Why an optical line?
It was too complicated and expensive to do a thoughtful, small-scale line. There were only big factories and too many middlemen complicating the process to manufacture exactly what we wanted. We were looking for a quality product with more options that weren’t available to us before.
Steven Alan has been very successful at dressing people head-to-toe, creating a uniform for many men and women. How does the eyewear complement your existing line of offerings?
Similar to our new home line, we saw a void in the market. We are now able to sell eyewear with the specific Steven Alan point of view.
To you, what sets the Steven Alan Optical collection apart from other eyewear?
I really like the shape, colors, weight and overall styles. There are an infinite number of shades and style varieties that we are now able to produce for our customer.
Who or what was your inspiration for the optical line?
The Steven Alan customer is always the inspiration. We are always thinking, what would the Steven Alan customer like?
Who is the Steven Alan customer?
We see our customer as creative thinking. They have an urban or New York sensibility even if they don’t live here. They are looking for and appreciate the “special” thing that embodies our design.
Does the urban experience influence the line?
Yes, we think of our customer living in a city - traveling in a taxi, riding the subway or living downtown. We feel our customer is looking for alternatives - a more creative option to what is commonly found out there.
You travel quite a bit for inspiration and are always on the lookout for new things. What are some influences you have brought home from these trips?
Japan is very important to me right now. I love the attention to the details and how they see imperfection as good.
Finally, do you wear glasses?
Yes, I do… or I should, definitely when I drive. I noticed at the moment he is not wearing any. Steven pulls out a crunched, battered pair of frames and quickly states what a wreck his old glasses are and how much he is anticipating wearing the new Steven Alan Line.