Berlin-based eyewear brand, Reframd, has designed a range of 3D-printed sunglasses specifically for people with low and wide noses who are typically Blacks.
Shariff Vreugd, co-founder of the self-acclaimed ‘Afropolitan’ brand explained why: “The basic concept behind Reframd is that good design is empowering and reflects the rich diversity of society. Our idea started with the aim to design eyewear products for people with low and wide nose profiles – nose profiles found on many Black people.”
Three main factors make the unisex sunglasses more comfortable for wearers. Firstly, the bridge has been lowered and widened so that it fits more snugly around broader noses. Secondly, the nose pads are a different shape than ones used in other sunglasses so that they fit ‘shallow’ or wide-angled noses – noses that slope less steeply. And finally, the pantoscopic tilt — a measurement taken from the bottom of the glasses to the top of the frame — has also been adjusted in Reframd’s sunglasses.
“Regular frames tend to rest on cheekbones on lower nose profiles. To avoid this, we reduce the frames’ pantoscopic tilt,” Shariff said.
Wearers can scan their faces on the brand’s website using their selfie camera. An algorithm analyses the image and reproduces frames for them to try on virtually before customising it. accordingly. As a result, Reframd creates sunglasses that “genuinely fit everyone.”
“We felt that if we could get fitting correct with our initial Black customers, we would extend our designs to people with different nose profiles. So we set out to optimise our frame-generating algorithm to accept variable data for any nose profiles,” said Shariff.
Although originally designed by black people for black people, the founders wanted to create more inclusive products. The glasses, which are being launched via Kickstarter and will be available in October, come in four colours and designs called Liptitika, Moni, Planga, Umoyo.
“Quite quickly, it became clear that other overlooked groups would benefit from our products as well, such as people from East Asia and people with Down Syndrome. And so, we set out to create eyewear products designed to fit people and not the other way around,” Shariff adds.
Reframd isn’t the only brand using 3D printing to create sunglasses but it is the first to target specific communities. Sharrif is confident that this is the right step. “More and more overlooked communities want to see themselves represented and are economically willing and able to support brands that represent them. People want to know what brands stand for and who is behind those brands. Most importantly, the communities are driving the changes they want to see in the world.”