Without sounding too much like Barney Stinson from 'How I Met Your Mother' with all of his rules like 'New is always better' but we do all look better in sunglasses, period! Although there are exceptions to this rule. For example, you can never wear sunglasses on the London Underground, never, you just look like an egotistical twat.
Some people collect shoes, bags, trainers or coats. In winter I pretty much collected knitwear and coats and now in Summer I'm building quite an impressive sunglasses haul. In my collection are cheap pairs from £10-20 all the way up to a couple of pairs around the £300 mark, so these new ones from KITE are right down the middle at £150.
KITE are a relatively new UK brand, launching in 2014 based on British design and Italian craftsmanship. Sometimes to improve on something as classic as optical glasses and sunglasses, you have start with a blank piece of paper which is what KITE have done. Shoppers can be savvy but most of the time we are just puppets to major marketing strategies by massive brands designed to engage us into purchasing their products. In many respects shoppers have become wiser to companies spending millions to force their particular brand message or new season products on us...which has given birth and a rise of the blogger - a personalised voice for all brands, small, medium or large. KITE are a major NEW brand success story, built from scratch and proving that you don't have to have a heritage from the 1800's to be successful and making great products.
The advantage KITE has in the current marketplace is they were able to start from scratch. Their designs, their service and their pricing model are all unique. Firstly, they offer a flat £150 fee for all of their sunglasses and optical designs, which includes lenses and also offer a free high tech eye test.
During my first visit to their flagship Westfield Stratford store, I was greeted by friendly knowledgeable staff - who seemed like they were genuinely passionate about the design and product they were promoting (not selling). I mentioned 'not selling' because I didn't feel like the staff were the hard selling type at all. The whole process was about them assisting me in choosing the right frame for my face and whilst incorporating my own personal style. The final product is totally customisable by choosing different frames, arms, lenses and even an artist inspired lens cloth.
My final designed sunglasses were a bold tortoiseshell frame with slightly more discrete tortoiseshell arms and tan faded lenses...what do you think? You can head into store or shop online below with a few of my favourite pairs.
SHOP KITE SUNGLASSES
SHOP KITE OPTICALS
Photography by Ella H