Photo: Article One Eyewear
There's nothing like the feeling of giving back—and it's even more incredible when you can do it by purchasing a pair of stylish frames from a brand that was founded on their mission to do just that. We're talking about independently owned eyewear company Article One, which operates out of the city of Flint, Michigan. Now we know what you're thinking—the city of Flint isn't really synonymous with fashion. But Flint's community is filled with tenacious doers who want to see their neighbors succeed. This thriving synergy has helped shaped what Article One strives for: brand transparency, giving credit to craftsmen, supporting small business, giving back to the community, and thoughtful design.
Article One came on our radar with their keen eye for design, along with the fact that for every pair of shades they sold, $2 would get donated to the Helen Keller International foundation. Article One was founded upon raising awareness and funding for Vitamin A deficiency in developing nations. So far they have been able to supply 12,000 children with Vitamin A. It costs just one dollar for a year’s worth of supplements for one child. That means a one dollar donation to Helen Keller International will ensure at least one child will not die or go blind from vitamin A deficiency. Besides being all around do-gooders, owners Wes Stoody and Cole Sanseverino have delivered exceptional hand-crafted eyewear that are meticulously produced in a small village in Italy, straight to a hand-selection of retailers including yours truly.
The Article One team in their office in the historical Dryden Building. From left to right: Cole Sanseverino (Director of Sales), Jennifer Wenzlick (Account Manager), Maggie Vocos (Creative Director), Emily Zoromski (Operations Associate), Wes Stoody (Founder and CEO)
The collection of styles are named after some of the countries in Africa: Mozambique, DR Congo, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, and Kathmandu. The process all starts with beautifully rich Mazzuchelli Acetate and goes through an intricate nine step process.
Watch the video below to really get a grasp of what goes into making one pair!
Article One | Handmade in Italy from Article One on Vimeo.
The Kathmandu shades
You can expect some classic wayfarer shapes, as well as some iconic O shape frames (think a la John Lennon) that you can throw on for an instant cool vibe. Besides putting on a pair of sunnies is somewhat of an enthralling experience. It’s like you’re hiding behind something, but it gives you a sort of secret power. Perhaps the ability to say, "Don't bother me, or come hither" without ever having to say anything at all. Whatever the case, Article One makes it easy for you to buy with a great cause behind it, while delivering a cool look all your own. Look at you being a fashionable person of substance.
Shop the collection here.