Niche brand expert Andrew Blyszak is about to launch his own eyewear range, a high-end affair using matte powder-coated metal and real horn: bringing something genuinely new to the crowded sunglasses market. Here I ask him about his life behind the darkened lens and his plans for the brand. Product images are from the new lookbook, pre-release images are exclusives.
SL: I know you’re Australian by origin, so presumably sunglasses were an early necessity. Can you remember what pair you first bought for yourself?
AB: Not suprisingly the first pair I ever bought for myself were Ray-Ban.
SL: The collection features a very specific shape, how did you arrive at this design?
AB: The shape was derived from a pair I had been wearing for years which I had originally found at a flea market in the South of France for 50 cents. They got a real beating over the years and when I went to replace them I couldn’t find a single pair with that precise shape and so I decided to make my own.
SL: In the pantheon of iconic sunglasses wearers, who deserves a place?
AB: We are arguably all big Andy Warhol fans.
SL: What drove your desire to work with by-product horn, and how did you come across this as a material?
AB: Horn is a special material that doesn’t really have a spotlight in contemporary eyewear. It also requires intricate handling and so I hooked up with London based Edward Gucewicz who had been perfecting the art and manufacture for some time. What’s intersting is that no two horns are ever precisely the same. BLYwear (as my freinds are calling it) is a super-refined product using the highest quality materials. Mixing horn with metal to create something standout that naturally won’t be for everyone but which feels really good.
SL: The collection is unisex, was this a deliberate choice or just a result of the designs looking good on boys and girls?
AB: Personally I prefer to think of all niche product as unisex to some degree. The collection has a genderless mood which I think is reflected in the campaign imagery and true, the style sits well on both boys and girls.
SL: What are your immediate plans for Blyszak eyewear?
AB: There’s a full campaign release taking place in the middle of May 2015 and Blyszakeyewear.com will go live shortly thereafter. We are also teeing up with a few specialty stores to house the collection exclusively. All the details can be found at the website.