It seems the best products are always born out of the designer’s personal need, and Meeyye, the eyewear line founded by former fashion communications executive Masako Kumakura, is no different.Settling last year in Newport Beach, Calif., after stints in London, Paris and Hong Kong, Kumakura found herself with some extra time on her hands.“All my career I’ve been marketing and communicating brands for other people, but I’ve never created anything. I was born in 1959, so at one point I started needing reading glasses. I remember preparing beginning-of-year budgets at Gucci Group and I started holding the papers closer and closer to my face,” she laughed.[caption id="attachment_10885013" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Mnemba frame from Meeyye eyewear.[/caption]“So I said, ‘OK, I’m going to make what I need, and what my friends need. There are so many products everywhere, but I couldn’t find reading glasses that I wanted to wear that were also reasonable. I took my designer glasses to the optician and they told me it was impossible, or very expensive, to put in progressive lenses.”So she sourced a factory in China with the capability to make not only high-quality frames, but the progressive lenses as well. The frames are 3-D printed from her CAD sketches.The result is Meeyye, with retail prices ranging from $65 to $70 and which launches on Matchesfashion.com at the end of May. Kumakura calls Meeyye the first fashion eyewear line to feature progressive lenses.Customers use the same standard grades as drugstore-brand reading glasses to determine which strength lens to buy, and on its web site, Meeyye offers a visual tool to help them determine whether they are plus-one, plus-two, etcetera.[caption id="attachment_10885003" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Santo frame from Meeyye eyewear.[/caption]Part of the appeal of a fashionable product at a good price point is that people don’t hesitate to buy multiples. “What if you want to wear them at the pool? What if you forget them or break them? I want one in my office, at my bedside, in the kitchen, in the car, and I don't want to spend $5,000,” Kumakura said.The debut collection includes three ladies’ silhouettes: a classic acetate oversize round; a metal aviator, and a fashion-forward Seventies style combining acetate and metal. There is also a unisex Wayfarer-inspired style.As for the lenses, which are all progressive reading bifocals, Kumakura classifies them as “clean” or clear lenses, sunglass lenses and “cosmetic” lenses, which are lighter colors that can be worn both indoors and outdoors.The name, she says, is sort of an inside joke. “They say you can’t make anyone else happy unless you are happy yourself, so it’s really all about me,” she said. “My friends always say, ‘Masako, how much do you love yourself?’ but I do, I love myself.” She decided to call the line “Me Eye” but found that domain was already taken, so “I just changed the spelling.”[caption id="attachment_10885007" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Ramla frame from Meeyye eyewear.[/caption]Kumakura added refined details such as the “m” and “e” logo built into the temple hinges, and the brand’s signature teal color on all the enameling and many of the temples. The extras were also carefully considered. The cases are made from biodegradable plastic and the pouches double as cleaning cloths.For the next season, she plans to develop more on-trend styles and is aiming to grow distribution in luxury resort retail shops.Her brand pillars are creativity, honesty and value. The first and last are obvious. As for transparency, she said, “Today customers are so smart and they just want to know the true story. They don’t care that things are made in China, they just want to know where things come from. My factory produces all the best glasses and lenses, for many brands who’d rather not say that.”
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.
@beyonce chose a custom gown by @falgunishanepeacockindia for mother @mstinalawson 's second annual Wearable Art Gala last night. The gown, which took 10 days to make, was inspired by Nubian warrior queen Amanishakheto. Reporting by @hernameislex . #wwdeye 👑 🐝#beyonce
After dressing @justintimberlake for his Super Bowl halftime performance last month, @stellamccartney has designed the star’s "Man of the Woods" tour wardrobe. Timberlake will be wearing a mix of pieces from McCartney’s fall men's collection as well as custom designs and items from his own closet. #wwdfashion