AM EYEWEAR 10TH ANNIVERSARY
- January 7, 2014 -
10 years ago the world was a different place, I was counting down the days till I graduated from high school, Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Govenor, iTunes music store was launched and most importantly, AM Eyewear was born!
In December I had the opportunity to dig a little deeper on this milestone and asked Designer/Director of AM Eyewear Simon Ponnusamy 10 questions, see below for his answers:-
2013 marks the 10th year of AM Eyewear, how does it make you feel to reach such an important milestone in today’s market?
Obviously any label that weathered the storm of the GFC and the retail climate that followed has something to be very proud of.. The shift from bricks and mortar to online shopping was a really trying time for our industry too. You sometimes forget how far you’ve come until you hit a milestone like 10 years and you’re encouraged to go through your archive of images.. It was eye opening to look back and to see what we’ve achieved..
Did it ever cross your mind when you first started out that you’d be travelling the globe showcasing your designs and expanding your reach?
Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to live a lifestyle of travel and self-exploration, the thought of a long-haul flight actually gets me excited.. I knew I was always going to do it in my personal life, to actually have it as part of my job prerequisite is incredible. One hopes when they start out in a venture, that it will make your dreams come true and when it does, life’s amazing!
What are your top 10 moments over the last decade? (for AM/career)
My daughters voice as she told me that she’d met a girl at the beach who was wearing a pair of AM’s and she said “my Dad owns that”.
The first time I was called a designer.
The first sample I received.
The first time our production arrived.
The first time I saw something I’d designed come down a runway and I saw all the flashes in the camera pit go crazy.
Waking up in the Grand Hotel Et De Milan on my birthday and thinking this is a tax write-off.
The first time I opened a magazine and saw a big name celeb wearing a pair of our frames.
Our first 6 figure order.
Recently you branched out into optical frames, was this always a range you were aiming to venture into or did it just organically occur?
It was never our initial plan, over the years however we received a growing number of requests for our frames to be supplied without sun lenses to be used as optical frames. As optical have different fitting requirements, it was only right I designed a product that was specifically intended for that purpose and that met those needs. A sun frame tends to be more robust and can take a better beating, whereas an optical frame needs to be lighter because they’re worn for longer periods. To deliver a product that was inline with our renowned durability whilst being lighter and easy to wear for long periods. I used 6mm acetate (usually intended for the front of a frame) for the temples and I milled it down in the center.. This gives it the strength of a robust sun frame whilst being super light. I’ve also finished the inside in a matt patina that makes them extremely comfortable to the skin..
When you are planning a new range, what process do you go through?
I don’t really plan a range, it’s more something I work at over the prior year.. Concepts come to me all year round and I design a frame when I feel inspired to..
There are so many eyewear companies out there yet AM seems to have an ever expanding loyal fan base, what do you think brings people to AM over the rest and why do you think they become so loyal?
It’s without doubt the quality.. You can very easily feel the difference of our product.. Then when you wear a pair the lenses are the real stand out.. We’re one of only 50 companies in the world (and the only Australia) to be granted a co-branding with ZEISS to use their sun lenses.. The vision and protection is second to none.
If you were to select 1 frame you felt was a core piece people should own, which pair would it be and why?
I would say the Bobby B in tort, it’s uni-sex, super strong and it seams to work with everything.. I definitely have favorites every season and this one I can’t seam to take off.
You also sent out limited edition sunglasses to a select group in celebration of AM’s 10th birthday, how did you go about selecting each persons frame? (oh and THANK YOU btw)
Our pleasure! It was a group collaboration.. I work with a very talented group of people and everyone did their research. I’m glad you liked your Bobby B, they’re hard to take off right?
In your 10 year journey, who has been the most influential person and why?
My mother, she taught me to look at how something is made, both in design and materials. She taught me the importance of quality and that’s what is the corner stone of AM Eyewear….
And finally, what do you think the next 10 years will bring AM eyewear?
Growth, our first ten years were all about getting our product right.. Now we’re there, it’s going to be all about letting people know about it..
Head over to AM Eyewear to check out the full range