Specsavers partner Emma Dowding is adding eyewear designer to her CV, with her limited-edition frames hitting the Specsavers shelves this month.
Emma, a joint venture partner at Specsavers Manjimup and Busselton in WA, entered a competition to design her own spectacles two years ago, as part of the Specsavers Internal Limited-Edition Frames competition.
While she loves every minute of her day job as an optometrist, Emma was excited by the opportunity to try her hand at eyewear design, creating two styles – Meryl and Ked. She says the inspiration for the Meryl frames from Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, while the Ked design is a tribute to her daughter Katie.
Emma has spent the past two years working closely with the Specsavers product team to design the frames and has been very hands-on in the design and manufacturing process, even travelling east to do work on prototypes and refine the concept.
Using her years of experience with working with customers, and her extensive knowledge of Specsavers’ range, Emma designed the ‘Meryl’ frame to appeal women her age and older.
“We find that women like nude or black frames because they want glasses that match a variety of outfits,” she said.
“The nude colour means they can also wear a bold lip colour without drawing attention away. And I wanted a little bit of bling to have style without drawing attention.”
The Meryl frames also feature chrome metallic quilted temples, which is a consistent feature across both the optical and sunglass styles and is a nod to Emma’s passion for patchwork quilting.
“The embossed diamond pattern on the temple is a classic quilting pattern, which can also be found on clothing, in textiles and homewares and I thought it would be the perfect feature on a pair of glasses,” she said.
Emma’s foray into designing eyewear has also attracted a fair amount of media attention, with her story and eyewear designs featured in local media, including the Manjimup Bridgetown Times, Busselton Dunsborough Times and the Western Australian.
Emma is now looking forward to walking down the street and seeing women wearing her designs!