“I pick my eyewear wardrobe very carefully”
Daniel Scott, dispensing optician and trained personal stylist behind The Eyewear Stylist, on style inspirations and his eyewear briefcase
17 February 2023
How many pairs of spectacles or sunglasses do you own?I keep my eyewear in a briefcase that was custom-made in Paris. I have about 15 pairs of frames at the moment. I pick my eyewear wardrobe very carefully. I hate the words ‘spare pair,’ in terms of something that lives in a drawer. So I’ve always made sure that each pair is decisively different from any other pair that I have, whether that is colour, shape or style. I also do something functionally different with the lenses, too. That keeps my wardrobe more active than if I was changing eyewear for purely fashion-based reasons. For example, I have no-reflection lenses, which are perfect if I have any cameras on me, and I have blue acrylic Kirk & Kirk frames with XTRActive Transitions lenses, which become a blue mirror that matches the frame in sunlight. It’s quite geeky and complex, but there are multiple reasons for each set to be chosen.
What frame shapes, colours or styles do you usually go for?I personally prefer a frame with a fixed bridge, I find them really comfortable. Style-wise, I don’t like anything that is too understated. I’m very lucky in that I have more of an oval face shape, so most frame shapes suit me and I can more easily build a wardrobe in terms of a mixture of square and round shapes. In terms of colours, I am a winter-season, so that means I’ll tend to wear brighter, darker and cooler colours, and will steer clear of any warm colours.
Eyewear is not just the frames and the lenses, it is the combination of both, while also incorporating optical health
Can you describe your favourite pair?My favourite pair to wear currently is a Vinylize frame made from AC DC’s Back in Black album. With my background as a musician, anything I can tie back to music is brilliant and I love the story of the frames and knowing what the vinyl is.
My favourite frame at the moment is one that I designed. It’s Feb31st, a black frame made from ethical and sustainable wood with a white asymmetrical colour block.
Who would you pick as your style icon when it comes to eyewear?My biggest style inspiration is Jeremy Scott from Moschino. I love that he has created a high fashion brand but with personality. Most high fashion brands are quite serious, but he will get models to walk down the catwalk in crisp packets. It’s really creative. I have a pair of shoes that were designed by Jeremy Scott in collaboration with Adidas, that are white with wings on. I definitely treat him as an inspiration.
To be at 100% Optical styling the models on a catwalk, chairing panel discussions, and judging the eyewear awards, is huge
What does good vision and eye health mean to you?What I like about eyewear is that it is so multifaceted. You can think of eye health as just a need rather than a want, but I love the creative ways lens suppliers tackle it. Eyewear is not just the frames and the lenses, it is the combination of both, while also incorporating optical health. I love Tokai because they do some super clever things, and companies like Marma London are really cool, because they have photochromic lenses that become such vibrant colours in the sunlight, like a purple or crazy blue.
Lots of people talk about the synergy between glasses and shoes: you want to have a comfortable pair of shoes. If you’re running, you might want a pair that gives you extra ankle support or different insoles. You can also have shoes in a cool colour or that can be customised. You need the shoes, and you want different pairs for different activities, but it doesn’t end with the functional aspects, you can add a fashion element on top.
How important is eyewear to reflecting your personality?If eyes are the window to the soul, then what is your shop window? Eyewear is so personal, because what can be more personal than your face. In the modern world of ‘Zoom-wear,’ where you can only see someone from the shoulders-up, eyewear is the main way you can dress yourself for that occasion. I think the best people embrace the fact that they are wearing glasses and rock it. You can completely change how you are perceived through that choice.
What are your top three tips for selecting the right pair of frames?
- It all starts with comfort, and comfort is always going to come from the bridge fit on the nose. If it fits well, it looks good as well
- You want the top of the frame to follow your brow line, because that is what will look natural on your face. If you have more of an arched brow, then I wouldn’t go for a flat top to the frame, because it will look incongruent
- With the bottom of the frame, for a natural tailored look, I would recommend going the opposite shape to your jawline. If you have a soft face shape, and go for a round frame, it could look quite jowly. If you have a square face shape and go with an angled frame, it could look boxy.
Could you tell us what inspired you to launch your business, The Eyewear Stylist?What I personally found was that there are loads of amazing practices that provide fantastic sight tests, eye health checks and give perfect prescriptions. But as a locum I was seeing the same problems regardless of the practice I was working in: a patient would leave the testing room, see 1000 glasses on the wall and wouldn’t know what suited them. The dispensing optician might then start by asking: ‘What would you like?’ But people don’t know. There wasn’t really any style advice. At the end of the day, there is a reason a person needs those glasses, but there is a way to find a pair that best serves them and their lifestyle.
I knew there was a want and a need for a service like a personal stylist for eyewear. I wanted to make sure that every part of my process was expert and informed advice, so I went down to London to train in personal styling.
What I find interesting is that it brings back an old-school approach to eyewear styling. My dad was telling me that, years ago, you wouldn’t have loads of glasses on display, they had to be tucked away. I think that is where we can put ourselves forward as experts and protect our profession.
Do you have any stand-out moments or learnings from your first year in business as The Eyewear Stylist?The most rewarding experience of the last year was having eyewear custom-made for a lady’s wedding. Eyewear can be such a forgotten part of the outfit. The lady explained: ‘I wear glasses every day and so it would be weird for me to put contact lenses in and to not look like myself on my wedding day, but do I want to wear the same pair of glasses that I wear to the office?’
We had a frame custom-made out of sustainable wood and the lyrics to her first dance song written across, so you can see the little flicks across the frame. But she now also has the piece of wood that the frames were cut from, and so when she takes them off at the end of the day, she can read what the lyrics say – like her own private message. We also had the date and location of the wedding engraved on the inside, and fitted them with the thinnest lenses in the world from Tokai.
Then, as it was an outdoor wedding in the Lake District, we had magnets put into the frame and custom-made a separate polarised clip in a navy blue colour with blue polarised lenses. That shade of blue actually informed what colour the bridesmaid dresses and flower arrangements were going to be. It transformed a worry about ‘what if I’m squinting in the photographs,’ to something that she was really excited about.
What does it mean to be presenting at 100% Optical this year as well as judging the Love Eyewear Awards 2023?
Bearing in mind that I was a musician and never thought I’d go into optics, to be at 100% Optical styling the models on a catwalk, chairing panel discussions, and judging the eyewear awards, is huge.
I felt that the catwalk could be more representative, having different ethnicities that would require different bridge fits, but also ages and sizes, and that it could represent what is going on in eyewear at the moment. Rather than looking at seasons, we could have sections relevant to things like sustainability, cocktail tints in lenses, or the 80s vibe that we’ve seen since Stranger Things.
I’m hoping to educate around the benefits of certain frame materials, to hopefully get more opticians comfortable with choosing niche eyewear. If we are doing that, perhaps we can attract more niche suppliers to the UK and cultivate a cultural change.