By Denis Langlois
Gwen Stefani is many things.
She’s a three-time Grammy Award winning musician, a globally successful performer, celebrated songwriter, a fashion designer, television judge, record producer and mom.
And through her impressive career, which spans more than three decades, she has remained a fashion icon.
Gwen Stefani is, indeed, synonymous with style.
In 2016, 13 years after launching her own fashion brand, Stefani’s trend-setting style entered the eyewear space when she teamed up with Tura Inc. to launch L.A.M.B. and gx by Gwen Stefani collections. Her Zuma junior line launched later.
Stefani’s fingerprints are all over the eyewear styles, with the singer involved in each stage of the design process.
The styles feature nods to many of the trends and musical genres Stefani has embraced and bolstered over the years, including punk, ska, tribal and street.
This season, Tura has launched new eyewear styles under all three Gwen Stefani brands.
L.A.M.B. showcases Stefani’s unique style through exclusive materials, graphic patterns and custom laminations, creating statement frames that really stand out, while gx by Gwen Stefani includes affordably priced, fashion-forward eyewear that embody her unique blend of stylish sophistication mixed with a rock-and-roll edge.
Zuma draws inspiration from skateboarding, high fashion, and traditional sports.
Gwen Stefani recently shared with Optical Prism her thoughts on her eyewear lines, the new frame styles and the influences behind them and why eyewear style is more important than ever in this pandemic era.
- Your latest album’s lead single, Let Me Reintroduce Myself, is a look back at your musical career. What throwback elements will we see in your latest eyewear designs?
- While my style has evolved over the years, there are some themes and types of inspiration that are always the same. From the very beginning, I’ve loved the bold, graphic contrast of black and white. You’ll always see some black and white patterns in the eyewear. Check out LA083 in black that has black over bone marble. It’s a beautiful bold shape that’s sophisticated and chic.
Other lifelong design themes are houndstooth print and colours that pop. This year, we did playful, colourful glitter stripes, glitter houndstooth and glitter tie dye prints in GX. In GX junior’s collection there are new Kawaii characters – an inspiration that was central to Harajuku Lovers. In Zuma Rock, there’s camo and checkerboards, a nod to my punk/ska roots.
- What excites you about the new gx, LAMB and Zuma Rock collections?
- I’m really excited about all the custom materials we created for 2021. In LAMB, we have this gold foil that’s on my favorite round sun, LA569 GLD. In GX, there’s a gold glitter classic houndstooth (GX078 GLD, GX077 GLD) that makes the classic print feel modern and fresh. In Zuma Rock, I love the mash up camo and checkerboard prints.
- How involved are you in the design process?
- While it’s always a team effort in collaboration with Tura, I’m very involved in every step and I very much enjoy the process. I review and give detailed input on all trend inspiration, concept drawings, new materials and all proto samples. I try on every single prototype to be sure I like the shapes and colours. Tura takes all of the feedback and executes the final product. I’m also very involved in designing the marketing campaigns to be sure they feel fresh and are a current reflection of my style.
- Why was it important to you to design eyewear for juniors?
- My son Zuma has needed glasses since he was really young and we always struggled to find eyewear that expresses his style and personality. ‘Boys’ eyewear in particular is often very boring. Zuma wanted cooler-looking glasses that were more fun to wear. I know many girls want fun stylish eyewear. I design glasses for kids who want to stand out and be noticed with their fun glasses. I want kids to feel proud and confident wearing their glasses.
- Most of your eyewear designs are fun, edgy and uplifting, many with cool patterns. Do you think it’s important for people to push themselves out of their comfort zones when it comes to eyewear?
- I don’t want to push anyone out of their comfort zone and I get some people are nervous trying daring eyewear. They don’t know if it will look good on them or they don’t want to make too bold of a statement. My brands have this person covered because we have lots of chic shapes and styles that are, relatively speaking, pretty subtle.
On the flip side, there are many people who want something more daring, and they just can’t find it. My collections have filled this void. We have exciting frames at a range of price points for people who are not afraid to take fashion risks. The collections are selling well, so I think there are a lot of people who want something more fun and exciting or at least more chic and stylish.
- Why has eyewear style been particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic and in what ways did that influence the designs for 2021?
- Eyewear has become a more important accessory for a lot of people. With people on video conference calls all day, eyewear has become a key accessory. My brands are doing well in part because people want to wear exciting eyewear on their calls. People are excited to have bold and super chic eyewear to wear on conference calls. They also want lightweight eyewear that’s comfortable to wear all day – something we made sure we took into account when picking materials for this year’s frames. LAUF081 RGD is a good example of a bold frame, while LA084 is thinner with beautiful colours.