NEW YORK—Eyewear is art, and on Oct. 18 Ruth Domber of 10/10 Optics hosted an event to showcase the art of bespoke eyewear making with eyewear craftsman, Wesley Knight. Throughout the day, Knight hosted appointments for bespoke fittings, and customers were able to view his inaugural ready to wear eyewear collection which is being offered at 10/10 Optics.
Knight began creating eyewear almost five years ago—founding Wesley Knight Bespoke which can be seen as the process of translating an individual’s personality and distinctive facial features into wearable art. Through face-to-face fittings, conversations and requests, a sketch is made and over the course of 14 weeks all of that is turned into a one-of-a-kind frame that is both comfortable and beautifully crafted from water buffalo horn.
“Bespoke is different from made to order because it comes from a nonexistent pattern,” Knight said. “From nothing I start sketching a pattern that I submit to my clients and we go from there. Bespoke is from the ground up and that’s where my passion is. Working with a client to make something.”
Knight has been creating since he was a child, learning how to sew, leather work, bind books, and make shoes. He attributes this early creativity as the catalyst which eventually lead to bespoke eyewear.
When creating eyewear, Knight works in only buffalo horn and precious metals. “I wanted to work with water buffalo horn because of the romance of the material,” he said. “I was inspired by the 1930s through 1950s cinema and the horn-rimmed frames the actors and actresses would wear.”
While his passion for bespoke is what started all of this, Knight also offers a semi-bespoke option, a custom made piece without the face-to-face fitting, which has done well with clients overseas. But diving into full on ready to wear was a different sphere.
“It was a lot of learning [to transition from bespoke to ready to wear]. With bespoke I could take all of the time in the world but with ready to wear, it needs to be quick and efficient. But I’ve been immersed in making eyewear for five years. I’ve gotten to a point now where I am very confident with my work.”
The ready to wear line is broken up into the Inspired Collection and the Permanent Collection and features 10 styles that embody a creative outlet for Knight that encapsulates the time periods, creative personas and influential people that inspire him.