Dan Interviews Thierry Lasry
Dan sat down with Thierry Lasry recently in Westwood, CA to talk shop.
Lasry confides to Dan that he aspires to be to sunglasses what Christian Louboutin is to shoes. He tells how, with an optician father and fashion-designer mother, he was destined to design eyewear, and reveals how the mystery of keeping a low profile brand, with no visible logos or brand advertising has helped cultivate a loyal following of fans and celebrities including Rihanna, Madonna, Eva Mendez, Nicole Richie and Jessica Alba.
DD: Hi, I’m Dan Deutsch and I’m here to introduce you to Thierry Lasry, one of the best designers of fashion eyewear available today.
TL: Thanks, Dan for this introduction.
DD: I personally see it as one of the lines today that when you look at a frame, you just say “wow.” It’s like when Columbus came to America. What else can you discover? And once again we discovered his line because it is so exciting. The colors are very unique and definitely, unmistakably his.
DD: So my understanding is that your father is an optician in Paris for a long, long time and your mother is a fashion designer. So it must have been like growing up in school?
TL: Exactly. It’s actually…it’s all DNA. There’s not much more to explain. My father always used to travel worldwide and go pick out the most amazing and most unique collections for his store and my mother always taught me to be unique in style, so yeah it’s very natural.
DD: So, I find this collection to be incredible. I think you say in French, it’s magnifique. But in your opinion as a designer, what makes it stand apart from the other collections on the market?
TL: I think first of all they are very unique. They don’t look like anything else on the market. They have this mix of elegance and chic and creativity, which is something very kind of difficult to mix. They are all handmade in France. One thing that is noticeable on all the sunglasses: there is no logo, there is no name on the outside. And also, most of the designer’s frames right now on the market are all made in China and I thought it was time to bring quality to the market.
TL: Part of the collection is all about black and tortoise and very classy and elegant and also we came out with exclusive colors that we develop in house. We bring out a few limited editions using vintage materials from the 80’s.
DD: Just kind of sitting here looking at things. I would love to show the camera this particular treatment where you have a lamination of a beautiful tortoise on the front part and a fascinating pink lamination on the inside.
TL: Well, I was born in the late 70’s so I used to play with Legos.
DD: Oh, I was going to say that!
TL: That was the inspiration for those. We really wanted to use neon colors, neon blocks. And I thought instead of using them on the front, it’s going to make them very hard to sell and kind of funny looking, so we should play with this and layer this in the back and sculpt this as if it were a Lego.
DD: So, not only am I impressed with the design itself, I’m impressed with the uniqueness of the names.
DD: So this has got to be a little sense of humor going into this.
TL: …Yeah, there’s a real story where basically my last name ends with a “Y”. My first name ends with a “Y”. And I will give all my energy to all those frames. They’re like my babies basically. So, that’s why I decided to name all of them with a name that ends with a “Y”. So it goes in all kinds of directions from Sexxxy, Angely, Orgasmy, Adultery, Anorexxxy, Lively. So it goes in all kinds of directions but there’s always, yes…. Some people after some time they’re kind of addicted to it and so they really want to know, “Oh what am I getting this time?” I mean, they really pay attention now to the names. Like Adultery, everybody was like “Oh, I’m getting Adultery” It’s like so much fun…
TL: …One of the last ones called Virginity so, girls are like “I lost my virginity, it’s terrible! Can I have it back?” So cute. Really funny.
DD: [laughs] I like that.
DD: So, Thierry one of the reasons I invited you to this location is because I’ve had so many requests for your frames. And I thought it was totally amazing that you should have such world fame. And my further understanding is that you don’t do any advertising yourself…
DD: So how did you manage? Can I learn from you?
TL: That’s exactly against our policy. We do not do and never will do any advertising. And as for celebrities, we do not do product placement. Never. We do not send frames. We do not solicit anybody. Or sometimes we work directly with their stylist. Like that was the case recently with lady Gaga, with Rihanna. And sometimes we work with Rachel Zoe. And sometimes they also, like Madonna, directly contacted me, so that’s how she got sunglasses, too. There’s always a story.
DD: So, share with me. Give me some detail. What’s next?
TL: There’s one thing I can tell you: we’re not going to go into anything else besides sunglasses. The whole idea is that we need to create the quality brand for sunglasses. I would say, like any woman will think, “Louboutin for shoes,” I want women to think “Thierry Lasry for sunglasses.”
DD: So Thierry now that we are good friends, may I call you TL?
TL: Oh you totally can, Dan.
DD: OK, and thank you very much for coming down to LA
TL: And now that we are homies, we can do like that. [clasp hands]
DD: Alright! [laughs]
DD: And to our audience and friends, please check out DanDeutschOpticalOutlook.com for our arrivals of this magnificent line.