An interview w/EPOKHE
Who is EPOKHE?
Who first planted the seed for it? Did it start with doing eyewear?
It started a few years ago after working on the film Modern Collective. We decided that we all wanted to work on something we could call our own and have total creative control. It was just a matter of figuring out what. Eyewear kind of happened naturally as myself and Mitch didn’t have sponsors in that category at the time and it was also something that we were all passionate about and figured that there might be a little gap and somewhat of an opportunity to bring something fresh and new onto the marketplace..
What does EPOKHE actually mean? And why did you pick that for a name?
EPOKHE doesn’t mean anything. It’s actually the phonetic spelling of EPOCHE which is an ancient greek term which roughly translated means “suspension” or “suspended judgement” We’ve based our first campaign around the idea of suspension of the external world and chose a really visual, desolate and surreal mars training facility in Utah to showcase the range.
We picked EPOKHE as a name as visually it is very strong and especially used as a text logo like we plan on using for a while. It’s a little hard to figure out the pronunciation, which we like as well. (it’s EE-POK-EE) It also makes life a lot easier using a word that isn’t pre existing especially for Trademarking, websites etc.
What’s your main goal with EPOKHE?
Our main goal is to create, live and breathe a brand that we can all put our heart and soul into and be proud very of. Also somewhat of a movement that represents the kind of DIY epoch that we are experiencing right now. We want to create something that kids can relate too, its not just us being featured in ads we are actually making this shit ourselves and hopefully that will inspire kids to do something similar. If at the end of the day we haven’t created a hugely successful business, profit wise, we will have still created something that we are all proud to be a part of and had a great time working on. Its a huge, steep learning curve for all of us and something that we are having an amazing time so far tackling.
Why shades and not t-shirts or some other product category? Will other categories follow? If so, when?
At the moment we really want to focus on one category and do it very well. T-shirts are an obvious follow up as they can be integrated relatively easily and don’t take much R & D where as eyewear is a very long, tedious and technical process that we are all investing our time into learning. We want people to have as much belief in our brand of eyewear being as strong if not stronger than anyone else out there in the market. We are working with an Italian based production company that are one of the best eyewear manufactures in the world and have years of experience with many brands ranging from surf to high fashion. It’s all about the quality, and the architecture behind the design.
And why? Why bring a new brand into the shade market? Right now there are a few other brands launching – Valley, Wonderland and one other brand who is launching into eyewear. What makes you think that there’s money to make? What is it that EPOKHE is bringing to the market that the others, both new and old, aren’t?
Like i said, for us EPOKHE is as much of a movement as it is a brand. Through our campaigns, our website that launches next month, our athletes and brand ambassadors and upcoming projects we hope that people will not only want to be apart of EPOKHE because of the great eyewear, but everything that surrounds the brand.
We’ve looked to alot of brands who not only produce amazing product but have spawned a movement within our generation and supported the people within it. We would love for EPOKHE to grow and become a brand that supports perhaps, not such traditional paths within our whole community. Whether it be, surfers, filmmakers, photographers, artists, designers, boutique surf stores or musicians.
In your opinion what makes a good pair of shades, construction wise?, style wise?
We believe in the “three Fs” FIT, FASHION and FUNCTION but not necessarily in that order.
A sunglass is essentially EYE PROTECTION and to ensure this we are using some of the best lenses in the world made by ZEISS, hence our priority has been focused on FUNCTION, we wanted to be using the best lenses. Of course no point in excellent function if they don’t fit, and for this we have worked closely with the manufactures and opticians to ensure that we have frames which not only fit when you first try them on but are comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Finally FASHION, this is where we put it all together, we wanted to focus on shapes that have a very classical feel. By referencing many Vintage styles that we have collected from all over the world we have maintained a classic aesthetic and injected our own modern, minimalist twist.
What materials are u using for the construction?
We decided to go for traditional handcrafted materials initially for several reasons. We wanted to make a design statement and the color choices were so much better with extruded cellulose acetate. Our Metal frames incorporate both Stainless Steel and Alpaca. All these materials are frequently used by opticians for prescription eyewear.
We come up with the designs, but then handing them over to our Italian team, where they have been refined with regard to all technical aspects we feel sure that we have a great first collection which reflects our brand image and a very positive first step into a great sunglass business.
We’re looking for an October launch for EPOKHE. The website is getting very close to completion and should be up and running within a month, complete with an online store. Our first run of product will be ready to ship mid October.
Apart from online, where will it be available on launch?
So far we have previewed the line to a few smaller boutique accounts in Australia and California with a really positive reaction but initially our main push is going to be online so it will be available worldwide.
In Australia our pricepoints range from $159.95 - $279.95 Which we feel is very reasonable for the quality of the product that we are offering.
Where do you see EPOKHE sitting in the market? Catering to which consumer?
We are hoping to create somewhat of our own niche in the market place Catering to the consumer that is looking for a very high quality product at a very reasonable price. We have designed the collection to cater to a variety of customers who all share an appreciation for classic styles built on a foundation of quality. Whether you prefer a more standard classic shape or something a little more forward, we’ve created a first collection that encompasses both and can compete with the best brands that the market has to offer this summer.