A true artist and visionary in the eyewear industry, l.a.Eyeworks co-founder and co-designer Gai Gherardi is known as much for her inventive eyewear as she is for her – quite fabulous! – sense of personal style. From her early days working at an optical shop in Orange County, to opening the first l.a.Eyeworks boutique on Melrose Avenue in 1979, Gai has long encouraged customers to have fun with their glasses, with bold, futuristic designs inspired by art, fashion and the city of Los Angeles.
Gai’s current go-to is the “Silverman” – a statement frame made from etched stainless steel. The frame features a wide brow-line, curved, square-shaped lenses, and thick temples. Gai told us she designed the “Silverman” frame as a way to unite the ideas of nostalgia and the future. We think they look perfect in the current day as well!
Nathaly thought these vintage l.a.Eyeworks frames were a “nasty cat-eye,” and fitting for her job of merging contemporary artists with musicians. At once fresh and classic, these “Cornu” frames were released in 1988 and made famous by Susan Sarandon, who wore a tortoiseshell pair in “Thelma & Louise.” We love the sleek black colour of Nathaly’s frames, which marry a traditional keyhole bridge with modern, sculpted lines. The cat-eye adds some glamour, without being over the top.
We spotted Philly blogger Curran J. Swint in a pair of vintage l.a.Eyeworks “Pluto” sunglasses during a party honouring the artist KESH at Art Basel. These “Pluto I” sunglasses were first released in 1987 and manufactured in France (there was also a “Pluto II” and “Pluto III” in the series). The elaborate brow and temple arms are made of molded aluminum, with anodized finishes for a unique colour tone (While Curran’s pair is in a soft grey, the frames also came in magenta, neon green and yellow). The unique look and construction of these glasses definitely give off an interstellar vibe, true to their name. We love the contrast between the super round lenses and the sweeping yet jagged lines of the nose bridge and brow.
Blondie Singer Debbie Harry famously sported these sunglasses in an l.a.Eyeworks portrait campaign photographed by Greg Gorman. Curran put prescription frames in his pair, and wears them as his everyday shades.
Keith Manship is the Director of Marketing at l.a.Eyeworks and we spotted him in these sculptural “Pally” frames from the company’s latest collection. These art and architecture-inspired frames are made from a perforated stainless steel, with a retro, preppy shape, elegant curves and just a touch of whimsy. Keith’s pair is in a soft brown tone, which softens up the steel construction, while adding a little bit of color.
While the shape and texture may seem a little intimidating at first, these frames are incredibly lightweight and versatile, and can easily become your “new classic.” With inspiration from the past and a nod to the future, the “Pally” is high on our list of frames worth looking out for.
Stephani works at the l.a.Eyeworks store in West Hollywood and has a personal eyewear collection that now numbers more than 80. Among her favourites: these “Hoxie” frames in Shiny Gold Etch. The frames are a delightful mix of contradictions, at once retro and modern, trendy but classic, nerdy and elegant, fanciful yet totally grounded. Stephani says she wanted something to match her eccentric personality, and these bright, shimmery, hand-crafted frames fit the bill. We love the textural quality of the glasses, with the etch detailing playing off whimsical curves and an exaggerated brow line. And with a little bit of style and a good dose of confidence, you’ve got a pair of specs that are as wearable as they are collectible.
We recently got to know Brent Zerger, the Director of Communications for l.a.Eyeworks, whose passion for his job is matched only by his passion for eyewear. Brent has countless pairs of glasses on rotation – and even more stored away in his personal eyewear collection – but he has been recently favoring this pair of l.a.Eyeworks “Silverman” frames in Black Etch. These statement frames are quintessential of the brand – a mix of art and attitude, with an exaggerated brow line of etched stainless steel, tempered by a sleek and slim profile. The two-tone pattern adds visual interest, and it’s the play on texture, colour and material that really grabs our attention. (Sidenote: Tim tried them on and they’re surprisingly comfortable and easier to pull off than you’d think!)
We photographed Brent outside of la.Eyeworks’ Beverly Boulevard store, where its latest slogan seems particularly appropriate in light of recent events surrounding the legalization of same-sex marriage. Check back in the next few weeks as we take you inside the store, which has become an unofficial eyewear boutique-slash-gallery of sorts for both locals and tourists alike.
We photographed Alexander at the Luminocity cocktail, which served as a kick-off for the 2013 Luminato Festival. Alexander, an architect who recently re-designed one of Josephson Opticians’ locations in Toronto, purchased two pairs of these vintage l.a Eyeworks frames: the tortoiseshell pair he’s wearing, and another in black with polarized lenses. We love the shape of these frames, which curve inward toward the exaggerated bridge, drawing attention straight to the eyes. It’s the perfect complement to Alexander’s dapper style!
We loved how chic and elegant Hannah looked in this outfit, with its rich textures, prints and of course, those bold and chunky cat-eye frames adding the perfect finishing touch. Hannah loved these L.A. Eyeworks frames so much that she purchased another pair in a champagne colour (which she wears during the spring and summer). A glasses-wearer since she was young, Hannah has now amassed quite the collection of not only prescription frames, but sunglasses as well. She told us her collection now includes shades from almost every eyewear designer! We can’t wait for the day where she invites us over to check them out!
Robert is a Toronto-based salon owner and it’s safe to say, a certified eyewear aficionado. In addition to the 25 pairs of prescription glasses he owns, Robert recently donated 50 pairs of old frames to the personal collection of Josh Josephson, the owner of Josephson Opticians.
These circular frames from L.A. Eyeworks are at once stately and whimsical, proving that good style can go hand in hand with a good sense of humour.