While, yes, I am the “self proclaimed sunglasses queen”, I did not get my crown in a vacuum. Rather, I am so thankful to find inspiration in so many incredible people, places, and things. I want to share some of my passions with you, and show you where some of my inspiration for Fancy Troubles came from. These are some things I love, and if I rant, well, you can’t blame me!
1. The first is a line whose voice and composition speak to me. I have admired how For Love & Lemons has been able to build a recognizable brand without a big logo. While I’m not opposed to such statements, I think it’s really awesome when someone’s designs can be recognized by their unique styles. I tried to bring something like that to the design of my sunglasses. Adding a unique bridge that stands out, on the Desert Sky or Moxie, gives them that recognizability.
2. I love how Wild Fox has created this poppy, almost thrift-shop vibe to their style. Again, they’re a brand you can recognize from just their cuts and designs, which I think is super valuable. They also aren’t afraid to be funny, or witty, with something written on the outfit, which is sort of their trademark design and how you know something is Wild Fox.
3. Off-White/Virgil Abloh: he is such an incredible designer whose ability to make understatement so bold is unique. Off-white, especially the Nike Air Max series, is successful and innovative. The way he puts the logo, which is also so simple, on different materials, or uses materials as a calling card, such as the red zip-tie on his shoes. Shoes are my number two addiction (after sunglasses of course), and I am just unable to decide what design of his is my favorite!
4. When it comes to wearing the newest looks from some of my favorite designers, no one looks better to me than the Hadids. Bella are Gigi are the most recognized, but two of their siblings, Anwar and Alana, are making their mark in the world of fashion, too. Their professionalism and personalities make them all so much more than just models, and that X factor is something I always try to find in what I’m designing. Now I have sunglasses, but not celebrity level sunglasses with a walk in closet on some MTV Cribs. Maybe 20 pairs total, but the reason I love them is because of the intricacy of the designs, and the possibilities you have. It isn’t just fashion that inspires me, but in so many other areas of design: architecture, cars, cities even. I’ve always been drawn to that and for that reason I went started doing graphic design in the first place.
5. When it comes to cars it’s a tough decision. So many types of cars can be cool, not just luxury ones. Old cars in Cuba, or tiny European cars like an old Fiat or Peugeot in the right setting can be so charming. That said, my favorite car is… still a tie. The Maybach-Mercedes concept car isn’t drivable, but when it is, I will do whatever it takes to drive one! For now, I’ll keep admiring the Mercedes G-Wagon in white with gold details.
6. Movies are a huge source of inspiration for me and one movie in particular that’s influenced me is Midnight In Paris by Woody Allen. Its intricately designed 1920s-costumes are beautifully executed visuals, and the set designs only enhance them. It’s also largely set in the 1920s, which is an era I love for it’s elegant and adventurous spirit. That’s also why I’m a huge fan of the more recent Great Gatsby movie for the stunning dress and the splendid lifestyle they put on display.
7. I’m something of an old soul, and I love being able to sit outside in a beautiful place like a café or park. That’s why I love London and Paris, two cities I spent a lot of time in while in school. While living in London, a city with tremendous energy, I often took advantage of how close it was and visited the beautiful city of Paris. It was such a blissful experience to sit outside in the sun drinking a café au lait while an accordion played nearby. And that is a thing, there are a lot of accordions! London gave me a different inspiration. London is full of incredibly motivated and talented people who have inspired me to pursue my dream of designing sunglasses and working in the fashion world. Nobody becomes a success or a star overnight, and so I still look to people who are making it on their own terms for inspiration. While there are amazing success stories like Leandra Medine Cohen and Chiara Ferragni, I’m inspired by slightly smaller accounts, too, like Rachelle Cunningham.
8. JAQUEMUS is someone whose taste I really admire. The colors in his posts are beautiful pastels and natural mixes inspired from the European Mediterranean landscape. The Mediterranean is my favorite region of the world, and I love when desert skies meet clear blue sea. He recently designed an amazing bag that took off and sold out almost instantly, which is so hard to do! He’s blowing up and he totally deserves it!
9. An account that is such a living story is jimsandkittys, a couple-account that posts unique travel photos and offers only glimpses into their adventure. Lisa-Marie and Tim have a signature style in posting which has made it so that I don’t even need to see a username to recognize their content. Edgy, but also intimate. They are phenomenal.
10. Nima Benati is my final inspiration. She is a 26-year-old fashion photographer who has become a unique success for her sharp eye and amazing photos. Her abilities have allowed her to break into a highly competitive field, and as a young woman of a similar age chasing my dreams she offers me proof everyday that it is possible to achieve what sometimes feels impossible.