Torus Eyewear | Exploring the Intricacies of Technology In Fashion

Speaking With The Founders on Creativity and Innovation

Written by

Mariam Bagdady

Photographed by

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There is an open-ended saying that anything, be it beauty or inspiration, can lie within the eye of the beholder – a statement so proverbial yet at times entirely true. Within what is beheld lies the ever-looking eye, and inside those gates comes creativity, ingenuity, and the beginnings of an everlasting imagination waiting to be put into practice. Enter Torus Eyewear: a modernistic brand that welcomes that beheld inner innovation and applies it to the practicality in spectacle fashion.

Burgeoning through textiles with technology in mind, Torus blends modernity with style, changing the world through inspired eyewear that is perpetuated even now through the Torus Founders’ eclectic personalities. Jeffrey Smith, Nima Nejat, and Sheila Vance are pioneers in their industry, extraordinary storytellers imbuing their stories within the art of fashion and maximizing their user experience through the touch of friendly programming and top-industry AI. For them, there is an electrifying energy in eyewear, one that continues to be shaped by the world around them.

What is always interesting about eyewear?

From the earliest known examples dating back to the 13th century, eyewear has been fascinating.They were discovered in Italy and invented by a man by the name of Salvino D'Armate, who designed a very primitive small set of magnifying glass spheres. While it took centuries to perfect the treatment for imperfect eyesight, artisans and glass blowers designed lenses in different thicknesses to adjust eyesight which were perched on the nose often set in leather or wood.They were designated as status symbols of intelligence and prosperity often featured in portraits and artwork of nobility or clergy. Today the amazingly spectacular advances in technologies, treatments, materials, and style statements are as much part of fashion as function. Eyewear continues to move ahead with the cycles of style - often even ahead of them.Eyewear instills confidence and incites creativity. We see more people who do not need corrective lenses wearing optical style frames [clear lenses] because of their ability to elevate a look and complete any ensemble. For me, [sun or optical] frames are always interesting because they do more than protect, correct, and frame the face. Eyewear is the ultimate facial expression to create a concept, showcase creativity, and build character

Describe a Torus innovation that began as a surprise and became a positive step forward

Several years in development, we created a new lens category that has proven to add a wellness component to the Torus Eyewear collection. Our Energy Adaptive 'smart lens technology' - offers light solutions with an adjusting tint for all levels of light exposure in our custom colors. Selected for their beautiful and unique hues which matched our cellulose acetate, we wanted a baseline saturation that could be worn day into night and would be the starting point for modulating tint with the light rather than just clear or dark [while offering full protection from harmful rays]. We began to develop and design around the science of color. Certain colors are calming, reduce stress, and are good for focus to improve our overall well-being. We also learned that keeping those lens colors at an 18% base saturation was optimal for improving mood and minimizing squinting and associated headaches. We took this to heart and began to develop our exclusive lens offerings with light solutions in adjusting tints for all levels of exposure.  Meant to be worn day to night, inside and out, they work with our eyes to offer superior protection against all harmful rays - while calming and soothing, keeping focus and vision crisp and mitigating glare. Now there is no need to take off inside or in the shade. Your Torus Eyewear will work for you, adjusting for the light by windows and for blue/violet light [from computers, tablets, phones] bright white bulbs, cool fluorescent tubes, and incandescents. These exclusive lenses in our Torus frames look as good as they feel in rich colors. jade green, rosy quartz, sky blue, taupe, obsidian gray wash, nude ash, and warm amber.

In what way does working in this medium make you appreciate people?

I  am thankful and appreciative to our factories, our supplies, and our retailers which have been our business family for decades. We work as a team to create and deliver the best product.  Each piece can take hundreds of processes, and dozens of components and cross several continents. Our frames are passed through countless hands for individual hand finishing.  It is a collective effort across multiple continents and time zones. Wearing eyewear supports any 'persona',  like transforming a superhero. Frames are the supervision 'mask' anyone can choose as they decide who they are or want to be on any given day. For me, this is a great gift. For the glasses wearer, it is an amazing opportunity and the possibilities are endless. In this new age of retailing and digitally native brands, I also appreciate my partners in this effort. Nima and Jeff have indoctrinated me to the new world of digital marketing. I appreciate their understanding of what goes into creating a global community and their ability to navigate data analytics cross-pollinating across the growing social media platforms.  It is not for the faint of heart and I have learned in essence a new language.

Who ought to be wearing Torus if you were to choose.

It is hard to choose just one - or even two people who should be wearing our frames - because the range of styles works for many different faces and styles.  If I had to choose, I would have to say Ryan Reynolds and John Legend. Both are elegant examples of exceptional style. I would also love to see Pharrell in our Torus frames as he is a trendsetter and a chameleon who can and does change his look often, always ahead of the curve in creativity. For women, Natasha Lyonne and Zoe Kravitz, I mean does it get any cooler than these two?

How do you stay motivated in this competitive space?

There is so much noise in the eyewear space and so many copies but real innovation, quality, and true technology can not be copied - or even imitated. I continue to be inspired and motivated by ideation and creative concepts that push the envelope.  I work with my partners to conceptualize newness and understand the customer needs and wants of the next generations today. Thinking about what can be better is always a motivating factor. I have spent decades moving the goal post and I push back when factories or suppliers tell me something is impossible. That in fact may be the greatest motivator in addition to knowing that we are helping people to feel their best, look their best, and be their best. When I analyze what has not been done before and how we can improve our technologies or introduce new materials that will improve product perception and the wearer's experience I find a way to be first to market. That keeps me pushing forward with every release and every new introduction.

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Torus Eyewear, Jeffrey Smith, Nima Nejat, Sheila Vance, Fashion, Mariam Bagdady