In honor of Pride Month in June, five independent CFDA eyewear designers are uniting to launch the second annual edCFDA Pride Eyewear Initiative. The designers of Blake Kuwahara Eyewear, Christian Roth Eyewear, Krewe Eyewear, l.a.Eyeworks, and Selima Optique, will each offer a limited edition sunglass design, with a portion of proceeds collectively benefiting the TransLatin@ Coalition. Accompanying the limited edition eyewear designs is a dedicated lens cleaning cloth created exclusively for the initiative by New York-based artist Pedro Silva.
The “edCFDA Pride Eyewear Initiative” is an annual charitable venture driven by independent eyewear designers of the CFDA to target and highlight specific needs within the broad spectrum of the LGBTQIA+ and gender non-conforming community.
“What started out as a modest idea led to our first collective launch in June 2022 which raised nearly $50,000.00 for the LA LGBT Center. Building on that momentum and enthusiastic reception from our retail partners and the end consumers, we hope to raise even more awareness and funds for the TransLatin@ Coalition” says Blake Kuwahara.
Collective proceeds from this year’s effort will benefit the TransLatin@ Coalition, whose members are TransLatin@ leaders from different parts of the U.S., who organize and advocate for the issues and needs of TransLatin@ individuals residing in the United States. translatinacoalition.org
“Vision and visibility must walk hand in hand to be freeing,” notes l.a.Eyeworks co-founder/designer Gai Gherardi, “and the edCFDA Pride Initiative seeks to amplify both ideas in a responsive and emphatic way.”
The designers – Blake Kuwahara (Blake Kuwahara Eyewear), Christian Roth (Christian Roth Eyewear), Gai Gherardi (l.a.Eyeworks), Selima Salaun (Selima Optique), Stirling Barrett (Krewe Eyewear) – are members of the Eyewear Designers of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (edCFDA), a working group of the CFDA that seeks to expand the understanding and presence of designer eyewear as a vital component of contemporary fashion. cfda.com
ABOUT BLAKE KUWAHARA
Blake Kuwahara debuted his eponymous eyewear collection in 2015 with his artful but wearable design ethos and signature “frame-within-a-frame” concept. By using a proprietary lamination process, Kuwahara creates a deliberate design tension by fusing two distinctive silhouettes. Kuwahara’s designs are available in high-end optical boutiques worldwide and in such discriminating specialty retailers as L’Eclaireur (Paris), Selfridges (London), Harrods (London), Isetan (Tokyo), Hotoveli (New York), H. Lorenzo (LA), and The Archive (San Francisco). www.blakekuwahara.com
ABOUT CHRISTIAN ROTH
Christian Roth Eyewear has reveled in its hard-earned reputation as one of the world’s leading optical designers for subverting the conventions of luxury fashion. Christian Roth was the first eyewear designer to join the CFDA. Now, as a part of DITA Group, the storied label deconstructs its own archive to begin a conversation with a generation of consumers for whom a new paradigm of style and design has gained traction with breathtaking speed. www.christianroth.com
ABOUT KREWE EYEWEAR
KREWE was founded in 2013 by Stirling Barrett, a New Orleans native & creative entrepreneur. Much like its home city of New Orleans, KREWE adopts unique and eclectic essence from afar and embraces elements of culture and design from around the globe. The artistic influence of architecture, music, and celebration provides communities with an escape from the mundane, and a treat for the inspired. The brand experience rewrites the concept of hospitality with retail environments that entertain familiar guests and perfect strangers alike. These spaces welcome social exchange and playful discovery; it is a place with the ability to adapt. KREWE hand-made quality products design a conversation. Eyewear is a talking point, where either side of the lens gives visibility to a unique point of view. www.krewe.com
l.a.Eyeworks makes imaginative and uniquely crafted frames that change the way people think about eyewear. Designed in Los Angeles by co-founders Barbara McReynolds and Gai Gherardi, l.a.Eyeworks’ award-winning glasses are known for their bold shapes, imaginative handling of materials, and expressive use of color. With trademark wit, socially charged messages, and a spirit of creative adventure, the provocative brand vocabulary of l.a.Eyeworks has infiltrated the pop culture landscape from fashion to publishing to art and film. l.a.Eyeworks is a privately owned house of optical imagination, encompassing two namesake retail stores in Los Angeles and a wholesale company that channels its influential designs to a global network of independent opticians and retailers. www.l.a.eyeworks
ABOUT SELIMA OPTIQUE
Selima Optique first opened its doors in SoHo in 1996, and now owns four stores across New York City, as well as two more in Paris. Trained as an optician and optometrist, Selima Salaun pioneered the Soho neighborhood as a high-end optical retailer by introducing new and rare designs in both her signature candy colors and classic shades. Her eyewear has set the mood for many seasons of fashion, with a diverse clientele of glasses lovers from all over the world. Selima’s creative gifts have been inspiring young designers from all fields over the world, and her business savvy has created her an empire that still reigns strong over 25 years later. www.selimaoptique.com
About the edCFDA
The eyewear-specific designers within the Council of Fashion Designers of America (www.CFDA.com) are known collectively as the edCFDA. This sub-group of the membership aims to inspire, empower and promote awareness of eyewear design and the vitality of the optical industry through promotion, education, mentoring, and collaborative initiatives.