BEHIND THE COLLECTION: Cabanarama by Pared Eyewear
There’s a fine line between classy and kitsch and Pared Eyewear dance right along it with some seriously dreamy results. From burnt orange hues to translucent cobalt tones, their latest collection (aptly titled Cabanarama), delivers us to the nostalgic vacay shores of the 80s Carribean where anything goes and bold shapes and even bolder colours are finally here to be celebrated.
From their launch in late 2012, Pared Eyewear have made a huge dent in the industry, due in no small part to their commitment to quality materials, premium design and a love for the small details that make their sunnies so standout. With the launch of their Cabanarama collection causing a stir onsite we tracked down Sam Stevenson; the woman behind the brand and a character who is not afraid to go ‘a little crazy’ with her design process!
Join us as we chat all things 80s Carribean, get a glimpse into daily life in the Pared Eyewear office, and find out what it was like shooting on the beaches of Cuba with Maya Stepper!
Samantha, thanks for catching up! Can you tell us about yourself and your role with Pared?
Hello! I’m Sam, the co-founder & Creative Director of Pared. My primary (& favourite!) job within Pared is to concept & design every eyewear collection.
How long have you been with Pared and what drew you to this industry?
I have been here since the very beginning when Pared was just an idea. My husband and I founded the business in late 2012 and launched the first (small!) collection in early 2013. I had always wanted to pursue a career in the creative industry. After studying design I worked in eyewear for over 5 years for another Australian company. It felt like the right time to branch out and launch my own label at that time.
For those who don’t know, tell us about Pared and what you do best?
Here at Pared we want to have fun with eyewear. We are a unisex brand with more of a womens focus and a small optical collection that we are looking to expand in 2018. The name Pared comes from the meaning ‘to shave back’ or ‘cut into an object’, so our defining & unique design detailing is the individual cutouts on each frame and the layering of different coloured acetates. We play a lot with shapes, colours, techniques & coloured lenses.
What makes Pared a standout in the industry?
We aren’t afraid to go a little bit crazy but still deliver a wearable, quality product. We use premium acetate and Carl Zeiss vision lenses for quality. What I think sets us apart is that we are very detail-oriented and design focused. I don’t want to copy trends, I want people to come to us because we offer a product that is different to everyone else.
Where is Pared based and what does a standard day in the office look like?
We have an office base in Brisbane, Australia but my husband and I travel every month at least so we work remotely a lot. The constant travel and change of scene is great for inspiration and a fresh perspective. A standard day in the Brisbane office is meetings with the team about what’s happening across all departments and then for me it’s drawing, researching and concepting a new range. I’ll also often be following up on samples & production and planning photoshoots to launch new collections. We all usually have lunch at the same time. Our team is like a small family and the office is fun and relaxed, lots of music and laughs. We work hard but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
The new collection has just landed on site, tell us about what we’re seeing?
The new collection is called “Cabanarama”. Each range is inspired by a time & a place, this season it is the 80s Carribean. Think nostalgic movies like Cocktail, The Blue Lagoon and Miami Vice. It’s all about an island getaway when life was a little more simple, hair was curly and cocktails were colourful with a cherry on top.
What makes the 2017 range stand out from your previous collections?
I think this collection stands out because of the colours – bright corals, purples, pinks, Hawaiian blue. The shapes are all very 80s inspired but still have modern detailing and are wearable for our customer.
How did you and the team come up with the looks we are seeing, tell us about your inspiration?
All ideas and shapes stem from my initial era and place – so in this instance it’s the 80s Carribean. I research frames and ideas from that era and then start drawing and see where it takes me. It’s a very personal process for me and often where I start is very different from where we finish. We review all samples with the whole team and try them on everyone as I value their feedback and ideas. We will refine the shape until the fit is perfect and talk about colours and finishes together to bring the best product to life.
Was there a campaign associated with the collection? If so, tell us about where it was and who was involved?
Every collection we shoot in the location that has inspired the collection. The campaign was shot on the beaches of Cuba with Maya Stepper. The shoot, shot by Amberley Valentine was inspired by 80s resort living so was styled with lots of white linen, all of the bright coloured frames and of course sunglass lanyards!
What will we catch you wearing from the latest range and how do you accessorise with Pared Eyewear?
I will be wearing the Tutti & Frutti in every colour but especially the Blue Lagoon. My go-to frames are always very oversized. My favourite design eras are the 70s & 80s. My favourite style is still the first one I designed and was in our first collection – the Puss & Boots which is a 50s cat eye and flattering on so many faces. We re-imagine it every new production run in new colours and techniques and it’s especially lovely in the clear/white.
What did the process involve from start to finish for you to hold the latest range in your hands?
My design process involves research – which may come from a variety of sources – books, magazine, old movies. I then look at the current range and see what is missing for our customer and how we can push the range further. I start drawing and then send off specs to my factory to sample. Once we see samples there are further tweaks, sometimes a second sample and then its time to choose colours for each style. We have boxes of acetates and lenses that we put together to find the right match. Colour is very important to me. There is often agonising decisions over the right shade of the perfect colour for the collection. Once we choose all of the colours we have to order all materials and then it all appears 3-4 months later as a finished product. The whole process can take up to 6 months to a year depending on the style and materials.
What’s your favourite part of this process?
The best part of the design process is getting the coloured samples in your hands and seeing all of your hard work coming to life. Everything starts with a concept and image in my head so being able to bring this to life and to our customers is very exciting.
What’s the vibe like in the office when you successfully release a new collection and how does the team celebrate?
The vibe in the office is always high energy when we have new samples and new product. It’s a good day when new shipments arrive and makes all of the hard work worth it for everyone. We celebrate together over a meal & drinks whenever we are all together.