LONDON — Nicholas Dellaportas and Toby Attridge are lending their collective four eyes to two labels, Taylor Morris and Sunday Somewhere, brands that offer optical lenses and sunglasses at accessible luxury price points.
Dellaportas, the director of both labels, worked in the biomedical industry and ventured into the eyewear space in 2013 with his friends Hugo Taylor and Charlie Morris, the cofounders of Taylor Morris. He originally did the business plan for them, and has since taken full control of the brand.
“We launched with Harvey Nichols in 2013, which really gave us that reputation and trust in the market. We started the brand with a philosophy of becoming the next global British eyewear brand, but always sticking to our core strategy of providing the best quality eyewear at the best prices. Accessible luxury is something that we’ve always kept close to what we’ve done,” he said on a Zoom call.
The brand aesthetic is a mixture of an old English gentleman fused with a hippie attitude — sunglasses take classic shapes with fun frames and lenses. Taylor Morris is now distributed in more than 10 countries and ships to more than 60 countries online, with prices starting at 140 pounds. The brand also has a store in Notting Hill.
Attridge, who is head of product development for both brands, joined the company in 2017. The two men later acquired Sunday Somewhere as part of a deal with their Hong Kong manufacturer.
“As a start-up, funding new product development and launching new collections is a huge challenge from a cash flow perspective. We were actually very fortunate to do a strategic partnership with our manufacturer. We saw it as a bit of a sleeping beauty that we could bring back to life, and take forward as a company,” said Dellaportas.
“We’ve got some interesting prospects in front of us [with plans to] acquire brands and nurture them using the same strategy. To take on someone else’s baby, and to have to nurture it, grow it and revive it has definitely been a challenge. It was always going to be a three to five year project,” he added.
Sunday Somewhere was founded 10 years ago in Australia. Its aesthetic is based on oversize ‘70s titanium frames with prices starting at 180 pounds.
Attridge has been developing new lines for the brand, including the Supermodel collection with frames named after Cindy Crawford, Elle MacPherson and Brooke Shields. Meanwhile the Greek Goddess collection introduced new, thicker frames in tortoiseshell.
“They’re a bit different because we’re putting a London stamp on them without being so outwardly London. It’s a bit cool and more city-oriented rather than beach- and surf-styled,” said Attridge.
“One of the reasons we were happy to take the brand on was that they are so different from Taylor Morris. There was not really going to be any crossover or cross-pollination in styles,” he added.
The next stage for the two businesses is figuring out how to implement sustainability practices.
At Taylor Morris, single-use plastic used on the inside of the frames has been removed, while the company offers free repair services to clients.
Attridge pointed out that while being green is an important factor, they want to create sunglasses that will last a lifetime rather than a product that is sustainable but can’t survive more than 30 years.