(L to R) Stirling Barrett, Selima Salaun, Christian Roth, Blake Kuwahara and Gai Gherardi.
NEW YORK—In honor of Pride Month in June, five independent CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) eyewear designers are uniting to launch the second annual edCFDA Pride Eyewear Initiative. The designers of Blake Kuwahara Eyewear, Christian Roth Eyewear, Krewe Eyewear, l.a.Eyeworks and Selima Optique, will each offer a limited edition sunglass design, with a portion of proceeds collectively benefiting the TransLatin@ Coalition. Accompanying the limited edition eyewear designs is a dedicated lens cleaning cloth created exclusively for the initiative by New York-based artist Pedro Silva.

The edCFDA Pride Eyewear Initiative is an annual charitable venture driven by independent eyewear designers of the CFDA to target and highlight specific needs within the broad spectrum of the LGBTQIA+ and gender non-conforming community. "What started out as a modest idea led to our first collective launch in June 2022 which raised nearly $50,000 for the LA LGBT Center. Building on that momentum and enthusiastic reception from our retail partners and the end consumers, we hope to raise even more awareness and funds for the TransLatin@ Coalition,” said Kuwahara.

Collective proceeds from this year’s effort will benefit the TransLatin@ Coalition, whose members are TransLatin@ leaders from different parts of the U.S., who organize and advocate for the issues and needs of TransLatin@ individuals residing in the U.S.

(Top to Bottom) l.a.Eyeworks, Krewe Eyewear, Christian Roth, Selima Optique and Blake Kuwahara. Image courtesy of edCFDA PRIDE 2023
“Vision and visibility must walk hand in hand to be freeing,” noted l.a.Eyeworks cofounder/ designer Gai Gherardi, “and the edCFDA Pride Initiative seeks to amplify both ideas in a responsive and emphatic way.”

The designers—Blake Kuwahara of Blake Kuwahara Eyewear, Christian Roth of Christian Roth Eyewear, Gai Gherardi of l.a.Eyeworks and Selima Salaun of Selima Optique, Stirling Barrett of Krewe Eyewear are each members of the Eyewear Designers of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (edCFDA), a working group of the CFDA that seeks to expand the understanding and presence of designer eyewear as a vital component of contemporary fashion. The edCFDA aims to inspire, empower and promote awareness of eyewear design and the vitality of the optical industry through promotion, education, mentoring and collaborative initiatives. For more details, contact christianroth@opticalaffairs.com.