CFDA Eyewear Designers Launch 2024 Pride Collection

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In honor of Pride Month in June, seven CFDA eyewear brands are uniting to launch the third annual edCFDA Pride Eyewear Initiative. The designers Blake Kuwahara (Blake Kuwahara Eyewear), Christian Roth (Christian Roth Eyewear), Gai Gherardi & Barbara McReynolds (l.a.Eyeworks), Jeff Press (PRESS), Patty Perreira (Barton Perreira), Selima Salaun (Selima Optique) and Stirling Barrett (KREWE), will each offer a limited edition sunglass design, with a portion of proceeds collectively benefiting Bring Change to Mind.

Established in 2022, the edCFDA Pride Eyewear Initiative is an annual charitable venture driven by eyewear designers of the CFDA to target and highlight specific needs within the broad spectrum of the LGBTQ+ and gender non-conforming community. With donations to LGBTQ+ causes totaling more than $100,000 in its first two years, an expansion from five to seven designers this season bodes well for a record-breaking year in 2024. “While it is the eyewear designers, with the CFDA’s support, who have piloted this outstanding effort, it is also a testament to the optical community – retailers and customers alike – who have embraced the importance of visibility for these causes,” notes Gai Gherardi, co-founder/designer of l.a.Eyeworks.

Proceeds from sales of the 2024 edCFDA Pride Eyewear Initiative will benefit Bring Change to Mind (BC2M) www.bringchange2mind.org, an organization dedicated to ending stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health. The edCFDA’s collective donation will target BC2M’s high school programs (where almost half of the teens identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community), as well as BC2M’s LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health Task Force designed to build empathetic allies and activists, and provide crucial support to LGBTQ+ youth. “Access to mental health resources particularly for LGBTQ+ youth is so critical and often lacking in most communities,” notes Blake Kuwahara, founder/designer of Blake Kuwahara Eyewear.” We’re honored to partner this year with Bring Change To Mind to help them continue their support programs and to broaden their reach to even more high schools across the United States”.

Pamela Harrington, Executive Director of Bring Change to Mind, adds ‘’Given the expanding legacy and impact of the edCFDA Pride Eyewear Initiative, Bring Change to Mind is honored to be recognized for our mental health work with high school teens across the country. We are excited to partner with the designers that will be donating a percentage of their Pride collection sales to enable the growth of our LBGTQ+ programs. BC2M’s peer-led clubs are building safe spaces for students to convene in their schools, create connectivity, build critical supports, promote allyship, and save lives.”

CFDA Eyewear Designers
Christian Roth – Patty Perreira – Blake Kuwahara – Steven Kolb from the CFDA – Selima Salaun – Gai Gherardi – Stirling Barrett – Jeff Press – PHOTO Louis Fullagar during Launch Event New York

The participating eyewear designers are Members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and lead the edCFDA – a working group within the CFDA that seeks to expand the understanding and presence of designer eyewear as a vital component of contemporary fashion. The edCFDA aims to inspire, empower, and promote awareness of eyewear design and the vitality of the optical industry through promotion, education, mentoring, and collaborative initiatives. “Spearheading the edCFDA, I am very proud of the collective power of our group. With passion & camaraderie we achieve meaningful goals and make a positive impact within the world of independent eyewear design.” notes Christian Roth co-founder of Christian Roth Eyewear.

Lisa Smilor, Executive Vice President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, adds that “the Members who make up the edCFDA are true leaders within the fashion industry. For more than a decade, these designers have shown what is possible through collaborative efforts. Leveraging the strength of the group as a whole, they provide greater global visibility for American eyewear design excellence overall, while also raising significant funds to support worthy charitable organizations. The example that they set, and the results that they continue to achieve, are both inspiring and laudable.”

ABOUT THE DESIGNERS

BARTON PERREIRA

Patty Perreira and Bill Barton revolutionized the art of eyewear design at renowned fashion brands. In 2007, these visionaries embarked on their own path, joining forces to establish Barton Perreira. Their mission was clear: to create an independent brand that perceives things differently, investing time and dedication in the craftsmanship that yields nothing short of the world’s finest eyewear. Renowned for their meticulous attention to unique details, Barton Perreira eyewear comes to life through the expertise and virtuosity of Japan’s leading artisans. In their unwavering commitment to sustainability, Barton Perreira utilizes plant-based acetates derived from wood and cotton, ensuring the use of environmentally friendly materials. Additionally, they offer cleaning cloths and retail bags made from recyclable materials. Barton Perreira eyewear is available at flagship retail boutiques in New York City, Aspen, Bozeman, and Kansas City, as well as exclusive optical stores, premium department stores, and select boutiques worldwide.

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).

CHRISTIAN ROTH

Christian Roth Eyewear – designed by Christian Roth & Eric Domege – 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.

KREWE

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 from architecture, music, and celebration provide 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.

L.A.EYEWORKS

Designed in Los Angeles by co-founders Barbara McReynolds and Gai Gherardi, l.a.Eyeworks’ 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, including its namesake retail store in Los Angeles and a wholesale company that channels its influential designs to a global network of independent opticians and retailers.

PRESS

Jeff Press has been a creative force in the eyewear industry for over two decades. PRESS eyewear makes its debut in S/S24, the apex of that creative journey. Crafting materials and working with them as unique wearable sculpture has long been Press’ trademark. Stirring a pot of inspiration from the worlds of art, design, automobiles, and fashion, with a deep love of music, the result is detailed creation that allows people to feel amazing and understand that their eyewear is their power. The collection utilizes the finest, eco-conscious materials to bring together the natural and supernatural, elevate the eyewear experience, and seamlessly pair form and function.

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 an 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.

ABOUT THE edCFDA and BRING CHANGE TO MIND

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 fundraising initiatives.

BRING CHANGE TO MIND

Bring Change to Mind (BC2M) is a national organization dedicated to ending the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. Co-founded by Glenn Close in 2010, BC2M creates multimedia campaigns, storytelling movements, and youth-focused programs to encourage and foster a diverse cultural conversation around mental health. BC2M’s network of High School Clubs spanning 43 states mobilizes the voices of 14,000+ students annually to utilize collective power in service of moving the needle in ending the stigma surrounding mental illness. More than 100,000 students have participated in the evidence-based program over its nine years.

In their nationwide high school programs, almost half of the teens identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. LGBTQ+ individuals are more likely to experience mental health conditions and are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers. In January 2024 Bring Change to Mind launched an LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health Task Force whose focus is to build empathetic allies & activists, break the stigma surrounding mental health, and provide crucial support to LGBTQ+ youth. Through a diverse coalition of passionate individuals, including both LGBTQ+ individuals and allies, we will foster safe spaces, expand resources and amplify the voices of BC2M students in the LGBTQ+ community to share experiences on a larger scale. This national initiative ensures that the needs of LGBTQ+ youth are recognized and addressed within our programs and advocacy efforts. We continue our goal of building a world with empathetic allies and activists among students and to break the stigma surrounding mental health, especially as it pertains to the LGBTQ+ youth population.

Erkers 1879 Eyewear - The Optical Journal

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