Me and my glasses

TJ Johnson

Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year award winner speaks about eyewear

TJ Johnson

How many pairs of spectacles and sunglasses do you own?

I own nine pairs of spectacles and sunglasses in a range of styles and colours. I like to mix and match my glasses for different occasions and outfits. I find they finish off an outfit and once I step out the front door, I feel complete and ready for the day/night ahead.

Can you describe your first pair of spectacles?

I was 11 years old and had just started secondary school when I got my first pair of spectacles. My best friend at the time wore glasses, so I remember feeling quite envious; wishing I had my very own pair. I always had trouble with my eyes, but at the time, the thought of being cool like my friend appealed to me more than the idea of seeing the world clearly. I remember picking them up from the opticians after school one afternoon. They had a small, round silver frame – very Harry Potter. I felt so excited at the prospect of wearing them every day, I think I even slept in them for the first few weeks.

Do you have a favourite pair?

I’ve got a few pairs of specs I like to wear – one brown with quite a fairly thick frame and the other with a tortoiseshell-coloured frame and thin golden sides. My favourite pair of sunglasses currently are some replica Bruce Lee-style vintage sunglasses. Hopefully I won’t lose these ones – I have a bad habit of losing sunglasses.

Who would you pick as your eyewear style icon and why?

My style has been influenced in the past by Robert Downey Jr and Johnny Depp. They both have excellent taste in eyewear and you don't get cooler than Tony Stark and Captain Jack Sparrow. 

Do you wear contact lenses?

I started wearing contact lenses for kickboxing when I was 17. I found out after my first lesson that it’s not a good idea to be wearing specs when you have fists and feet flying towards your face. Contact lenses are very much a summer thing for me now, as I only have one pair of prescription sunglasses which I keep in my car to wear when driving if it’s too sunny – wishful thinking.

What prompted you to go for an eye examination?

I think my parents got fed up with me bumping into things as a kid. I don't remember really, I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say that I had responsible parents who used to take me to the opticians for regular eye examinations. Thanks Mum and Dad.

Has wearing spectacles changed your outlook on eye care?

I'm definitely more conscious about looking after the health of my eyes now. I get regular check-ups and I'm one of those weird people who enjoy going to the opticians. Having laser eye surgery is something I have thought about in the past, but as I’ve grown older I think wearing glasses has become part of me and my look. I love being a spectacles wearer.