“More and more overlooked communities want to see themselves represented and are economically willing and able to support brands that represent them.”
Berlin-based eyewear brand Reframd is getting ready to launch a line of 3D-printed sunglasses that aim to be more inclusive. The brand, which describes itself as “Afropolitan,” started out “with the aim to design eyewear products for people with low and wide nose profiles—nose profiles found on many Black people—concerning our sunglasses,” says Shariff Vreugd, co-founder of Reframd.
They accomplish this by focusing on three main factors when designing unisex sunglasses. Firstly, they lowered and widened the bridge so that it fits more securely around broader noses. Then, they changed the shapes of the nose pads so that they accommodate “shallow” or wide-angled noses (noses that slope less steeply). Lastly, the measurement taken from the bottom of the glasses to the top of the frame, also known as the pantoscopic tilt, was adjusted to prevent the frames from resting on the wearer’s cheekbones, a common problem that people with these proportions often come across when using regular frames.
Although the original idea was for Reframd to be designed by Black people, for Black people, the founders realized “that other overlooked groups would benefit from [their] products as well, such as people from East Asia and people with Down Syndrome.”
Those interested in buying one of the four sunglass designs can scan their faces on Reframd’s website so that they can try on the frames virtually. An algorithm analyses the face so that the frames can be customized, resulting in sunglasses that “genuinely fit everyone.”
According to Vreugd, “more and more overlooked communities want to see themselves represented and are economically willing and able to support brands that represent them.”
Ultimately, the message the founders want to deliver with their sunglasses is that “good design is empowering and reflects the rich diversity of society.”