Kimeze, the eyewear brand founded by two sisters that specializes on black and brown facial features
Kimeze is a recently launched luxury eyewear brand founded by sisters; Clare and Christina Kimeze. The unisex London based brand is designed specifically for black faces, with the aim to “create choice” through delivering a considered and fashion-forward collection of handcrafted sunglasses and optical frames. Kimeze is inspired by African vintage styling and the Ugandan heritage of its founders.
Prior to the launch of Kimeze, the Oxford gradaute sisters(Clare & Christiana) had no previous experience or expertise in fashion or eyewear. Clare worked in the city while Christina was and still is an artist, but they were motivated to launch their brand and to create choice for black consumers and in order to redefine what is the “normal” fit.
It was quite difficult for the sisters to believe that the reason they had difficulty finding glasses that fitted all their lives was because eyewear is being designed for Caucasian facial features, or East Asian facial features only. Hence, there was no eyewear specifically designed or manufactured for Black faces.
What was more shocking when they later spoke to eyewear professionals and manufacturers was that both understood there to be a distinct need when compared with the other two groups but had made a conscious decision not to do anything about it. There seemed to be a widespread belief that the market “just wasn’t big enough” or that this "wasn’t a rich enough consumer group". Clare and Christina did some research, decided these misconceptions were just plain wrong, and have addressed the gap in the market
Kimeze's began its journey on a mission to create choice, and importantly to produce quality hand-crafted range of eyewear that spanned both fashion-forward and classic styles to complement brown facial structures and skin tones.
Their mission is to create choice because for something as basic as opticals and sunglasses – something that we all need, because everyone deserves to have agency and choice in their eyewear purchase,
Kimeze eyewear is made in Italy utilising a combination of “time-honoured and cutting-edge” production techniques. The glasses come in three shapes ; the Cat Eye, the Metal and the Oval. In a range of colours, which have been chosen specifically to suit a diverse range of black skin tones.
Barely 1 year after its launch, @kimeze brand awareness campaign have been featured in GQ, Vogue, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Metro, BBC, and Chuckie Online amongst others. This innovation has also know landed them a well-deserved place in our #brsndswelove series.