The lens rims can be changed out.
LONDON — Eyewear startup Wires Glasses announced a 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 model, actor and activist Lily Cole.
Lily Cole, co-founder of Wires and British model, actor and entrepreneur; and Ash Stymest, British model, wearing the 180° from Wires Glasses 2018 collection.
The amount of the investment was not disclosed.
Each pair of glasses from Wires' 2018 collection is 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 so the wearer can change the look of their eyewear without having to buy a new pair. Alongside its modular innovation, the 2018 Wires collection features a frame with an invisible hinge mechanism, "enabling the frame to fold as a result of geometry, not screws," according to a press release.
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' co-founders, including Cole and entrepreneur Kwame Ferreira, "are committed to sustainable design and production," the release notes. 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.
When in need of a pair of sunglasses while on vacation, Neuman created what became the Wires Glasses prototype. He constructed himself a pair using materials he had on hand, including a 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."
Wires Glasses come in unisex shapes ranging from the avant-garde to on-trend. Complete pairs retail at $380 while additional interchangeable lens rims retail for $70.