Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Getting to Know our Designers :: Westward Leaning

Westward Leaning, a San Francisco based sunglass company, is quickly becoming
 the hottest accessory label for Hollywood's elite and fashionista's in the know.  
The secret is in the design. 
Each pair is crafted from one universally flattering shape, 
while thoughtful accents and a mix of materials are used to distinguish one collection from another. Each collection focuses on an aspect of human achievement and social progress,
 like the Children of California collection, which uses reclaimed redwood with proceeds going to Teach for America in the Bay Area.
This quirky mixture of style and heart has made Westward Leaning one of our favorite new brands at McMullen.
Check out an interview with the Westward Leaning team to find out how they created their signature shape and what causes they will be representing next.

Q. What's the key to creating sunglasses that are universally flattering?
A. The key to creating sunglasses that are universally flattering is keeping the design simple and minimalistic. Our universal frame is based on the classic wayfarer frame, and we inlay the unique materials at the temples in a flattering parallelogram shape. 

Q. Your project is based a lot on social causes and progressive issues. How have these inspired Westward Leaning and the overall collection? What issue is the current collection touching on and why is it important to the brand to highlight human achievement?

A. The original inspiration came from a brainstorm session when our co-founders Robert Denning and Karlygash Burkitbayeva where classmates at Stanford Business School. They were trying to figure out ways that retail could better engage with contemporary social issues. Rather than use social issues merely for marketing, they wanted to make them core to a brand's identity, and central to the actual design and manufacturing. Therefore a social lens has inspired every aspect of the brand from where we source to the materials we choose to incorporate in the glasses. 
The current collection, Model No. 9 honors the color revolutions that have brought about democratic change throughout the world. While the sunglasses honor all the various color revolutions, the specific models—in blue, orange and pink—celebrate the Orange Revolution, the Blue Revolution, and both the Rose and the Velvet Revolutions, respectively. For every pair of sunglasses sold, we donate $10 to Reporters Without Borders, which works to protect and defend the journalists who report on the front lines of social change.
It is important for us to highlight human achievement for two reasons. The first is that we strive to offer sunglasses that let people express both their personal style and their outlook on the world around them. The second is that, while past visionaries were responsible for the achievements our sunglasses celebrate, we support education programs dedicated to creating future visionaries in order to ensure we have a bright future - bright enough for shades! 

Q. What is your favorite style tip for women (of any age)?
A. Our favorite style tip, or something we love, is subtle color matching. For example, when someone matches the reflective cobalt blue on the lenses of our color revolution model with their belt, handbag, or the color of their nails. It is subte, and hard to catch, but when you do it gives a powerful sense of togetherness to the outfit. 

Westward Leaning is now available at both McMullen locations. 
Stop by and find your perfect pair!

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