After a long obsession with eyewear and entrepreneurial dreams came together, Clara Herrera and Barbara Warren launched handmade eyewear label Lumete in New York in 2010.
With the aim to create sunglasses and spectacle frames that were different from the majority of brands that were in the market, the two founders came up with the name after mixing “amulet” and “lumen” (meaning light). Described as an independent eyewear brand “for women, by women”, the Lumete look is defined by sculptural detail and feminine shapes.
Using a non-petroleum based material called zyl acetate, the Lumete frames are “hand sculpted” rather than created via injection mould; this material is apparently more durable, more comfortable and hypoallergenic.
While these practical benefits are great, for fashion lovers, its the ability for the zyl acetate to hold rich colour and embedded resins which makes it so great; Lumete frames are beautifully coloured with a multi-shade, practically three-dimensional quality created by the various resins mixed through the material.
You can see this best in the Dramolete frame – which has step cutting on its rim that reveals a contrasting inner colour; the Templanza frames in the Peacock, Royal Emerald and Royal Cobalt colourways; and the graduated colours on the Sapientia frame’s Violet Reef, Autumn and Earth & Sky versions.
Examples of the amazing colours available with Lumete frames (from top to bottom): The Dramolete in Brazil Nut, Templanza in Royal Emerald and Sapientia in Autumn. Images: Lumete
It is for these amazing colours and the rounded, sculptural softness of the designs that celebrities like Sienna Miller, Candice Swanepoel, Naomi Watts, Miranda Kerr, Chloe Sevigny, Dita Von Teese and Gretchen Mol have become firm fans of Lumete eyewear.
Having just recently launched exclusively in Singapore at Inhabit in Mandarin Gallery, Lumete’s director Harold Smith was in town to introduce the brand, and spoke to herworldPLUS about why Asian women in particular should be excited about snapping up a pair of Lumete’s frames.
“When they first started Lumete, the designers just really wanted to create sunglasses that fit better; the didn’t drop down onto the top of the cheeks, that stayed on the face properly and that suited women with various nose-bridge shapes,” explained Harold. “What they came up with is a range of designs that really suit Asian faces. Not every style, of course, but then not all Asian faces are the same anyway. There’s a style that will suit though.”
The current Lumete collection includes shapes like the smaller, rounded Sapientia frame and the softened catseye shape of the Ulula frame which really do suit smaller Asian faces; other designs include the dramatic Attic Safari frames which have an old school, early 70s Dior feel; the Vedrina frame is super slick and modern; and the Dramolete has a romantic feel with its seven-pointed star decorations.
More Lumete eyewear styles (from top to bottom): the Ulula frame; the Attic Safari frames and the Vedrina frame. Images: Lumete
Lumete sunglass lenses have a hard coating for extra scratch resistance and are UV400 for 100 per cent UVA and UVB protection which meets the quality standards for America, Europe and Australia. And, of course, they’re handmade in New York; every frame is hand cut with a die and hand finished; which gives Lumete frames an almost bespoke feel. The frames can also be used for optical lenses, just get an optometrist to insert your prescription.
Lumete glasses also come with a “custom designed” hard case, a soft pouch and a microfibre lens cleaning cloth. The signature hard case in the shape of a stylised butterfly – which is also the brand’s logo and can be seen on the frames – which fits the brand’s frames perfectly; there is even a “cinched” middle in the shape which helps to hold the frames at the bridge so they don’t slide around inside.
The specially designed Lumete "butterfly" hard case. Image: Lumete
Will all this detail, design and hand work you would expect a pair of Lumete glasses to cost a pretty penny, but in reality they are extremely affordable starting at $325 and topping out at $400 a pair; which is remarkably cheap considering not only the quality of the product but also the “stand-out-from-the-crowd” designs.
Lumete sunglasses are only available in Singapore at Inhabit at Mandarin Gallery #02-16, 333A Orchard Road, Tel: 6836 8441. For more information about Inhabit, go to www.inhabit.com.sg. You can follow Inhabit on Facebook at www.facebook.com/inhabitsingapore and on Instagram at @inhabitsg. For more information about Lumete, go to lumete.com. You can follow Lumete on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Lumete, on Twitter at @Lumete; on Instagram at @lumete and on Pinterest at pinterest.com/lumete.