"Vision becomes truth. There is more to life than meets the eye. The ideas we hold in our minds create our reality. LURA is founded upon this principle; what you envision becomes truth.”
LURA is an emerging eyewear line that takes simplistic designs to a whole new level with innovative and imaginative concepts. Every piece has been designed with meticulous care and artistry starting in Italy all the way to the finishing details handcrafted and completed by the designer in Los Angeles, CA. We got to meet with LURA designer, Gavin Lura, at their headquarters in downtown LA to get a preview of their collection and talk about his first foray into the fashion industry.
Labeling Men: Tell us a little about the concept behind LURA eyewear.
Gavin Lura: So, it began, I was just doing artwork on sunglasses, it was kind of fun, mainly for fun. You know, we sold them, but we were hand painting sunglasses that we sold for cheap and the concept evolved from there. After a while, I began experimenting a little bit with metal, and twisting up wires, and adding them to the sunglasses in a similar way that I’d been adding paint to the sunglasses. I realized that that concept, really, you know, people liked it, that I could take it somewhere. But if I was going to take it anywhere, I really needed to develop my own frame designs. So I found a manufacturer in Italy and worked with them to produce four different frame shapes. That’s the basis of the current collection, and then the metal work evolved from me creating it to actually working with the jeweler. He takes silver grain, melts it down, draws it into a wire, bends it into shape, polishes it, gold plates it, and then I’m adding each piece to the frames by hand myself.
L.M: Oh wow, that’s awesome. That’s a lot of work!
G.L: It is a lot of work, and it’s really a unique concept to have an eyewear piece that’s hand finished in Los Angeles back from being hand made in Italy. We use the highest quality Italian acetate, and the lenses are [made by a] renowned optical manufacturer based out of Germany.
L.M: Wow, very cool. So what inspired you to develop the line?
G.L: I mean I just enjoyed, always enjoyed sunglasses. I felt like you could put on a pair of shades and have a different persona. It’s sort of like a mask of sorts. I just enjoyed doing artwork on there, so just a passion for that is what inspired me to keep going and to keep advancing the quality of the line and to get it to where it is. It has been a lot of work, but it’s definitely starting to pay off.
L.M: So, you guys have kind of an interesting tagline. Tell us us about that.
G.L: The tagline “Vision Becomes Truth,” connects well with sunglasses. But it has a deeper meaner, which is certainly open to interpretation, but it’s really the idea that, you know, the thoughts we hold in our minds create our reality.
L.M: Very nice, love it. You guys are pretty new, so what’s next for the company?
G.L: Just opening accounts, and you know, continuing the relationships with the accounts that we’re opening. Working on new frame designs for the coming seasons, we have a collaborative frame that’s coming up with a brand from the UK.
L.M: That’s exciting!
G.L: Yeah, certainly is. People can keep their eyes peeled for that. And yeah, you know, for a designer to remain relevant, they have to keep improving what they’re putting out, so there will constantly be improvement in the quality of all the details, and just advancing the concept further and further.
L.M: And what was the name of the brand you’ll be working with, the UK brand?
G.L: I can’t say that at this point.
L.M: Ah, that’s secret, ok.
G.L: It’s unannounced, but yeah, it’s exciting for us. People will know about it when it comes out.
L.M: That’s very exciting, you have to keep us posted. So how does your own personal style influence the sunglasses you create?
G.L: It absolutely does. I always saw it to be unique in what I wear, and I feel like a unique aesthetic is currently more easily achieved in articles of clothing and accessories than in eyewear specifically. You know most eyewear from my perspective is pretty basic, and that is what people like, but there are some details that I’ve added to my collection that, you know, allow the wearer to express that difference in style, and to have a unique eyewear piece.
L.M: So our website is called Labeling Men, and we like to label everyone’s style a little bit, so how would you label your own personal style?
G.L: Classy, cultural, creative.
L.M: That’s a good one, I like that! Maybe more like our “Smooth Criminal.”
G.L: Something like that!
L.M: We also love to hear about dating stories, it all kind of connects back to dating stories. Do you have any fun dating stories, any advice, tips, from past experiences?
L.M: I know you got a few!
G.L: Funny dating stories…I mean, I have some explicit dating stories, but I don’t really know if that’s what we want to hear right now, (laughs) but that’s what first comes to mind.
L.M: We’re open to it. I mean, we take all kinds (laughs)…
G.L: (laughs) She’s open to it! Umm, nah I probably shouldn’t share that…
L.M: Maybe just a piece of advice.
G.L: Never sacrifice any of who you are to be with someone. That’s all I’ll say on that.
L.M: That’s a good one, solid piece of advice. We’d love to hear a little bit about some individual pieces maybe. Some of your favorites?
G.L: Yea, I mean my favorites are the ones that I’m wearing [Click here to view]. Smaller frame shapes, it’s got the asymmetry going. You know it’s somewhat balanced with the third bar. On the right side here, what’s present in some of these is these bars that compliment the lines of the face, they kind of have an aggressive look, and then the round frames, with the eyebrows and lower eyebrows, they sort of add a sense of expression to the wearer’s face. It’s something that adds a surprise.
G.L: It’s kind of like a sad look, which I don’t really get. Then we just have the Alegre One [Click here to view] which is our most amenable style, with just the one bar across the top, it’s kind of the easiest for people to wear. It’s not anything that’s too out there, you know there are some people, it’s a little bit much, with 4 bars on it. They’ll go for something like the Alegre One. The flat top is the Alegre, cat eye, wayfarer, there’s the McInroy, the round frame is the Miller, this rectangular frame is the Scult – those are all last names are people who have inspired me in my life or have been really influential in this sunglasses vision becoming truth.
L.M: That’s really cool!
G.L: Yea, that’s something that I haven’t really spoken about, but they aren’t just random names. They actually have some meaning to them.
L.M: So why are you getting them done in the Italy? Is that just the best quality?
G.L: I mean it is a quality thing, and there are manufactures over in China that do produce nice eyewear, but it’s sort of from an ethical standpoint as well. I didn’t want to have them produced in Asia because you really don’t know what the factory conditions are like. And the bottom line is that the name, you know, the “Made in Italy,” it carries a luxury appeal, and people go, “Oh, it’s Italian.” And it was important to me that I know where the sunglasses are being made. So I actually went over to Italy, met the manufacturer, toured the factory. I just needed that for my own conscience, so, I don’t think they’ll ever be made in Asia, or in like, main land Asia. Japan does have some really good manufacturing in eyewear as well, but I would like to stick with Italy.
L.M: Would you ever start doing regular glasses?
Check out the full line at www.lura.us
Interview by Mischa Teichgraeber