An Exclusive Look: I Love Ugly x Bailey Nelson Eyewear Collection
I Love Ugly collaborate with Bailey Nelson to present their inaugural collaborative eyewear collection, fusing I Love Ugly’s position as an international menswear brand with Bailey Nelson’s innovative approach to contemporary eyewear.
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We at Newspread were able to take an exclusive look at the collection in the weeks and months leading up to the release. Through behind the scenes imagery, we capture both teams working on the project in Sydney and unravel what the collaboration brings to the market. At the official lookbook shoot in Auckland we sit down with recent Necessities interviewee Joe Levy, designer at I Love Ugly , to give us more insight on the collaboration, the design process and what it means to the brand. Finally you can shop the much anticipated collection below within this article.
Behind The Collaboration
Centred on three unique styles; The Rocco, The Aston, and The Enzo, the debut eyewear collection combines I Love Ugly’s design approach of sophisticated simplicity, with Bailey Nelson’s expertise in crafting premium, design-conscious eyewear at an affordable price. Each style is crafted from premium materials with the inspiration of timeless shapes and design reinterpreted with I Love Ugly’s twist and detailing, and Bailey Nelson’s expertise and construction.
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The result is a collaboration by two renowned independent Australasian brands, the aim of the inaugural I Love Ugly x Bailey Nelson eyewear collection is to embody both companies shared core values; innovative everyday premium product constructed from high-quality materials available at an affordable price.
The Three Styles
The Enzo is designed for the detail-oriented, taking precedence from the elliptical optic styles of the 60s. Crafted from premium Japanese beta titanium, the Enzo offers a light, seamless-looking frame fit with flex spring hinges engineered for optimal functionality and fit. Available as a sunglass in Brushed Black and as an optic in both Brushed Black and Brushed Silver the Enzo is the collection’s most advanced style.
The Aston is inspired by the timeless sunglass styles of the 50s, beefed up with contemporary proportions and detailing. Similar to the Rocco, the Aston is crafted from premium Mazzucchelli acetate, an Italian heritage brand producing world-renowned acetate since 1849. Featuring custom tooled I Love Ugly "+" rivet detailing on frames and temples the Aston is available in three colourway options; Black, Butterscotch, and Crystal.
The Rocco is the eyewear collection’s most adventurous style, presenting a futuristic take on flat top sunglasses synonymous with 90s popular culture. A sleek, streamlined frame the Rocco is cut from a premium Mazzucchelli acetate in three colourway options; Orange Tortoise, Matte Black and statement-making White.
Available in Brushed Black & Brushed Silver
The Enzo is designed for the detail-oriented, taking precedence from the elliptical optic styles of the 60s.
Available in Black, Butterscotch, and Crystal
The Aston is inspired by the timeless sunglass styles of the 50s, beefed up with contemporary proportions and detailing.
Available in Tortoise, Matte Black & White
The Rocco is the eyewear collection’s most adventurous style, presenting a futuristic take on flat top sunglasses synonymous with 90s popular culture.
“I ALSO WANTED TO ASSURE EACH STYLE HAD A PURPOSE, AND CONVEYED A STRONG I LOVE UGLY VISUAL LANGUAGE.”
– JOE LEVY, DESIGNER AT I LOVE UGLY
Interview With Joe Levy Of I Love Ugly
Zayyar: Being the design lead on this project what did you personally want to achieve through it?
Joe: Before conceptualisation even began, right at the outset of the collab talks, we (I Love Ugly & Bailey Nelson) discussed what we wanted to achieve collectively first; to deliver a cohesive eyewear collection that offered a diverse range of three unique styles. A secondary aim that was of equal importance was to embody both brand’s share core values; to produce innovative everyday premium product constructed from high-quality materials available at an affordable price.
So as design lead these were my predominant aims. But I think in addition to these, I also wanted to assure each style had a purpose, and conveyed a strong I Love Ugly visual language. The Rocco is designed for our more fashion-conscious customer, which we have a lot of. The Aston is a classic style I Love Ugly customers will recognise, and we understood was required to give the collection a more approachable balance; it can be worn by pretty much any face type. And the Enzo was a real boundary-pusher, in playing with titanium and flex spring hinges to offer an incredibly comfortable titanium style that, in my opinion, is not available on the market within this price range.
Zayyar: Talk us through the materials you chose to work with, why did you end up on those?
Joe: Before we chose anything we first had to get educated on eyewear. It’s obviously something we don’t design or work within on a daily basis so Ryan Nix, Bailey Nelson’s Head Designer, sat down and gave us a bit of a ‘Eyewear 101’ - which I loved. So once we had a basic understanding of acetates, titaniums, lense tints, hinge types, and the pros and cons of each we sat down and began to craft each style.
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We leaned on acetate heavily to offer a classic fit and feel, focusing a lot on the acetate frame and lens combinations to get these bang on. From the white frame, green/orange gradient lens of the White Rocco to the butterscotch acetate and brown gradient lens of the Butterscotch Aston, the purpose of the style was considered deeply.
Titanium rounded up the third style, the Enzo, to offer something completely different. Combined with flex spring hinges, and an elliptical frame style we focused on producing something that could be worn as a sunglass and as an optical style too.
Zayyar: What was it like working with Bailey Nelson in terms of creative freedom and collaborating with a brand at their scale?
Joe: Amazing. Typically there’s a lot of back-and-forth, and tense nail-biting moments hoping the collab will get approved etc. but in this case everything was really fluid, and transparent. The collab came about in a natural way, and we designed, produced, and delivered the project collaboratively in the same vein.
This collaboration is one of the biggest from the I Love Ugly brand that’ll sit alongside Onitsuka Tiger, Jansport and more, will we see more in the near future?
For sure. Whether as a marketing campaign/brand activation or a product release collaborations are a pretty big part of our world. I Love Ugly x Bailey Nelson for example offers us the ability to produce premium eyewear produced by specialists. So watch this space...
The I Love Ugly x Bailey Nelson eyewear collection will be available through I Love Ugly at iloveugly.com and I Love Ugly Flagship Stores, and Bailey Nelson at baileynelson.com and select Bailey Nelson Flagship Stores globally from February 28, 2019, 4pm NZT.
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Interview & Forward: Zayyar Win Thein
Photos: I Love Ugly