We like to “nerd” out to new finds in optical. We get very excited to hear about new ways people innovate in the optical industry, whether it is new technology to do eye exams or new ways to see our world. More often than not, we share new finds in eyewear we think will move the market. We love it when people think of new ways to make eyewear that make a statement. Wires is one such concept and company. We wrote about Wires last year on our sister site, Optical Vision Resources when the 1st version was released.
Eyewear startup Wires Glasses recently announced its 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 Lily Cole.
Each pair of glasses from Wires’ 2018 collection are 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 easily so the wearer can change the look of their eyewear without having to buy a whole new pair. Alongside its modular innovation, the 2018 Wires collection features a frame with a first-of-its-kind invisible hinge mechanism, enabling the frame to fold as a result of geometry, not screws.
Conscious of the environmental impact of the traditional eyewear industry, Wires’ co-founders, among them the model, actor and activist Lily Cole and socially conscious entrepreneur Kwame Ferreira, are committed to sustainable design and production. 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 which is renowned for its quality of production and craftsmanship.
When in need of a pair of sunglasses while on vacation, Neuman created what became the Wires Glasses prototype. An inventor with a passion for sustainable design, he constructed himself a pair using materials he had on hand, including a single 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.”
With this round of funding, Wires will focus on its direct-to-consumer strategy, including building out its e-commerce 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, a 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 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. They are available for purchase online at wiresglasses.com.
About Wires Glasses
Wires Glasses is an innovative eyewear brand designed by London-based Yair Neuman and established under the creative direction of model, actress and entrepreneur Lily Cole. Through sustainable design, modularity and hinge technology, Wires Glasses aims to change how eyewear is both made and worn. Each pair is designed with a single piece of metal wire at its core with interchangeable, 3D printed lenses to minimize waste. Shop Wires Glasses at www.wiresglasses.com or follow on Instagram @wiresglasses.
About True Ventures
Founded in 2005, True Ventures is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that invests in early-stage technology startups. With more than $1.4 billion under management, True provides seed and Series A funding to the most talented entrepreneurs in today’s fastest growing markets. To learn more about True Ventures, visit www.trueventures.com.