What is design to you?
There are so many tenets of design and so many applications and functions, it’s hard to say all that design is to me. But if I were to pick a few aspects of design that I love, they would be: contrast, repetition, proportion, and honesty.
How strong is your connection with Los Angeles?
Barbara McReynolds (l.a.Eyeworks co-designer/co-founder) and I were both born in Southern California, and we grew up with the ocean as our backyard. When we decided to start our business in 1979, there was a lot we didn’t know. But there were two things we were certain of: our shop had to be in Los Angeles and we wanted “L.A.” to be a part of our name. Both dreams came true.
Do you think Los Angeles is a good place to be as a designer?
It’s a wonderful place to be a designer. From the special light of coastal California to the incredible art scene to the “dream factory” of Hollywood, there’s a lot to keep the circuits firing. That being said, I think you can be a designer anywhere.
What would you do if you weren’t a designer?
I think Barbara might have gone towards the fields of philosophy, botany or geology. For myself, I honestly don’t know. I have always flown by the seat of my pants!
Out of all the glasses you created, which one is your favorite piece?
Having designed eyewear for over three decades now, you can imagine there are many favorites along the way. What connects them is that they each represent moments when we challenged the prevailing notions and ignored what people told us was impossible; when we listened to our own ideas and gave ourselves permission to break the rules.
What is the best thing about your job?
Barbara and I both love making things. That we get to dream things up, materialize them, and then see them come to life on someone’s face . . . that I might find myself walking anywhere in the world and come across someone wearing an l.a.Eyeworks design — I can’t express how ridiculously happy that makes us feel. And so very grateful that we’ve had these opportunities!
What inspires you?
What doesn’t?! I always feel very engaged with the world, and that engagement—be it positive or negative, be it the sound of an accordion or the sight of baby elephants on the Okavango Delta—is about connecting to the charge of all these things, finding their wavelengths, and using that connection as fuel to move forward creatively.
What do you do on your off-days?
The best days off are the ones where I can truly go roaming. Step out of the front door, turn left or turn right, and GO. So maybe I find myself doing stand-up paddle boarding or maybe I have tea at an Indian market on the east side of the city or maybe I go to an arts festival and there’s a cool young woman there who will write a poem on the spot for five dollars.
Who is the most important person in your life?
I’m lucky to say there are many people in my life who are the “most”.
What will we see next from you?
We remain devoted to our original mission: to expand the possibilities of what eyewear can be, how these ideas can be presented, and to know that great glasses can be a catalyst of positive transformation for any person. While we were completing the construction of our first store on Melrose Avenue in 1979, we put a sign in the window that said “Changing The Face. Facing the Change.” Looking back at that slogan, I wouldn’t change a word.
Kuvat ja haastattelu: Eyewear Magazine