An exceptional genderless eyewear brand that is not afraid to push boundaries and carve out their own path. Join us as we interview Lily Cole, one of the founders of Wires Glasses, to discuss how the brand came about and their vision for the future.
q: How has the first collection of Wires crafted in Harare, Zimbabwe evolved to what it is now?
a: Wires Glasses began by making glasses using a single piece of wire, and so for the first collection we worked with artisans in Zimbabwe who are experienced with wire craft. Since then, we designed an invisible hinge in the wire which allows the glasses to fold. This is a more complex manufacturing process, and so we shifted production to eyewear specialists in Northern Italy, working with a family run business who have been making eyewear for generations. The glasses remain hand crafted.
q: What inspired you to start your own eyewear brand?
a: It was never my personal desire to create an eyewear brand, but I had a friend - Yair - who was a designer, and he made the first Wires Glasses using a single piece of wire and 3D printed parts. He printed the first prototypes in funky colours and I was excited by them. I wore them to parties around London with him and people would always comment on how fun and unique they were! So I wanted to support him to develop it into a proper production. We had a technology incubator - Impossible.com - and so my co-founder of Impossible and I decided to try and help him get Wires off the ground.
q: Sustainability and developing new production technology is a huge part of Wires Glasses, why is that?
a: Wires was founded by a group of friends who were all interested in sustainability, and so from the beginning we wanted to push the manufacture to try and minimise our impact. Reducing waste was a particular interest of Yair’s and so he pushed for 3D printing; I was keen to move us away from plastics - so encouraged us to find bio-plastic and natural rubber suppliers. The journey is on going - and the product will never be perfect, no product can be - but we will keep trying, as the technology improves to produce in a more mindful way.
q: Can you tell us a bit about your design process?
a: That's a Yair question really…
q: If you could describe Wires Glasses in 5 words, what would they be?
a: Fun, unique, creative, thoughtful and elegant.
q: What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own brand?
a: 1. Don’t under estimate how much work it is! Whilst it can be a fun and inspiring process, it requires real dedication to get ideas off the ground. 2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help: people are often more helpful and collaborative than you might imagine as you try to launch something new into the world. 3. There is plenty of research to suggest that people (customers) are becoming more and more interested in how things are made (a good thing!) - so think about the impact your brand/idea is having on the world from the beginning. Because the brands that care are - I believe - more likely to survive in the longer term.
q: Is there a new collection coming soon?
a: We don’t believe in trends or seasonal fashion. We want to design glasses that are as relevant today as they will be in 2, 5, 10 years time…. So we are not hung up on the idea of “collections.” That being said, we do have a new design development which we are excited about and will be looking to put out this year.
Founded by a group of passionate, creative souls, including British Model Lily Cole, Wires Glasses is not just a brand, it is a forward-thinking, innovative concept that is continuously pushing boundaries.
Each pair of Wires Glasses is carefully handcrafted by an experienced family-run eyewear specialist manufacturer in Northern Italy. Minimising their environmental impact and production is something that is vital to the core ethics of the entire operation. Therefore, it has pushed them towards developing more ways to design and produce their pieces, such as finding suppliers that use bio-plastic and natural rubber instead of single-use plastic and using the cutting-edge idea of 3D printing.
Like Lily said so herself, creating a new brand is not an easy feat. You need to think carefully about what message you are sending and what impact you are making on the world. People are growing increasingly conscious about where their purchases are made and the story behind the brand. So it is our duty, as Curated Crowd, to give them the best possible choice of brands that don't conform to the fast fashion standards that are set by big corporations, but to set our own and stand our ground. We are proud to represent a brand like Wires Glasses who aren't afraid to push boundaries and show the world that there are alternative ways to be creative, whilst still protecting our environment.
Wires Glasses are genderless and can be worn by everyone. Their designs include colourful and unique sunglasses, as well as made to order Blue Light optical glasses to help with long hours in front of the computer. Which one would you go for?