Five CFDA eyewear designers unite to launch 2023 Pride collection
With Pride month around the corner in June, indie eyewear brands—Blake Kuwahara Eyewear, Christian Roth Eyewear, Krewe Eyewear, l.a.Eyeworks, and Selima Optique—have released special Pride-theme styles to gear up for the festive parade and surrounding events.
The second annual edCFDA Pride Eyewear Initiative also donates a portion of the limited-edition sunglass styles to a charitable organization. This year, the [email protected] Coalition, which advocates for the issues and needs of U.S. individuals in this community, will receive the donation.
"Vision and visibility must walk hand in hand to be freeing," said l.a.Eyeworks co-founder and designer Gai Gherardi in a statement, "and the edCFDA Pride Initiative seeks to amplify both ideas in a responsive and emphatic way."
"Our first collective launch in June 2022 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 [email protected] Coalition," added Blake Kuwahara of the charitable event, highlighting specific needs within the broad spectrum of the LGBTQIA+ and gender non-conforming community.
This donation was used for their Senior Services Program, providing housing, medical care, social services, community work, and even a senior prom, according to Christian Roth, who spearheaded the designers and CFDA members, which include Blake Kuwahara (Blake Kuwahara Eyewear), Christian Roth (Christian Roth Eyewear), Gai Gherardi (l.a.Eyeworks), Selima Salaun (Selima Optique), Stirling Barrett (Krewe Eyewear)
Design-wise, the creatives were given free rein, but most riffed on the rainbow, which has become the motif for the LGBTQIA+ communities, for the special-edition style each created.
The styles include the Randolph from Kuwahara, the Armer from Roth, the Conti from Krewe, Tuto Bene from l.a.Eyeworks, and the Onassis X Pedro Silva from Selima. Additionally, each pair comes with a lens cloth designed by Silva. In keeping with a grassroots movement, the designers will roll up their sleeves to promote the project.
"We are keeping promotion costs to a minimum in order to achieve the maximum impact of actual donations. Each designer is hands-on to execute and promote this initiative. During Vision Expo New York in March, the group collectively presented this collection to high-end optical retailers, resulting in more than 100 enthusiastic retailers ordering," said Roth in an interview with FashionNetwork.com.
He said that the group would also seek prominent figures in the trans-Latinx community to wear the sunglasses through the initiative, which lasts until the styles sell out. The styles range from $335 to $800. They are available at optical stores such as l.a.Eyeworks, Dita Stores, Selima Optique, Eyegotcha, and Visionary Optics, depending on the brand as well as the designers' websites in most cases.
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