THE INSIDE SCOOP ON SUNWEAR DESIGN

0

We see the final products of designers’ visions every hour of every day, but rarely do we step back to consider just where—or who—those ideas came from.

Why do designers design? And once they know what they want to do, how do they get started? We talked to four leading sunwear designers to find out what they do before they actually create a new collection or style, as well as the process they follow when implementing that design.

DAVID SPENCER, FOUNDER AND DESIGNER, OGI
“When it comes to designing sunglasses, utility is one thing and certainly, fashion is another. No accessory can make you feel sexier than an awesome pair of sunglasses. I feel a little different when I put on my own, perhaps more mysterious.

I start by pretending I’m the costume designer for a new movie and that the director has told me they want to evoke fun, sophistication, and sexiness through sunglasses. I’m then ready to draw! Before we go to full-scale CAD drawings, I still find it necessary to sketch manually. There is something to the instant decisions you can make when using a pencil and paper.”

BLAKE KUWAHARA, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, FOCUS GROUP WEST AND FADE TO GREY, INC. (BLAKE KUWAHARA EYEWEAR)
“As an optometrist, I found that I enjoyed being in our optical boutique working with patients and interacting with frame manufacturers as much as being in the exam room. I had the fortunate opportunity to work in the creative end of our industry, and now at Focus Group West, we design not only eyewear, but also graphic packages, displays, and retail spaces. We take a comprehensive approach to design and branding.”

It all starts with a solid concept and design foundation. We storyboard inspirational images that speak to the essence of the brand-materials, colors, shapes, graphics-anything that helps give us a visual reference. We also assemble the world of the ideal consumer for the brand. What they wear, what their homes look like, what art they buy, what music they listen to. It’s just as critical for us to define what the collection isn’t as much as what the collection is.”



Ogi 8067, 8, and 70

Blake Kuwahara Syrah

DAVID DURALDE, CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER, KENMARK
“An inspired design can excite a person about showing herself off to the world. Intelligent design can make an individual feel connected to humanity. A meticulous design can show you care. Making people beautiful one frame at a time is the pebble that I cast in the water each day, hoping to create a positive ripple in someone’s life.

When I start, I think about the targeted consumer’s life, how he wants to be engaged in life, and how I can create something that will resonate. The second step is to research the future and guess what will be important to that person in two to three years. I study more permanent design styles and gestures in architecture, automobile design, furniture, future textiles, and music, and understand the trends that will circle around these movements, when the consumer is zooming down the highway in a great sunglass, in a 2017 car.”

JENNIFER COPPEL, VICE PRESIDENT OF BRAND MANAGEMENT, TURA
“I love creating beauty and sharing it with others. It also fulfills my personal need to make a contribution. Everyone should have the opportunity to wear well-designed, well-made products that help them express their inner selves and, of course, sunwear fits into that category. I’m always thinking about new ways to be expressive.

I always begin with research: trends, shapes, brands, colors, materials. If I am designing for a specific brand, I think about the consumer and their lifestyle. I think about the brand’s DNA: What makes the product distinctively that brand? And most importantly, what will make the sunglass stand out in the market? Once I’ve collected my research, I sit down with a pencil and vellum and begin to draw.”

Vera Wang Luxe Mea

Lulu Guinness L123

Rachel Bozek is a writer and editor who includes the optical field as one of her areas of expertise.

WHERE TO FIND IT:

Fade to Grey, Inc. 816-220-7533 • blakekuwahara.com

Kenmark Optical 800-627-2898 • kenmarkoptical.com

Ogi Eyewear 888-560-1060 • ogieyewear.com

Tura 800-242-8872 • tura.com

Share.

Leave A Reply