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Me and my glasses

Searching for something unusual

Prue Leith shares what her frames say about her personality and collaborating with Ronit Furst

20 May 2019 by Andrew McClean

How many pairs of spectacles and sunglasses do you own?

At least 10, not counting sunglasses. I regard them as other women do handbags. I pick a pair that goes with my clothes, or with my mood.

Can you describe your favourite pair?

Squarish quite heavy frames, colour blocked in blue, green, purple and red. One arm is purple and black and the other red and black.

What frame shapes, colours or styles do you usually go for?

As bright and as colourful as possible.

Why is a colourful frame important to you?

My glasses are so much a part of me that I don’t feel dressed without them. They also give me a mood boost.

“I think spectacles say a lot about the wearer. I hope I am optimistic, quite original and artistic, up for fun and confident.”

What do you think a pair of spectacles says about the wearer?

I think spectacles say a lot about the wearer. I hope I am optimistic, quite original and artistic, up for fun and confident. I fear I am also a bit of an egotist.

Who would you pick as your style icon of glasses wearers and why?

Ronit Furst herself. She is a beautiful woman, elegant and intelligent, and her glasses show the artist, perfectionist and humourist in her.

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

For about 40 years. About 12 years ago, I wanted something a bit unusual and, faced with the dreary ranges of grey, rimless and black frames in all the big chains’ offers, I went to my local independent optician in Moreton-in-Marsh. He also had mostly sober frames and I said, “Haven’t you anything brighter and more fun? Red, bright green or something?” His face lit up. He said: “I’ve just had this brochure in from a new company. Have a look.” The brochure was Ronit Furst and I loved them.

“Be a bit brave and force yourself to put on a pair that you think is too bold for you”

Do you wear contact lenses?

No, why would I? I love my glasses.

What did you consider when collaborating on your new eyewear collection with Ronit Furst?

I can’t pretend I designed them single-handedly. Ronit Furst designed them with my input. We discussed what I liked, and she did a whole lot of designs and I picked the ones I’d wear personally. She has involved me in every stage of the process, including designing, and redesigning the cleaning cloths, glasses cases and marketing images.

What are your top tips for choosing the right pair of frames?

Be a bit brave and force yourself to put on a pair that you think is too bold for you. Then have a look in the mirror and if it makes you smile, that’s the one for you. And don’t worry if it “won’t go with everything.” It will.

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