An Interview with Joan Grady

Meet the Anna Wintour of the eyewear business. When she walks the floor at tradeshows, all leading eyewear brands gladly roll out their latest offerings for Joan Grady. We had the pleasure to meet the charming, well-traveled blogger – who describes herself as “ageless in mind and spirit” – during a business dinner in Cologne, where she laid down the story behind Eyestylist.com.

Hi Joan, life’s hard, isn’t it?

Life offers many wonderful opportunities and equally difficult challenges – both personal and in business. The process in which you manage and navigate these stormy and unsettling seas – through your own personal journey – can define the individual you are and will become.

The archives of Eyestylist posts go back to January 2011. What did Joan Grady do before that?

Music has always been a life-long passion for me, and I trained as a classical pianist. Educated in the United States, however, I entered the literature and journalism professions in New York City, promoting fashion and special events, including prestigious tennis competitions. My early experience and writing for various publications introduced me to the eyewear and accessories segment of the fashion business. When I moved to London, I met Michael Wheeler, publisher of VISION NOW and joined as Fashion Editor.

You founded your online magazine together with your partner Clodagh Norton. How come?

In Paris, I worked as the Paris Correspondent with Clodagh at 20/20 Europe. After the 2008 global economic meltdown affecting many industries – including magazines – I proposed to Clodagh that we consider a fine quality fashion magazine-type format on the Internet. Thus our mutual partnership was born and Eyestylist created!

Clodagh lives and works in England, you’re based in Paris. What are the benefits of these two locations?

This works out very well, as Clodagh is able to cover events over there, and I’m able to be on hand for Parisian exhibitions. However, we often visit shows together, whenever possible.

What would you say is the special something about Eyestylist?

Eyestylist features special editorial series, including Eyewear Enthusiasts; Eyewear Artisans and Architecture; Designers Off Duty, and we are currently running Eyewear Canine Companions – which is light-hearted and entertaining. Another new series will be launched later this year – watch for it! Our focus is on independent creators, and designers, who are involved in the complete creative and production process of the frame – from start to finish. With the global reach enjoyed by Eyestylist.com, we are able to communicate to a world-wide audience the outstanding benefits – and availability – of exquisite handcrafted eyewear.

What kind of glasses do you prefer personally?

Acetate has always been my favorite material, since I started wearing glasses as a teenager. However, Sven Götti encouraged me to try something new – so now I’m also a fan of Titanium, and wear Götti, Lindberg and Adrian Marwitz, and my vintage acetates! I also have a pair of stunning ROLF wood frames, which are very lightweight, and indicative of beautiful craftsmanship.

Please give us 5 keywords that describe Joan Grady?

1/ Enthusiastic

2/ Caring

3/ Resourceful

4/ Resilient

5/ Music and Animal Advocate.

Photos: Stefan Dongus

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