Kayla Heersink a.k.a @opticali_style on Instagram is an optician with an edge. Exploring her affinity with the eyewear universe through both the history and story behind each frame, Kayla’s enthusiasm and passion is palpable in each and every image she posts. Especially enthralled by modern independent designers and forgotten eyewear gems from the past, her eye-drobe includes everything from space-age designs to single-lens oversized sunglasses and everything in between.
1. Do you remember when and why you were originally drawn to eyewear? Yes! I was prescribed my first pair of glasses in kindergarten, and I found the ‘fashion accessory’ aspects of my new medical device enthralling. I chose pink and crystal plastic frames. It was the era of embellishing the peripheral part of the lens with a tiny metallic decal, usually a monogram, so I selected a silver dog which obviously looked SO COOL. From then onwards, I was hooked for life.
2. What is your favourite fashion era for eyewear specifically? I think I would say the 1960s. It was like the Wild West, with designers trying out anything and everything. The introduction of new materials allowed designers to really get creative with colours and shapes that weren’t possible before that time. I’m thinking about the designs of Christian Dior, Pucci, Oliver Goldsmith, Anglo American Optical, Pierre Cardin, Futura by Silhouette, and Philippe Chevallier.
3. If you were to choose one pair of glasses, vintage or modern, to describe you, which would you pick, and why? I would say the l.a.Eyeworks Bondo frame. It’s wacky, yet versatile – a real classic. It can fit in, stand out, and compel you to ask questions. 1990s conventions dictated that rimlocks should be mounted at the rear of a frame, but l.a.Eyeworks designers Gai Gherardi and Barbara McReynolds flipped that rule on it’s head and used the rimlocks as a design feature, amplifying the visible rimlock theme and even carrying a ‘spare tyre’ rim lock to hold an extra screw. For me, the spirit of this frame is unconventional, playful, and unafraid of authority.
4. Are there any current trends in the eyewear industry you’re enjoying particularly? I’m big into the new frame/clip-on combinations from GIMM eyewear, and Rigards.
5. If you had to steal one celebrity / style icon’s frame collection, whose would you choose? Oooh tough to choose between Elton John and Lady Gaga. Maybe hers… just because they’d fit me better.
6. What would you like to see more of from eyewear designers today? It would be great to see more unique frame textures and finishes. Aside from that, I would love to see more special editions and small-batch collaborations. It’s my favourite thing to see mash-ups between my favourite companies. Examples include Blake Kuwahara + l.a.Eyeworks, GIMM + Jean Philippe Joly, Gogosha + Baars.
7. Which eyewear brands (and particular frames, if possible) are on your wish list?I would love to get my hands on a pair of the first Christian Dior frames made by Tura, with the beautiful enamelling and ornamentation. I’ve also always wanted a pair of vintage Casanova frames. I’m currently coveting the Anne & Valentin MECACOOL from the “Mecanix” collection, but I am also presently obsessed with both the P and Q series by Kuboraum. Otherwise, I can’t wait to see the Rigards x Kamonuj frame/clip model RG0318JM that took more than a year to develop.
8.What trends do you predict for this summer’s eyewear, if any? I can’t predict – I’m not that cool. But my hope is for juicy colours this summer, always and forevermore.
9. Are there any underdog eyewear brands you expect to rise as future industry stars soon? I’m not sure if they’re underdogs, but I see both Lapima and Vada as rising stars.
10. If you could create a collaboration between any brand and any person / artist / celebrity /style icon, who would you unite, and why? This is a fun topic! Maybe I would pair myself with someone. If not, I’d put together Von Miller with theo and Diane Keaton with Mykita. Both celebrities are known for wearing glasses and would be superb model/collaborators, and both frame companies have made exceptional high-fashion collaboration collections in the past.
Kayla Heersink works at her family’s eyecare business in rural Colorado, USA. Previously she has worked at Gogosha Optique and Rims & Goggles. Top image: Kayla is wearing Denfert by Paname Eyewear.
An interview feature by Victoria G. L. Brunton exclusively for Eyestylist.com.