By Jillian Urcelay
JU: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EYEWEAR
SB: Classically inspired “California Heirloom” design. Every frame in our collection is made with 12, 18 and 24-karat gold-plated titanium. We ion plate (IP) the frames in 1 micron of palladium and 3 microns of gold—not to be fancy—but because we and many of our best clientele live near the coast, which demands the most corrosive and wear resistant plating to adhere to our California Heirloom design ethos. We also offer best in class polarized lenses: a CR-39 sun lens with a Diamondcast scratch resistance surface, a 12-layer anti-reflective and hydrophobic coating. The water repellent coating seems totally unnecessary—until you’re sailing off the coast and take a wave over the bow whilst manning the main sail... and when the water repels from the lens like a freshly waxed car, it seems like the best money you could ever spend.
We employ both intricate details and state-of-the-art manufacturing. We take chances and ignore micro trends. Most importantly, each frame has a “key” either on the frame or right lens as a constant reminder that the key to life is spending quality time with your family and friends, and pursuing your dreams in an expedient manner. One never knows how many days they have left on this beautiful planet of ours. It’s a reminder of “If not now, when?” We meticulously ensure every frame has intention, great attention to detail, staying power and heritage. We are also one of the few companies in the industry that offers a lifetime warranty. Some retailers may cringe on this, but true to our Heirloom principles, if a frame is on your face or in the case, it should be built to last forever. As a result, our customers are very loyal to our brand, and thus, we need to make sure they trust in us for the long haul. It’s our goal to have collectors have their grandchildren fight over grandpa and grandma’s eyewear collection when they pass. That’s the mission of Leisure Society.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE CONSIDERED A LUXURY BRAND?
Creating something unique from materials of inherent value and employing craftsmanship that is the finest in the industry. To work with only the finest stores, boutiques and opticians on the planet. To be authentic. Authenticity is the new luxury.
DO YOU BELIEVE YOUR EYEWEAR DESIGNS HAVE DISTINCTIVELY CHANGED OVER TIME? IF SO, WHAT DIRECTION ARE THEY MOVING TOWARD?
I think shapes have altered little over time, and any new shape is a variation of something that’s been done before. But for construction, there is some innovation going on. Our block titanium frames benefit from the world’s highest technology CNC machine, and we build the internal hinges with surgical grade stainless steel. Our frames may pay homage to the past, but simply put, they could not have been made 10 years ago. The machining capabilities have improved tenfold, and 3D printing and new materials will begin to drastically change the industry and revolutionize manufacturing.
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR CAMPAIGNS AND THE INTRICATE STORIES THEY TELL?
Just my personal interests. I’m hyper inquisitive by nature, so once something catches my interest I go deep into it. For our last campaign, we were fortunate to work with actor Iddo Goldberg, who often moonlights as a photographer. Coming from an acting background, he was well versed in character development and along with our creative director Darren, came up with a really interesting storyline based loosely on California exploration and recovery by a dysfunctional family of extreme wealth. Think the “Dallas” series (late ’80s version) meets the Italian film “I Am Love.” Our team loves this kind of stuff, but unfortunately we only get to create the campaigns a few times a year. You always want what you haven’t got... I mean, my second favorite thing to do is pour a scotch and work in our repairs department. There’s a lot of innate gratification in getting somebody’s vision correction back in action!
WHAT CAN LEISURE SOCIETY FANS EXPECT FOR THE NEXT COLLECTION IN TERMS OF THEMES, COLORS AND TECHNOLOGY?
We continue to expand both our block and beta titanium gold IP plated collections. Our latest acetate/titanium combinations, inspired by Italian Classics, will showcase new lenses with a shimmer precious coating. We accented our gold with white glacier, an “on brand” and subtle sea green and gunpowder tortoise. Our gold IP plating is almost 30 percent of our frame cost, and we’ve been told by our plating company that we spend the most of any other brands they plate in terms of cost per frame.
WHICH SPECIFIC EYEWEAR TRENDS DO
YOU SEE MAKING BIG WAVES FOR 2020?
We’ve been doing this remake of the classics thing for the last 15 years, and I feel like people are bored. The 2-base model has run its course, and so in direct contrast, I believe we’ll see more curved and sporty. Likely “athleisure” fitting. Stay tuned for our “Sportsman Series” due to hit the shelves in 2020. ■