Wesley Knight is a self-taught bespoke eyewear designer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Wesley was studying Philosophy through the Liberal Arts program at New College Franklin when he started designing his eponymous eyewear line in 2013. Taking inspiration from old-school, bespoke tailors, the idea was to offer eyewear clients something individually cut and molded to their face shape, needs and personal aesthetic. Oh, and did we mention Knight’s material of choice is water buffalo horn?
We recently spoke with Knight about his influences, design process, and future plans for to take water buffalo horn to the masses…
Describe your collection in five words or less.
Personas personified: timelessly, minimally, beautifully
What did you study in school? Is there any creative overlap that led you to design glasses?
I worked through Euclid’s Elements with hands on construction of his propositions. This trained my eye for proportion, line relationships, and ultimately designing. My designs are influenced by the totality of my education and how I was raised. One does not only create from the eye but also from what is in the heart.
What made you decide to start designing glasses?
I found my curiosity for making glasses after stumbling upon a pair of designer horn-rimmed glasses in GQ and finding a cow horn at the leather store. I thought, “I can make that.”
Does being based in Nashville influence your designs?
Undoubtedly! Nashville is urban and rural, both of which inspire me.
Where do you find inspiration for your frames?
Within nature, the city, and the human body. While in the woods, I am fascinated by the proportional relationship of veins on a leaf or the texture of varying tree barks. In the city, I intentionally absorb interesting or beautiful architecture, car design, and fashion. However, the greatest source of inspiration is my clients. I have the ability to accentuate or diminish features, to make the eyes less tired, or to create a frame that actually fits their face for once. The ability to do this inspires me.
What is the process for working with a client not based in Nashville?
I maintain a face-to-face fitting with all my clients, ultimately the same standards of a relational creation process that bespoke was founded on in the nineteenth century. I am able to connect with my clients for fittings in a city of their convenience.
Are there any other materials you want to work with, or have experimented with?
I love working with horn and precious metals. Currently, metal work inspires me by how it responds to heating, cooling, soldering, and shaping.
What is the price range for a pair of glasses?
$1,800 USD and up, depending on metals.
Tell us about the pair that you’re most proud of.
The most recent pair I made for myself was a culmination of high design and involved craft. I focused more on sculpture work – crafting the temples and face, playing with light and shadow by creating angles and contours with my files.
Do you plan to expand your business with ready to wear frames?
I would love to develop a capsule collection in the near future.
Ready to get your bespoke process started? Fill out a profile and find out more about Wesley Knight Bespoke Eyewear at wesley-knight.com.