Interviews | March 22, 2021

A chat with… Vera Wang

In the 2021 Vera Wang campaign created by Kenmark Eyewear, the fashion designer herself models the styles of the new eyewear collection; with boldness and femininity

words Alessandra Albarello

An eclectic designer with a panoramic view of fashion thanks to her multi-layered experience, in the new advertising campaign now more than ever,Vera Wang becomes the ideal interpreter of  a unique style. Sophisticated and sensual. she suggests unusual combinations of glasses with the garments of her RTW and Bridal lines, establishing a direct and sincere dialogue with her clients; without ever forgetting quality and comfort

Why did you decide to be the protagonist of your eyewear campaign? What is the message?

My love for eyewear. I work very carefully on my eyewear collection. Eyewear has always been a personal passion for me – from my days as accessories editor at Vogue, to my 20 years with Kenmark designing my own line. Both ophthalmic and sunglasses have evolved enormously in these last decades, from aerodynamic high-tech sports-influenced crossovers to the remarkable invention of cool new lenses, materials, and techniques. Eyewear, protective layer for eyes that are assaulted by pollution, the diminished ozone daily by layer, and and the relentless glare of our phones and computer. As a fashion designer, I have to maintain a physical connection with the products I design design, so I try on every single pair I have ever designed, all the while realizing the transformative visual power of eyewear in creating a certain fashion statement. I hope the looks I recorded for my latest campaign encourage women to explore the different styles they can create with their own wardrobes and lifestyles. I also wished to establish a direct dialogue with my clients, and how I encourage them to enjoy experiment and enhance their looks with eyewear.

How do you translate and transform your RTW and bridal ideas and inspiration into your eyewear collections?

One part of the collection is designed specifically to be utilitarian without sacrificing aesthetics. Nothing can be more flattering than a great pair of glasses, particularly if one needs any sort of eyecare or visual aids. The other part of the collection is designed specifically as a seasonal fashion statement, in contrast with, or in conjunction with, the runway and advertising campaigns.

Material and immaterial: what are the key features of your brand identity?

Like our fashion, our eyewear always embraces both ever evolving trends and ‘edgy’ takes on classics – such as aviators, oversized frames, cat eyes, visors and even reading glasses. But I am most proud of our quality – especially ‘the hinges’. As a collector myself, nothing is more frustrating than eyewear that stretches out at the temples: so focusing on quality, the hinges and fit, is essential.

At this particular time, our sensitiveness, values and priorities have changed. Because of the masks, eyes are at the forefront. What about eyewear and its current role?

As masks seem to be a part of our new reality, I think there will certainly be new and inventive adjustments, creative concepts, and maybe even lenses attached to protective headgear, but regardless, eyewear is and will always be, both a wonderful, creative accessory and a necessary part of protecting our all too valuable eyesight.

How important is eyewear to you and what are your favourite shapes and colours?

I love eyewear on its own and all the work that goes into such a condensed area, but I also love eyewear as a fashion component: a sense of irony or tension between my eyewear choices and my wardrobe – a visor with an evening gown, or utilitarian Ray Ban style paired with a sleek tailored mini look. Having devoted my life to fashion, I only pray that fashion and the creative role it plays in all our lives will continue to support individuality, fun and self-expression.

Your future projects (or dreams)?

Directing a film or writing a novel