Wires: rethinking the way we wear glasses
“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them ” Paulo Coelho
The idea for Wires couldn’t be simpler — the frames are made from a single piece of wire onto which one of seven different designs of lenses can be fitted. Seamlessly fusing classic design and modern technology, sustainability is at the core of the business model. It’s not hard to see why Wires has recently secured investment and why more and more people are buying into their ‘wisdom’ over fast, disposable fashion.
We interviewed designer Yair Neuman to find about more about the glasses and the vision behind them.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to be a designer?
I’m not yet sure exactly what a designer is but I guess the title fits me because I imagine things and then create them. I grew up with a jeweller mother and a surgeon father, so visioning and using my hands always brings me home in a way.
The idea for glasses came about after I needed a pair of sunglasses for a holiday. But I guess it has been forming for a while. Before creating the first prototype for the collection, I was obsessed with wire and the possibilities it presents. Wire allows for precision and accurate shape expression. I think it’s where 2D and 3D meet, it’s almost like drawing in space. It can be a flat signature or silhouette but also a complex deep structure. That summer day when I left for the beach it made much more sense to wear a piece of wire around my head than anything else. So I bent down a frame and took a train to the airport!
Can you tell us about the different people involved in the manufacture of Wires?
The frames for our glasses are handmade in a family owned business in the Italian Dolomites, the heart of Italy’s eyewear industry, renowned for its craftsmanship. These are paired with the 3D printed lens rims which are made in Germany, along with our Carl Zeiss lenses. The final shaping is done by hand in our workshop in London Bridge.
Wires uses 3D printing for the lenses. How does this help reduce waste?
Usually lens rims are cut out from sheets of plastic which result in significant waste. With 3D printing we only print what is need for the parts to form, nothing more. This drastically minimises waste in our production process. This is also the case with our frames, where we use extruded metal wire instead of cutting out the frame from larger sheets of material.
The idea of replacing the lens and not the frame is a novel one. How does a modular design work?
All seven designs for our lens rims fit onto the single foundational wire frame — you simply clip the lens rims onto the wire to switch your look, without needing a whole new pair of glasses. Our modular design is in line with a more thoughtful approach to how we consume as a society when newness can come at the expense of the environment. We hope that our glasses will last you a lifetime.
Why is sustainability so important to Wires?
Sustainability is in the DNA of the brand — it’s been there since the start when Lily and Kwame joined the project and we wanted to see if we could challenge the conventional route of eyewear manufacturing through sustainable design, creatively using materials, and producing minimal waste.
What next for Wires?
We are delighted to announce our Popup at the iconic department store Selfridges. This is an exciting opportunity to showcase a specially curated selection of our glasses, which people will be invited to try on and customise before purchase. We will also be releasing a special edition available exclusively at Selfridges. We hope to see you there!
Wires will be in Personalisation within Accessories on the ground floor, 400 Oxford Street between 9th and 15th July, 9.30am-10pm Monday to Saturday & 11.30am-6pm on Sunday