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Me and my glasses

Tom Davies

The eyewear designer and founder of TD Tom Davies on his passion for sunglasses and spectacles, despite not having a prescription

20 Mar 2017 by Emily McCormick

Essilor MPUHow many pairs of spectacles and sunglasses do you own?

I have an unlimited number of sunnies because I'm always dipping into my collection. And I run with between seven and 10 pairs of specs at any one time. 

Can you describe your first pair of spectacles?

If I’m honest, I can't remember the first pair that I ever wore. I don't actually need glasses, so I've only ever worn them because I like them. However, I do recall that the first pair that I put ‘fake’ lenses in had an AR coating – they were big, black and bold. They really made me feel like an eyewear designer.

Do you have a favourite pair?

My new Yak horn sunglasses, my carbon horn glasses and generally all other horn glasses… sorry...I just love my glasses.

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What's your current favourite pair of frames and why?

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

I don't really have one. However, I love watching people in glasses and, living in London, I see inspiring eyewear around me every day. This morning I saw an amazing Asian lady in giant round silver frames. They were fantastic – I had to stop myself from staring.  

Do you ever wear contact lenses?

I tried contact lenses once, just to see what it was like to actually need glasses. They made me feel sick.  

How long have you worn spectacles for and what prompted you to go for your first eye test?

While I don’t need spectacles, I shamefully admit that didn’t have my first sight test until I opened the doors of my first opticians in London. My optometrist informed me disappointedly: “You really don’t need glasses.” However, I've worn glasses almost every day since I started out in the eyewear sector back in 1997.

"This morning I saw an amazing Asian lady in giant round silver frames. They were fantastic - I had to stop myself from staring"

How have eyewear trends changed during your time in the industry?

When I began designing frames, eyewear was all about small, little box shapes. Today, trends seem to veer towards a varied mix of individual styles.

How has frame design changed during your time in the profession?

Around 20 years ago I found that glasses simply didn't fit people properly and everyone looked the same. But it’s definitely all about the individual now. There is a lot more frames choice today compared to when I started in 1997 – eyewear has become far more fashionable and acceptable. People wear their glasses as an accessory more and more these days and take more care with their personal image.  

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