VADA IRL: BLACK OPTICAL
For your reading enjoyment: Katie Caplener and Alexis Sepkovic in conversation with Black Optical:
Katie, what made you want to expand your business from designing jewelry to eyewear?
Caplener - Expanding into eyewear felt really natural for me, since I'm used to hand tooling and forming materials in a studio setting with our fine jewelry team of artisans. There are quite a few parallels in jewelry and eyewear production, surprisingly, so I was able to learn the manufacturing process quickly. I have been friends with Alexis Sepkovic, my Brand Director, for many years and we always talked about making eyewear for VADA. In 2018, I was ready to expand our product offering and drew on my archive of vintage eyewear for inspiration to begin the new voyage.
Do you find yourself designing to appeal to trends, or designing in a way that inspires you personally?
Sepkovic - We definitely pay attention to trends in the sense of shifting human interests and patterns; but we try to design eyewear that is really unique and therefore appeals to unique personalities. Our first frame, SIREN, is so different from anything on the market. We wanted VADA to stand out from the other shapes on the shelves and continued that journey into our latest releases - from shapes to material selection and the colors.
Any design inspirations that have inspired you and the work you do?
Caplener - I am constantly looking for new inspiration. A lot of that comes from travel but with covid putting an end to that I have been seeking inspiration through film and books. Lately, I’ve been watching the survival show, Alone, old David Lynch films on DVD, rewatching The Sopranos, and reading “All About Love” by Bell Hooks. I’m constantly trying to think tough but stay tender, balance is everything!
What’s next for VADA?
Sepkovic - VADA is always growing and morphing. I hope to have many more frame styles released by the end of this year so we can expand our offering and really cater to all face shapes. Follow us on @vadajewelry for a deeper look into our world of inspiration and see what we’re up to behind the scenes.
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