying to incorporate our direction, logos, and color schemes so that it fits with their lifestyle and with outfits. There is something to be said for accessorizing your eyewear with your outfit.
Michele Silver is managing editor of VCPN.
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