When it comes to the basic design, sunglasses offer very limited options. For all of their variety in aesthetics–mirrored lens vs. no mirrored lenses, tortoise-shell vs. black, Wayfarer vs. Jackie O.–most sunglasses come in a standard fit that favors low cheekbones and high nose bridges. For Athina Wang and Florence Shin, this one-size-fits-all structure wasn’t cutting it, so they decided to design for a more diverse range of face structures with Covry Sunwear.
“I would always have to choose between stylish sunglasses that didn’t fit, or a frame that kind of fit, but wasn’t the style I wanted,” says Wang. Frames slid down the nose, hit high cheek bones or left behind unwanted indents. These are problems that a lot of Asian men and women come up against, and the oft ill-considered “Asian fit” from sunglass brands don’t offer many stylish or affordable options. “We knew there had to be a way to make sunglasses that not only fit well, but also look great.”
Wang and Shin, who are friends from high school and attended fashion school for design and marketing respectively, designed what they call the Elevated Fit. There are three tenets to their fit: longer nose pads, to allow for the sunglasses to hit higher up on the nose; a straighter curvature of the frame so that they won’t dig into high cheek bones; and the nose bridge is more narrow so they won’t slide down. Covry features Elevated Fit glasses in a variety of different shapes, styles and color combinations, with more choices to come this fall.
The designers just wrapped up their Kickstarter campaign for Covry last week, surpassing their goal of $18,500 by 280%. “We were definitely not expecting it to do that well,” says Shin. “We knew we had an audience but we were excited when we saw how many people were so enthusiastic about product.”
When asked what they attributed the success of the campaign to, the pair said that it resonated with a lot of people who share similar frustrations, not just Asians. “‘Asian Fit’ we found to be a bit assuming because a lot of people who aren’t Asian have this problem,” says Wang. “It’s been really inspiring to see everyone’s messages and feedback: ‘We’ve been waiting so long for something like this, why hasn’t anyone else thought of this?'” Wang and Shin had hit upon a large group of people who were dealing with the same frustration.
The pair is working with a manufacturer now to produce the shades and plan to have them on sale on their website in time for the Fall 2015 season.