“It will be my first time going to Coachella. I’ve never been before. I definitely think one of the gold pairs of sunglasses is going to go with me. I don’t have my look yet, but I’m feeling a golden, creamish-vibe. Either the really tiny ones or the largest ones. A little church Easter Sunday, it will be good!” Kardashian West told THR.
On Tuesday, April 2, Kim Kardashian West hosted an intimate lunch presentation at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles to showcase her new eponymous line of uber-chic, affordable sunglasses created with Israel-based brand Carolina Lemke that she connected with through her friend, Bar Rafaeli. (Both Rafaeli and West are now part owners of the company.)The seven styles in the Kim Kardashian West Collection for Carolina Lemke ($90 each, from stand-out shields to squared-off silhouettes and a more diminutive, retro-inspired pair with oval lenses) officially launched for retail sale during the party, marking the eyewear label’s first presence in the U.S.
Donning an aubergine Mugler blazer paired with purple snake-patterned leather Gucci trousers, coordinating Christian Louboutin purple snake booties, a purple Hermès Kelly bag and her own black Sahara shield sunglasses with black-blue lenses, West said “Bye, Mom; love you!” to Kris Jenner, who was just leaving the party, before sitting down to talk with The Hollywood Reporter.
“If you see North on the way out, you can have her come in here and hang out, if she wants. She can talk makeup!” West called to Jenner, who was accessorizing with black Chanel sneakers and black Indra sunglasses from her daughter’s new line, telling guests that the glasses are “comfortable and feel really well-made and expensive.”
Is North into sunglasses?
She is! And they just gave me baby versions of these [gesturing to the Sahara sunglasses] and I’m so excited for her to see them.
Are you going to release a kids sunglasses line?
I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it, but to think that kids can have really cute glasses that aren’t big hearts or whatever kids wear—that’s kind of always been North’s thing; it’s finding whatever she likes, whether its kids or adults, (as long as it’s appropriate) cutting it down and making it into her size.
Congratulations on baby #4 and the fragrance collab with Kylie. Is there a date for the fragrance release?
Thank you! Yes, it’s at the end of April, so it’s coming up. We pushed the date just a little bit. A piece came out in that episode [of Keeping Up With The Kardashians]and people were like, ‘Oh my god, this is exactly what the bottle looks like!’ And they kind of do, but it’s this plastic version that comes before the glass version. And the glass version’s a billion times better, so I kind of hated that our first time out you saw such a rough version. But it’s also fun to see it that way, to see the evolution.
Tell me about this sunglasses venture and what you’ve learned most.
This was a really different venture for me because I’ve never really ventured off into sunglasses. To have a company that’s brand new, that no one in the states knows about, and to be able to create that customer and start fresh was really exciting to me. Because there was no pre-conceived idea of what the customer was like or what the brand was like. And they honestly let me have so much control and power over the design and ad campaign and picking the photographer. Once I started to see the samples come in and the quality of everything, realizing that it’s so amazing, I really wanted to be a partner and be involved.
So I heard that you’ve already designed more than these seven styles?
Yes, we’re going to have another drop in about a month. I was supposed to do six glasses and that was supposed to be the collab, but I couldn’t choose between about 19 or 20, so I said, ‘Let’s just break them up into different drops because I really love them and I can’t decide.’ With the price point, they’re so accessible that you can play around with color where you might not have [been able to] before.
How many sunglasses are in your personal collection? I imagine you have quite a stash.
I have these drawers that you pull out and they have sunglass slots to put them in. But because I’ve gotten so many more, I now have big trays of sunglasses that are not in those drawers so I have to rethink where I’m going to put all my sunglasses now!
Are you a collector of vintage styles?
I have some really cool vintage ones. But I’ve been doing a storage project where I’m organizing all of my storage and Kanye’s storage and I found a box of so many sunglasses, the coolest vintage ones, in there. He had so many amazing ones. I love Kanye’s sunglass moments. Even the ‘Stronger’ [2007 music video] glasses that he really put on the map that were so iconic — I have all of his original ‘Stronger’ glasses. [The shutter-style glasses custom made for West by French eyewear designer Alain Mikli].
What inspired your designs?
I was really inspired by vintage ‘90s styles, like the black ones my mom was wearing walking out. To me, that’s a classic. And definitely the beaches all around the world and seeing all of these bikini moments I want to have and I don’t have the perfect sunglasses to go with them. That’s how a lot of the sporty ones came about.
It’s so exciting that Kanye is doing his “Sunday Service” at Coachella; are you going? And, most important, what glasses will you be packing?
Yeah! It will be my first time going to Coachella. I’ve never been before. I definitely think one of the gold pairs of sunglasses is going to go with me. I don’t have my look yet but I’m feeling a golden, creamish-vibe. Either the really tiny ones or the largest ones. A little church Easter Sunday, it will be good!
Was it tricky to offer styles that were more universal flattering and not necessarily your favorites?
That was really interesting to figure out. I only did my personal favorites because I feel like the brand also has a core line and they can do other things. I did obviously get advice on size, shaping and what might be an easier sell if I wanted something really tiny or really big. I love to always get statistics and, number-wise, what sells best. So when we were testing out styles, which was such an interesting process, they would send me a mannequin-head look with this animated glasses shape on it and show me all the angles, and then they would put them on a real person in different face shapes, nose shapes and hair colors. I’ve learned so much and it has been so much fun.
Any tips on finding the most flattering shape?
I think everyone needs a big pair of glasses at some point because, if I’m just running out the door and have no makeup on and look like shit, I just put on a good pair of glasses and I feel at least a little bit more in my comfort zone. I think you can’t go wrong with a pair of big black sunglasses.
Did any of your family members inspire the styles?
There’s a round pair. I know Kourtney loves round and I don’t wear round as much, but I thought it would look really cute on her, so I did that one specifically for Kourtney.