Jason Schwartzman, Multi-Talent
In an era of celebrity designers, it’s the rare actor who can admit his few, occasional limitations. “It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be to design sunglasses,” Jason Schwartzman says. “My initial versions were a little Hollywood—like, Mannequin. I had to simplify them.”
But when Lookmatic, the online optical site offering bargain rates on frames-and-prescription combos, came knocking, the actor and musician pledged to create his own frames and made good with a pair—available in optical and sun versions—on sale now. (Lookmatic’s founder, Joe Cole, co-owns the L.A. boutique Tenoversix with his wife, Kristen Lee, and Schwartzman’s wife, Brady Cunningham.) The actor and musician started with a vintage pair that came from a family heirloom of sorts: a pair worn by his new frame’s namesake, Uncle Leonard, his father’s brother. Apparently Uncle Leonard spotted a pair of thick-framed black glasses at his nephew’s house one day and remembered that he had a similar pair as a medical student in the 1950s. “On my birthday, I opened the mail and there was an old glasses case and these glasses,” Schwartzman recalled. They became the inspiration and the blueprint for his new frames. “I love all kinds of glasses, and of course I love the John Lennon little wire ones,” he goes on, “but I am taking my glasses on and off a lot; I’ve always said in my personal life that I need something a little less fragile.” With a few tweaks for shape and for weight (“his feel like they’re made out of iron—they were borderline bulletproof”), his new style was born. They’re only the first of a forthcoming series of Lookmatic collaborations. The Tenoversix team designed a frame, too, and collaborative pieces are on their way from Waris Ahluwalia, Loeffler Randall co-founder Jessie Loeffler, and Aubrey Plaza.
The original Uncle Leonards—circa 1958—are still with Schwartzman, though, he says, “the prescription is very powerful; you can’t actually look through them.” That would suggest that Uncle Leonard himself might want to avail himself of a pair of the new ones, but they’ll likely be prescription-free. “I think by this point he’s had Lasik surgery.”
Uncle Leonard frames, $130, are available now at Lookmatic.com.