LONDON — Laura Bailey has joined the British eyewear company Zanzan as director and creative partner, WWD has learned.
The model and British Vogue contributor is joining the board as a co-owner and started her role in February. In her new position, she will advise on the sunglasses brand’s direction, aesthetics and partnerships.
Launched in 2012 by Megan Trimble and Gareth Townshend, the range is handmade in Europe, and is stocked in Matchesfashion.com, Moda Operandi and Modern Society.
“We want to develop Zanzan into a truly desirable eyewear brand and Laura is able to bring something really special to that endeavor,” Townshend told WWD. “Laura has always worn Zanzans and we’re longtime admirers of her work and her style. So it felt right straight away. We see Zanzan as a ‘fashion eyewear’ brand and Laura really gets what we are trying to achieve. Laura is as passionate about sunglasses as we are, and it was obvious from the beginning that she was uniquely positioned to help us build something really exceptional. We have some really exciting collaborations planned, and Laura has been instrumental in these from the start.”
Bailey said her relationship with Zanzan started as a fan and a customer. “I’m obsessed with shades and Zanzan’s independent spirit and design integrity stood out from the crowd. Everyone asked me who made my shades. I started buying them for my friends. And [they] are wearing them every day.”
She said that while the new job will be challenging, her choice was natural and authentic. “The chance to collaborate, while learning about a business I love, is a real privilege. And I believe there’s a real demand for independent fashion eyewear and new conversations. I believe in the power of the right pair of shades to transform a look or mood. A new pair, come spring, feels like new beginnings. At work, in an ever-changing hyper-social fashion world, I relished my sunglasses’ dual powers to costume and to shield. Protection. Some girls rely on shoes or the bag du jour. For me it’s shades that complete me.”