LE SPECS GOES OPTICAL
Celebrates 40th Anniversary with the Trompe l’Oeil Collection
With deep roots in the Australian surfing hotbed of Bondi Beach, LE SPECS has been stoking fans with equally trendy and wearable sunglasses since 1979. The fun and extravagant designs – plus a humungous selection at affordable price points – have built an international community for the brand. “Our philosophy is to ensure well designed eyewear is accessible. We encourage people to love life, be happy and discover moments to escape the everyday.“
Creative Director Hamish Tame is in charge of the lifestyle brand’s design department, while LE SPECS has also been known to collaborate with world-renowned designers on new collections, including the likes of Adam Selman and Henry Holland. Due to its high-profile social media presence, the brand is especially popular with millennial customers. That’s no surprise, as the list of celebrity endorsers reads like a who-is-who of international pop culture, including names such as Lady Gaga, Gigi Hadid, Rihanna and Kendall Jenner. Fashion bible Vogue magazine recently concluded: “LE SPECS were the must-have shades of 2017.”
For the 40th brand anniversary in 2019, the team at LE SPECS is far from resting on its laurels. The big news: For the first time in company history, the iconic brand is launching a prescription eyewear collection that remains true to the trendy designs and rich variety in their brand DNA. And since the RX-frames will also be sold in optical retail from now on, SPECTR took a closer look at the brand-new Trompe l’Oeil collection.
TROMPE L’OEIL COLLECTION
For their ambitious expansion into the prescription segment, LE SPECS enlisted style support from an international expert. “Continuing our pioneering formula of collaborating with the world’s most influential designers and artisans, the collection has been designed in collaboration with renowned eyewear designer Blake Kuwahara, who is recognized as one of the preeminent designers in eyewear and winner of the Silmo d’Or award,” said the team at LE SPECS.
The collection theme is, “affordable optical frames that never compromise in fashionability, quality or detail.” A first look at the Trompe l’Oeil Collection instantly reveals an impressive range of stylistic diversity that is almost overwhelming. The premier RX-offering comprises gentlemanly charms of the 1950s together with 1980s-style Miami Vice flavors and edgy minimalism inspired by the 1990s. In order to keep things manageable, the Trompe l’Oeil Collection is divided into the six themes:
The Minimalist contains flat, reductionist silhouettes, Normcore presents clear lines and Nineties-inspired shapes, Grit & Glamour dazzles with generous silhouettes for roaring parties, Sirens revolves around feminine frames with refined details, Sartorial harkens back to masculine style icons such as James Dean, while Miami Vice rounds out the portfolio with oversized metal frames in a 1980s vibe.
In terms of materials, LE SPECS is playing with allergy-friendly and colorful cellulose acetate as well as anti-allergenic and featherlight stainless steel. The hinges by OBE implement German craftsmanship, while designer Blake Kuwahara sets stylistic accents with three-dimensional details on the temples and minimalistic logo placement. A key selling point for opticians: The flexible PVC nose pads can be adjusted to the individual wearer, while select models in the Trompe l’Oeil Collection are available as “Low Bridge Styles” for customers with high cheek bones. And to make lens fitting a breeze, the frames contain V-shaped ridges.
The new frames will hit retail in a high-quality, navy blue hard case embossed with the company motto: Live, Love, Le Specs. As retailers will see, LE SPECS’ first foray into prescription frames is a major endeavor: At a total of 23 models, the new Trompe l’Oeil Collection is bound to make a major impact in the optical eyewear segment. Before the end of the year, the brand is looking to add yet another dozen RX-frames.
The verdict: True to the motto ‘Go Big or Stay Home’, LE SPECS is making an impressive debut in prescription eyewear with self-confident and highly versatile designs that don’t hold back. After 40 years in the game, the surf lifestyle-inspired brand still knows how to make waves.