Jeepers, Creepers

Usually cringe-inspiring, insects have acted as an inspiration to a very practical accessory in this story. Vuliwear, a sunglass brand revolutionizing the sunglass industry with technology and style, found its design muses not in people, but rather in the creepy crawly. Their two preliminary designs, Blknblu and Zag, directly borrow from the African Twig Mantis and the Blue Damselfly. Combining technology and classic style, Vuliwear shades transport you to another world simply by wearing them.

The blue damselfly, native to and commonly seen in most of Europe, is distinctive in its vibrant turquoise thorax and piercing blue eyes. And, like all things cool, the little critter can most commonly be seen flitting around the streets of London. Well, at least it’s most commonly found in the swampy areas of England – but we aren’t here to split hairs. The dragonfly-like creature is a water-loving being, which is almost coincidentally reflected in its symmetrical eyes. The Blknblu glasses appropriated the split black and blue design of the blue damselfly’s eyes and projected it directly onto the lens. While peering through the polarized lens creates a pleasant shading for the wearer’s eyes, anyone who meets their gaze might be taken aback by the unusual reflection. In fact, the lens has a subtle swipe of bright blue across the bottom, almost creating a trompe l’oeil. The black aviator frame ties the whole look together for a Matrix-chic aesthetic.

The Zag sunglasses lend a more retro vibe with a gold, aviator frame and brown lenses that give the wearer a warm, tangerine shade to peer through. The Zag, named appropriately for the golden zig-zag design projected onto the lens, takes its design from the African Twig Mantis. While the African Twig Mantis, as the name reveals, is known for adeptly blending into its surroundings−fooling its prey into thinking it is part of its perch−these sunglasses have the opposite effect. These shades are conversation pieces. The golden design, more conspicuous than that of the Blknblu, isn’t for those afraid of a little attention.

Vuliwear isn’t the first company to create unique sunglasses design, and they certainly won’t be the last. However, they are pioneering a new way to care for our eyes, and that will hopefully not only change the way the industry works, but also the way we understand the sun’s power. In this day and age, we all know how important SPF is for our skin and even our hair. And, while we do grab our shades before heading out of the house on a sunny day, we typically leave them behind when the sun stays behind the clouds. Vuliwear is hoping to change this habit though, by not only increasing our awareness about UV exposure, but also by educating us with their Vuliwear app. The mobile app, available in the App Store, sends notifications when there are high levels of UV exposure so that you know, even if it’s cloudy, that you should be protecting your eyes.

Ironically, Vuliwear recognizes that not all insects are worthy of our admiration. To further make a difference in the world, a portion of sales are donated to the non-profit organization, Nothing But Nets, which sends treated mosquito nets to protect families in affected areas from Malaria. With advanced technology and more unique designs on the way, Vuliwear is aiming to save the world, ray by ray, mosquito by mosquito.

Text Leah Tassinari
Images Courtesy of Vuliwear Sunglasses