Prism’s Anna Laub Looks Into Glasses

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Published September 16, 2009

Working as a fashion journalist for WGSN, Anna Laub has seen the best and worst of fashionable eyeglasses: “I wanted to find glasses that I felt were an actual accessory: that added to my look rather than detracting from it; that I was excited about wearing, but also weren’t too crazy that I felt stupid wearing them everyday.” Well if you can’t join ’em, beat em, and so this year Laub is launching her own line of eyeglasses, Prism. The name for her line came from an unlikely source, her father, a doctor of physics. “He said ‘prism.’ And that was it, perfect for everything I was thinking about.”

In search of the perfect materials Laub traveled to far-flung locations, which has become something of a theme.  For the ideal frames, she visited an Italian acetate maker and met with the sixth-generation owners.  “I knew I had arrived! I spent eight hours going through every color and pattern in their archive.” And that was just her first trip.  The reason for her rejoicing? The archives date from 1849 and rather than relying on moulds-each individual frame is carved out of the vintage acetate and hand finished making every pair of specs unique. 

Laub named each style for an international city—Rio! Paris! Rome!—which lends the glasses a certain jet set, culture-hopping universality. Describes Laub, “The Rio frames are quite sexy and curvy, the New York frames are classically cool, the Paris are coquettish, the London are cool but a bit more edgy and the Rome are classic but with a Mod style twist.” So that explains natural difference! The case, which looks like a crystal of Kryptonite, eschews the typical geometry, and is out of this world entirely. And for good reason, says Laub, “If it’s going to take up the room in your bag it may as well look good!”

Prism is currently available at Barney’s and Dover Street Market.