Who is it? BLYSZAK eyewear was founded in 2015 by Andrew Blyszak, an Australia-born, London-based fashion entrepreneur. Quite simply, the brand was formed from Blyszak’s desire to replace a pair of much loved second-hand frames, gifted to him a few years previously. “My mother had purchased me a pair of frames from a very inexpensive place in the south of France,” he explains. “They were this perfect oval shape and I had worn them literally to death – an arm fell off, the nosepads had gone, you know, the whole deal. When I tried to find a replacement pair I couldn’t. So I just thought, you know what, I’m going to start making my own!” As such, the range of sunglasses hand-crafted for BLYSZAK, out of workshops located in Europe, America and Asia, possess a vintage feel, reminiscent of the minimalist aesthetic of 1990s Helmut Lang or Calvin Klein. “I own a lot of limited edition sunglasses from that era,” says Blyszak. “Pieces from the 1980s and 1990s. For example, I have several pairs of Jean Paul Gaultier frames from 1995 – the ones with the springs on the arms that are so hard to get hold of.”
Still, the unisex designs produced by the brand maintain a contemporary sensibility, and are far from a pastiche. The frames are made from grade-A steel, sustainable Asiatic water buffalo and Nigerian oxen horn, each pair cut and polished to the highest standards. These bespoke production methods dictate that BLYSZAK stays true to its ethos, too: “Our products are very easy to digest. They are made from metal, horn or a combination of both, in four simple shapes. It’s not rocket science. As a consumer, when you’re faced with a choice of 800 colours, you’re like ‘oh, okay well, now I don’t know which one I want’, and it becomes overwhelming. So it’s really about refining what we have on offer and just stripping it back, whilst always staying true to ourselves.”
Why do I want it? Despite its uncomplicated yet uncompromising approach to design and quality, BLYSZAK’s price points remain affordable. “We strategically have two price points, so you can always buy into the brand irrespective of your income,” says Blyszak. “The whole idea is that you’re not alienated because you can’t afford it. Although you may not be able to access the horn frames, you can still buy into the metal ones. So we have a wide-ranging customer base, from 21-year-olds to 65-year-olds. It’s very democratic in that way.” This democracy is further reflected in the way in which the label markets its product, through initiatives such as BLYkits, a way to thank customers for becoming part of the ever expanding BLYSZAK family via a series of gender neutral items accompanying their purchase – namely, a leather wallet, a pair of socks and a BLYbook. “We commissioned photographers to shoot our products on boy/boy, boy/girl, girl/girl models, and what came out were these beautiful images that stood alone as works in themselves. I think it’s really appropriate to be tapping into this in fashion today.” With further exciting projects in the pipeline – including a top secret collaboration with a pop culture icon – we predict that BLYSZAK’s frames will be collector’s items of the future.
Where can I find it? Online and in stores worldwide, including Alex Eagle, Browns, LN-CC, Barney’s New York, SSENSE Boutique and online at Farfetch.