Lily Cole’s Wires Glasses to launch new 3D printed eyewear collection with investment from True Ventures
Eyewear startup Wires Glasses today announced its seed investment from True Ventures along with the launch of its new collection of modular eyewear. The company was established in 2017 by London-based designer Yair Neuman and under the creative direction of Lily Cole.
Each pair of glasses from Wires’ 2018 collection are crafted with a foundational wire frame that pairs with seven different designs of lens rims in various shapes and colors. The lens rims are interchangeable and can be switched out easily so the wearer can change the look of their eyewear without having to buy a whole new pair. Alongside its modular innovation, the 2018 Wires collection features a frame with a first-of-its-kind invisible hinge mechanism, enabling the frame to fold as a result of geometry, not screws.
Conscious of the environmental impact of the traditional eyewear industry, Wires’ co-founders, among them the model, actor and activist Lily Cole and socially conscious entrepreneur Kwame Ferreira, are committed to sustainable design and production. By 3D printing the lens rims and using extruded metal wires, the company reduces the amount of waste that is usually created during eyewear production where rims and frames are cut from larger sheets of material. Additionally, Wires Glasses are handmade by a family-run business in the Italian Dolomites, the heart of Italy’s eyewear industry which is renowned for its quality of production and craftsmanship.
When in need of a pair of sunglasses while on vacation, Neuman created what became the Wires Glasses prototype. An inventor with a passion for sustainable design, he constructed himself a pair using materials he had on hand, including a single piece of wire. “Wires is inspired by both ancient African wire artistry and technological advancements like 3D printing,” said Neuman. “It’s art and science combined.”
With this round of funding, Wires will focus on its direct-to-consumer strategy, including building out its ecommerce site and selling its eyewear in exclusive boutiques in the U.S. and Europe.
“Wires is creating one of the freshest things I’ve seen in eyewear in a very long time,” said Tony Conrad, partner at True Ventures. “The collection is unique, and the co-founding team has this incredible mix of experience in design, fashion and sustainability. We also like that Yair is focused on designing products that are in line with how the modern consumer thinks.”
Wires Glasses come in unisex shapes ranging from the avant-garde to on-trend. Complete pairs retail at $380 (£270) while additional interchangeable lens rims retail for $70 (£50).