We meet eyewear brand founder Laura Imami to talk about her namesake creations and dream designers.
After being head buyer for over 20 years at Schuller’s, one of the country’s first ’boutique’ opticians, Laura Imami decided it was time to branch out. Two years ago she began to create her own branded eyewear designs and quickly became the fastest selling brand at Schuller’s.
She’s racked up celebrity fans since creating timeless and on trend designs, we met the designer to talk about her beginnings and plans for the future.
What made you want to start your own eyewear company?
My love for eyewear was always present as I started wearing glasses from a very young age. When I came to London I was very lucky to be employed by one of the best boutique opticians where my passion grew even stronger. During my time at Schuller’s I have gained a lot of experience in all aspects of running a business. I worked hard towards the perfect moment when I could bring out a range which I could oversee entirely. I always believed in the perfect platform that would complement my vision of what contemporary eyewear design should be and I feel I have finally achieved that.
How has being the head buyer for Schullers helped you set up Laura Imami Eyewear?
Being the head buyer for Schuller Opticians gave me the opportunity of meeting the best eyewear designers and top manufacturers who were always very keen to present their work in our stores. In them, I managed to see they’re imperfections as well as their perfections and I chose to learn from both.
You must be an expert in the industry and so has this affected the way you design or run your company from having so much experience?
Absolutely! The years of experience have played a big role on how I design and run my company. Designing frames is not just about the aesthetic look. Many elements play important parts in bringing together my final product. My frames are known to be bold, therefore I had to search for the lightest acetate to give comfort, the strongest hinges to give durability and many other factors that make Laura Imami Eyewear a luxury brand. Each of my frames are hand crafted, nothing is mass produced, thus everything is individually checked for perfection.
You have a lot of A-list clients but is there anyone in particular you would like to design for?
Jean Reno. I absolutely adore him.
Which designers, if any, have inspired you?
Coco Chanel and her timeless designs. Her trademark suits and little black dresses has always been my inspiration. When designing my own creations, her famous quote “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not a luxury” became my motto at work.
What is your favourite design so far and why?
Each of my designs have their own story, but if I have to choose my favourite would be Leon. My first design and also named after my son.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
To be perfectly honest I haven’t planned that far ahead. I am enjoying the present and plan on designing eyewear for many years to come.