Pared’s eyewear is known for its innovative, unique designs, and its latest collection is no exception. The brand was founded by two great minds – Samantha Stevenson and Edward Baker – and is the perfect synthesis of creative vision and business acumen. Stevenson and Baker have been married for two years, but have been running Pared since 2012. Both co-founders, Stevenson – who previously designed for Ksubi – is the creative director and Baker brings years of experience in marketing, operations, and financial management to the table.
The Australian company’s first collection was called Now & Then, and it launched in a limited number of boutiques. Several iconic styles created as part of this collection (such as the distinctive cat-eye Puss & Boots) are still some of the brand’s top-selling items to date thanks to Stevenson’s timeless design skills. The current collection is called Veni, Vidi, Amavi; a play on Julius Caesar’s famous line, it means “I came I saw, I loved.” The frames are inspired by the Italian Riviera of the 1980s, and the campaign was shot in Capri to bring to the fore the art and architecture that inspired Stevenson’s work. “Eyewear lends itself to be easily influenced by external industries,” said Stevenson. “It’s a fashion accessory which holds strong sculptural shape and colour, and therefore inspiration can come from anywhere.” The brand places value on leading industry trends, rather than following them. “Many eyewear brands follow the same trends and it sets a considerably boring narrative for a collection,” explained Stevenson. Stevenson prefers to take trends and make them her own, using new patterns and techniques to break the mould – quite literally. Global Sales Manager Jenny Hudson said that although using injection moulds for eyewear is industry standard, Pared doesn’t do it because it reduces the quality and limits the styling. Stevenson works closely with manufacturers to ensure the designs are perfect. “Often the factory will tell her it can’t be done, but somehow it always is,” said Hudson.
Operating on the principle that it’s better to use trial and error than pumping out the same designs as every other brand, Pared named itself after the process of design refinement. To ‘pare’ is to cut something back, or refine it. It’s also, of course, a play on the word “pair.” The wordplay continues in the design names: Puss & Boots, Romeo & Juliet, Bread & Butter. The brand is also known for its collaborations across fashion, music, and art, so it’s truly pared/paired in every sense of the word. These partnerships are set to continue as Pared grows its business internationally. It has a Friends of the Brand portfolio that has allowed it to establish a cult following among style influencers: Suki Waterhouse, Cara Delevinge, and Helena Christensen are just a few of the notable names to wear Pared.
The goal is to become the number one fashion eyewear brand in the world. “A big gesture, but something we know we can achieve,” said Stevenson. The majority of its sales have been through the website, but the brand knows to have brick-and-mortar stores is invaluable to building an international fashion brand. “Having a physical presence in a city gives the brand a sort of credibility which can’t be attributed online,” said Baker. “It allows customers to get to know the product before buying, it involves less purchase risk, and it gives our brand more points of contact with our audience.” Pared enjoys being stocked by smaller boutiques alongside major department stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdales. “We look to be stocked in innovative, fashion-forward boutiques who align with our brand ethos,” said Baker.
The second frame in the ‘Bec & Bridge x Pared’ partnership launches Globally on November 20. Retailers interested in stocking Pared eyewear can look go to paredeyewear.com for more information.