Tyche + Iset is a Los Angeles based brand named after the Greek goddess of fate, fortune and luck and the Egyptian goddess of life, magic and wisdom. Brand founder Morganne Leigh is a talented creative with a passion for art and design as well as a strong connection with spirituality and adventure, inspiration which is apparent throughout the brand and in each pair of frames produced.
I understand you have trained as a painter and a graphic designer – were you always a creative person at heart? Yes, I think I have been imaginative since I was a toddler. Then, I began traditional art classes when I was six years old, which was the foundation for my artistic exploration. My creative abilities have never been limited to one area of art or design.
Tyche + Iset is marketed towards ‘searchers, thinkers, stargazers …’ How would you illustrate the typical Tyche + Iset customer? I have been so lucky to have met the majority of my customers in person! This has been a grassroots brand, and it has been awesome to get to know them. They come from all walks of life and are of all ages, they aren’t afraid of colorful styles, they love to stand out from the crowd, they’re funny and kind but most important of all – they enjoy life. Above: Morganne Leigh, founder of Tyche + Iset Eyewear
I have learned that the origin of Tyche was the name of a Greek Goddess and Iset was the name of an Egyptian Goddess… Where did you find the inspiration to delve into history and why did you choose the names of these specific ancient heroines? History is among my favorite subjects and I’ve always enjoyed mythological stories because they are filled with adventures and lessons about life.
I am not traditionally from the eyewear or – more broadly speaking – the fashion industry. When I first started the brand, I had no network to open doors, zero guidance and no financial help. I had no idea what I was doing, but I needed to find a way to survive and take care of myself. It was also a necessity for me to find success in something I was passionate about; so I turned to my love of art and design. Each of the Goddesses represents my willingness and determination to find my destiny using my own creativity – they guide me, in a sense. It is all about taking a risk and perhaps being rewarded by being prepared when opportunity arrives. Plus, a little luck along the way (or bad luck in the form of a lesson learned). I am always learning, even when the process is difficult. The origin stories and histories of each Goddess are linked to me in serendipitous and very personal manners, further strengthening my belief that they also chose me.
Tyche + Iset encourages their wearers to ‘follow their cosmic intuition’ – where did you first find a connection with your own spirituality? We would love to hear a bit more about what following ‘cosmic intuition’ means to you, and to the brand as a whole… Throughout my whole life I have had spiritual experiences and received ‘messages’ through dreams as well as in the physical world. My intuitive and semi-psychic sensibilities are very strong. Our minds are magnets and we attract what we consistently think about. To me, following your cosmic intuition is allowing the Universe to connect with you, to guide you, and to teach you so that you can move forward through life in a positive manner. Internal journeys require patience and there will be difficulties. But, if you trust in the Universe, it will always take you to where you need to be to find your happiness.
People are paying more attention to their zodiac signs than ever before. Having founded such a spiritually driven brand – what are your views on astrology? I have been a fan of astrology (birth charts) and tarot since I was a teenager. I also believe in Numerology, which reflect our life cycle journeys and challenges. I often make decisions for the brand using tarot cards – I trust in the answers I receive!
What do you think makes Tyche + Iset designs unique? Our eyewear tells a vivid story through design, color, and details. As an artist, I create work in order to connect with someone and share my vision. My goal is to design products that people have an emotional connection to.
Tyche + Iset has just launched some gorgeous new sustainable packaging – how important is sustainability to you? What do you see for the future of fashion and sustainability? Sustainability and environmental protection has been of lifelong importance to me. These goals are also within the brand and my plans for its future. We only produce products with integrity. We do not want to be a part of the problem.
There is a lot of “green-washing” within the fashion industry. Many brands also want fast, easy money for the cheapest investment. But, the price we pay is environmental damage with communities suffering. I hope that companies will become more responsible in how much they produce each year as well as their own carbon footprint. Slow-fashion and small-batch production is what the industry needs to focus on. For the past several years, I have been experimenting with recycled materials for new products or eyewear. I want to create things that people cherish and do not want to throw away. It is unfortunate that producing new plastics is much cheaper than cleaning and re-using excess waste that is destroying our world. Many recycling centers have closed down and manufacturers do not want to deal with the difficulty of using recycled materials. But, I will never give up hope on my ideas. I’d love to inspire more designers/brands to participate in innovative practices. Let’s find solutions to problems we all face. If more people ask for these things, we can be effective in modifying consumer culture into a more positive future.
Can we expect anything new and /or exciting that may be on the horizon for Tyche + Iset? Yes! We are working on our next collection and some exciting new projects. I am superstitious, so I’m not able to share too much information before launch. However, we are thankful to continue our creative energies in design and innovation. We appreciate those who support Tyche + Iset – we are a small brand with a big heart! Find our more about the brand at www.tycheandiset.com Interview by Victoria G. L. Brunton for Eyestylist.com