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The Tag: The Sunglasses You Should Buy Now Before They Sell Out Again

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In today’s retail-scape, you can shop anywhere—including on Instagram. In our new column The Tag, we’re highlighting indie brands we’ve discovered (and fallen in love with!) through the social media platform. Read brand backstories and product reviews, then share with a friend so you can both amp up your wardrobe.

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Affordable eyewear options are a dime a dozen. One scroll through Instagram and you’ll discover a trove of options that cost less than your monthly phone bill. But finding a pair that’s cheap and won’t break upon first wear? That’s another story—and that’s where Raen comes in. Founded in 2008 by Jordan Percy and brother duo Justin and Jeremy Heit, the brand hit Peak Instagram this past summer due to their special brand of California cool. The independent, American eyewear brand counts Rihanna, Emily Ratajkowski, Wiz Khalifa, and Jordyn Woods (along with a bevy of Instagram stars) as fans so it was only a matter of time until they flooded the feed and left you wishing for a pair of your own. Read on for more on their iconic styles and how the brand came to take over, straight from Co-Founder and Creative Director, Justin Heit.

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Tell me about Raen!

I’ve had an entrepreneurial and creative drive since I was young, and always wanted to start my own brand from the age of 15. Born and raised in Oceanside, CA, my roots in the Southern California culture coupled with my passion for surfing inspired and influenced me in many ways. Raen was built on the idea of modern classics. Our initial storyboards for the brand back in 2007 to 2008 consisted of modern architecture, minimal design, negative space, and timeless photography. Additionally, optic frames from the ’50s and iconic silhouettes from the ’60s and ’70s have inspired our collections as we’ve evolved as a brand. Raen has found great success in offering a diverse range of styles—from our Essentials to the popular Luxury Wig collaboration with Alex Knost, there is a look for everybody.

How has Instagram affected your business?

As we expanded our collection last spring to add more women’s focused styles, we knew that influencer and celebrity would be a big push in our overall strategy to drive sales and awareness. Social media and Instagram, specifically, have in turn been huge for our brand. We’ve had standout styles sell out that we’ve had to restock due to popularity of influencers and celebrities wearing them. It’s also been a way to attract new consumers to our brand and website. On our own Instagram, we showcase a variety of product and lifestyle photography that really gives the consumer a sense of who we are as a brand. We also started a sub Instagram to engage and share all the love that we receive as a brand, but don’t have the space to fit on our main channel.

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What’s sold out?

The Benson and Mason silhouettes that Shay Mitchell wears frequently and the Luxury Wig by Alex Knost collection that has been worn by the likes of Rihanna, Emily Ratajkowski, Wiz Khalifa, and Jordyn Woods, are constantly having to be re-stocked on both our own e-commerce site and our wholesale accounts Nordstrom and Revolve.

Yes! Those white glasses were everywhere. Why do you think that is?

Those are part of our Luxury Wig collaboration created by ambassador, Alex Knost. I believe that they have been a huge hit because they are a perfect combination of vintage yet modern style. They are really aesthetically pleasing and help make any look complete. We’re really excited to continue and expand on this collaboration for Spring/Summer 2018, so you can look forward to new color ways next year!

Courtesy of brand

SHOP The Flatscreen, $150

Courtesy of brand

SHOP The Ashtray, $150

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