Clair de Lunettes: An Interview with Eyewear Designer, Thierry Lasry
The toast of celebrities and civilians alike, Thierry Lasry
's eyewear possesses the sort of magnetism you can't quite put your finger on. Is it the cleverly speckled acetate? Is it the playful gradients? The Hollywood-worthy frames? (If you ask me, there's no competing with that feeling of anonymous glamour.) But wherever the hypnotic charm lies for you, it's clear Lasry's doing something right, considering the world has been swooning since his 2006 debut.
During his recent trip to New York, I gave the Frenchman a penny for his thoughts, from materials to inspiration to how he comes up with those totally amusing names (you know, like Sexxxy, Excity, Obsessy). Check it all out in the interview below!
Shop all Thierry Lasry here
Do you design with a particular person or era in mind?
Yes, every season I have a silhouette or a girl who represents my vision of beauty at that moment. Last year, for example, I was completely fascinated by the beauty of Blake Lively. I even named a style after her, the Lively, which actually happened to be the best-selling style of the collection and got worn by Madonna, Dita Von Teese, and Mandy Moore. But not by her yet...
All of your styles intentionally end in a "y" (like your first and last name). Some are real words, and others you invent. What comes first, the design or the name?
It’s always the design first. I make a long list of names or words that I like or that just sound good, and when the collection is ready, I decide who will be who.
Is there a word you're dying to use?
Even though I've already used "Fetishy," "Exhiby," and "Porny," there actually is one on my list that I have forced myself not to use so as not to shock people too much: "Orgy." But I feel like I don’t really care anymore and might end up using it one day.
Your eyewear is known for its striking frames. How do you source and treat your materials to get them to do what they do?
The way the materials are developed is often a tribute to the 80s, which I’m completely fascinated by. All of our materials are acetate, which typically undergoes a process of layering–meaning you can create textures by combining sheets of different colors, one against the other. In the last few seasons, I’ve decided to go a bit further and incorporate mini-cut pieces of colored acetate, gold or silver flakes, or even fishnet between those layers, creating very unusual materials. Besides those experimentations, every season I launch limited editions of certain styles in vintage materials. I have a few people around me whose mission it is to scour the world over for dead-stock vintage materials. Usually, they’re old stock from factories that closed in the 80s and 90s. And, of course, since we’re talking extremely small quantities for each material, the styles end up being super limited (between 25 to 100 pieces), which is what makes them so exclusive. Those styles are, then, only shown to some of our favorite accounts (like Opening Ceremony!).
We love, love, love the "fishnet" effect on the latest Excity sunglasses. What inspired that direction?
The fishnet effect on the Excity is a bit different from the fishnet effect we used in the past (like on the Obsessy), because it’s not one layer of fishnet but 3 (!!) that are stuck between 5 thin layers of acetate. So, that’s why you have a very special visual effect. I initially worked the fishnet in a very feminine/sexy way, and this time, I wanted to use a more "pop" approach.
If your name were an acronym (T.H.I.E.R.R.Y.), what would it stand for?
: Temptation (resisting temptation, regardless of its form, is irresistable
History (I hope some of my sunglasses will become iconic in the history of eyewear)
: Independent (We’re one of the only independent sunglasses brands in a market dominated by licensed brands)
: Energy (Between working 12-14 hour days and going out almost every night, those around me can't help but wonder where the hell my energy comes from)
: Real (Each product is 100% handmade in our own factory in France)
: Rings (I can’t live without the 9 Chrome Hearts rings I wear everyday)
: Young (The brand will celebrate its 5-year anniversary this fall!)
usa vs. france
it takes two