They say in television that you’ve got to put your “best face forward,” and when you happen to be Dan Levy, well, your “best face” usually includes a pretty cool pair of glasses.
Best known as the host of MTV’s The After Show (which chronicled the glamorous lives of Lauren Conrad and friends on The Hills, before spinning off into its own daily talk show), Levy’s talents have since expanded to include acting, writing for a number of magazines and most recently, launching his own eyewear line. D.L. Eyewear launched this month as a debut collection of ten frames, inspired by some of Levy’s favourite styles. At $95 each, they’re as easy on the wallet as they are, yes, on the eyes.
We met up with Levy on the set of his campaign shoot for D.L. Eyewear, where he explained that creating an eyewear line was a natural progression. “I’ve been wearing glasses since I was really young and I never thought much of it,” he says. “But after I started doing MTV, people began asking me where I got my glasses from. It was hard for me to justify spending a lot of money on plastic frames,” he continues, “[so] when I got this chance to design my own line, I knew I wanted to make it affordable.”
Named after streets in the Toronto neighbourhood where Levy grew up, the five styles (available as both optical frames and sunglasses) range from the bold and chunky “Whitehall” specs, to the chic and bookish “Cluny.” The “Powell,” is an updated take on the iconic Ray-Ban Clubmasters, while the cat-eye look is given a sleek and modern upgrade with the “Birch.” Most of the frames are unisex, and Levy purposely kept this first collection small, to ensure a tightly edited selection. “Some companies have hundreds of options and nothing you want,” he says. “This is what I would wear and I hope people like it too.”
The campaign shoot mirrors this personalized feeling: Levy posed for the men’s shots himself, while recruiting his friend, television producer Sasha Tong, to model the women’s looks. With photography by Vanessa Heins, styling from former FLARE Fashion Director Liz Cabral, and grooming from Levy’s former MTV makeup artist Lucky B, it was truly a family affair. The mood on-set was light-hearted (Britney and Beyoncé may have been blasting from Levy’s laptop) and the final shots conveyed a sense of whimsy more so than trying to push a product. “I don’t take myself too seriously,” Levy told us afterwards, “and I want people to feel the same way and have fun with these glasses.”
So far, the response has been overwhelming. Just a week after D.L. Eyewear’s launch, some of the styles are already close to being sold out. And friends and fans alike are feting Levy on his successful new role as “designer.” He’s gone from someone best known for his glasses to someone creating his own glasses – and he’s just getting started. Call us presumptuous but we think Dan Levy is well on his way to creating his own little empire – one step and four eyes at time.