Fashion stylist Shiva Shabani and art director Calvin Yu started Sons + Daughters in 2011 when their friends complained about the dearth of quality, stylish eyewear options available for their kids. Creating adventurous frame styles that complement kids’ high spirits and personalities while having a touch of class, Sons + Daughters offers sunglasses and prescription frames that set them apart from the crowd. Their latest collection, named “Class of 2014,” is their most creative endeavor yet, with shapes that resemble Pac-man to geometric shapes like hexagons. We recently had a chat with the Vancouver-based designers to learn more about their young brand and designing for an equally youthful demographic.
What’s the story of how you two met?
We dated for almost seven years but separated before we started Sons + Daughters Eyewear, which actually baffles the majority of people when they hear this. We were able to maintain the best parts of our relationship, and we always had a connection with our creative collaborative sides. We know each other very well, how each other work and maintain transparent communication. We’re very blessed with our friendship. Business partnerships can have much much more long-lasting effects than even romantic relationships in many cases.
The fantastic thing about kids is their imagination and fearless attitude. As you grow up you become more cautious and self-censoring.
How do you approach designing frames that will appeal to kids versus designing frames for yourself?
The fantastic things about kids are their imaginations and fearless attitudes. As you grow up, you become more cautious and self-censoring. We take a curiosity and playful attitude when it comes to designing for kids. We are big kids ourself, so it’s easier to put ourselves in the mindset of them. We really try and inspire kids to be awesome, whatever awesome is for them.
That being said, there are timeless styles that always work and sometimes it’s putting a modern twist on a classic. We treat kids as small people and speak to them like adults, or how we would talk to our friends: like equals. The essence of the brand is taking kids seriously and appreciating their intelligence. Kids are insightful and straight-up honest. The generation we cater to is not afraid of being individuals and are smarter than ever and we know they will be changing the world. We’ve managed to merge elements of being playful yet refined at the same time.
Where are the frames made?
The frames are handmade acetate from a premium manufacturer in China which is strictly certified to meet the highest safety standards worldwide. We incorporate spring hinges for durability and our 100% UV protective lens are produced by the Zeiss group with crystal clarity. Essentially, we only use the best materials and construction in every pair of Sons + Daughters Eyewear.
What were the themes that you had in mind for this collection?
Our theme for the “Class of 2014” was archetypes. We celebrate the wonderfully different and unique personalities of all kids and captured that in our campaign through images reminiscent of yearbook portraits. We all come in different shapes, sizes and color and that in itself is beautiful.
Is there anything that doesn’t look adorable on a kid, that you’ve learned?
We think it’s more about pairing a suitable style with the right face shape rather than if a style works with kids or not. The way we see it, anything that is contrived or disconnected will show which never looks good no matter the age. Generally, we try not to be too aggressive; nothing to serious. We want them to be fun, playful and comfortable for kids. Fit, comfort and design are paramount to us.
Sons + Daughters Eyewear is available at stockists all over the world.
Lifestyle images courtesy of RENATA of Curated By, all other images courtesy of Sons + Daughters