EYEWEAR DESIGNER TAKES A STROLL ON THE SUNNIER SIDE
Story by Amanda Stancati
Photo provided by Derek Cardigan
As we soak up the sun’s warm rays this summer, a cool pair of shades are needed not only for protection but as an essential summertime accessory.
Vancouver designer, Derek Desierto, is the eyewear designer for the Derek Cardigan collection (available at ClearlyContacts.ca), and he recently launched a line of sunglasses to add to his name. Read on to learn about which sunglass styles suit your face shape, his blog, and the “New Geek” movement.
What are some tips you can give to our readers for finding the most flattering glasses for their different face shapes?
A good rule of thumb is to go with the opposite of your face shape. If you have a rectangular or square face shape, go with something that has rounded edges like a pair of round or oval frames. If you have a round or oval face shape, find angular frames like a wayfarer style.
What are some summer trends in sunglasses and what pieces from your collection incorporate these trends?
There’s always a big emphasis on colour throughout the summer season and this year translucent colours are a big trend for sunglasses. Adding translucent colours to your look is a great way to brighten up your style without it being too overwhelming. This is the first summer that Derek Cardigan sunglasses are available, and you will notice the translucent frames look great with a sunglass tint!
Why do you think glasses have changed from something necessary for some to an accessory that can be personalized and bold?
Glasses are a new favourite accessory. The reason for this is that we’re in a time where personal style is celebrated. People are making a living by posting pictures of their personal style! I think this form of self-expression naturally lends itself to eyewear because glasses are a great way to express individuality.
Can you explain this “New Geek” style and what it means for wearers?
“New Geek” is just a term to describe this new crop of people who are just as stylish as they are smart. Geek or preppy style has become such a mainstay in fashion nowadays that glasses are the finishing touch to that look.
Would you describe yourself as this “New Geek”?
Haha… yes! And damn proud!
After graduating from Vancouver Community College’s fashion program and the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts, what drew you towards designing eyewear?
Eyewear design is really just something I fell into. I always intended to do something creative with my life whether it was in art or design. I didn’t always know it would be eyewear, but I am absolutely thrilled to be in the industry because I have always been drawn to glasses as a fashion statement. Glasses are part of my own look so I take great pride in designing them for others. I love seeing people walking down the street in a pair from my collection. Though I would never approach them, I still get very excited to see someone wearing Derek Cardigans!
I really like the tortoiseshell print and multi-colour fade that your glasses are available in. Where do you find inspiration when creating new shapes and colours?
Cool! Yeah, I’m a big fan of tortoiseshell too! Again, I’m very much inspired by fashion from the ’50s and ’60s. I watch a lot of old movies and find material from past eras is the inspiration behind a lot of my work. Also, I look to people with great individual style like Chloe Sevigny or Pascal Grob for inspiration. I find fashion forward cities like Paris or Tokyo stimulating because people seem to be more interested in fashion as an expression of individuality and I appreciate that.
As someone who was discovered through their style blog, how has having that beginning influenced where you are now? Why is it important for you to personally continue your blog and connect with your customers?
My blog did play a part in me being “discovered.” A few co-workers of mine knew I had an illustration blog and a design background which started the conversation of me possibly designing glasses.
For me, my blog has always been a creative outlet. Illustration is a great passion of mine and something that I feel is necessary in my life and my blog is a place where I can showcase that work. I’ve recently moved domains and I’ve created a new blog, mrdesierto.tumblr.com, which has my illustrations and inspirations. Actually, Tumblr has become a new obsession of mine which takes up hours and hours of time each day! I’ve had people who own Derek Cardigan glasses find me on Tumblr and it’s a great way to connect with them. Since it’s such a visual tool, you can instantly see what other people get inspired by which is usually the reason I’m on there for so long.
How do you differentiate your brand from other eyewear brands?
The Derek Cardigan collection has a lot of personality and is definitely for people who want to make a statement. Derek Cardigan glasses stand out because of the special details. It’s really funny to me when people comment on how much they like the math symbols because I when I first had that idea, I wasn’t sure if people would get it. I knew I loved them and I’m just really happy that others do too!
Which one of your designs can you be seen wearing?
Right now I’m on a rotation. I’m wearing either “7014 Black Rootbeer”, “7010 Black” or my new designs that will be available in the fall which I’m really excited about!
What’s does Derek Cardigan have in store for the future?
There is a new Derek Cardigan collection coming out in the fall and I’m also working on building out the sunglasses line! Keep an eye out for this!
Enter to win a pair of Derek Cardigan sunglasses now from Plaid Magazine!