As I mentioned in my 100% Optical 2020 post, there was an incubation area where new brands (or brands that are new to the UK market) could exhibit. Of course I HAD to take a look in that area to see what I could find. There was Covrt Project, the Opti Blogger Spectacle 2020 Award winner. There was Erkes1879 which isn’t a new brand but it is the first time they’ve shown in the UK. I met the founders back in Mido 2019. The nicest people EVER! It is a father and sons business, great energy and vibe about them and just really REALLY lovely people. It was nice to see Erkes1879 making an appearance during 100% Optical 2020.
My top pick, Lowercase NYC
The one brand I want to focus on is Lowercase NYC. Why? #1 Gerard (one of the founders) was lovely and #2 ALL the glasses are made in New York! Not even kidding!!! I also really liked the story behind the brand. Gerard was telling me about why they started.
So, he was working in finance and it was becoming really bad for his health. He took a career break then had an idea about producing and making something from New York because nowadays, nothing is made locally.
The journey began at that point and 3 years later, they now have a small factory in New York where all the glasses are made, it is only a small team of 3! They do ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING themselves from making the frames, packing, shipping, marketing and all the usual stuff you need to run a business. I truly admire entrepreneurs like this because I am a bit of an entrepreneur at heart too. I am building my blog as a business, I manage everything myself and I am a mum of two.
Aside from me being sold on them as brand because they are made in NYC and because of Gerard’s entrepreneurial spirit, I genuinely, really liked the glasses. The quality is great, they feel really solid, you can see the craftsmanship in them. I also saw the passion coming through from Gerard when he was explaining the frames to me. Every piece really was like one of his babies.
As a new brand, with no experience in optics, producing his own frames… I think he has done exceptionally well. Another bonus for me was that the acetate wasn’t a bad fit for me at all! Gerard explained the nose is not the standard size but not as high as a typical “Asian fit” nose. They’ve been made somewhere in-between to hopefully appeal to a wider market. I wish them all the best in the future!