If you’re not a fan of reality shows, then news that one of its participants has launched a fashion label could turn you off. But there’s something so persuasive about British eyewear brand Taylor Morris, brainchild of Made in Chelsea star Hugo Taylor and best mate Charlie Morris, that naysayers (including me) have been saying ‘yay!’
First, there’s a tangible passion to the endeavour, something you don’t sense in various Kardashian Kollections. Secondly, there’s the design – classic shapes, inspired by icons of the silver screen but made fresh with clever twists.
Of course, celebrity connections don’t hurt. The September 2013 launch was attended by MIC co-stars and It-people. Since then, Taylor Morris has been spotted looking slick on Rita Ora, Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse and Twilight actor Jamie Campbell-Bower. Most recently, Kylie Minogue was spotted wearing the brand’s Louis Orson frame.
All of this would be moot if the shades were, well, not very good – but they are. Take the Vredefort, named after the meteorite that crashed into South Africa 2 billion years ago. The unisex shape may recall Jack Nicholson and Steve McQueen but a selection of tortoiseshell frames make them frankly unique. The Rollrights are beautiful shapes with exposed metalwork bridges and flash mirror lenses. Special, no? And cleverly planned. For every fruity tone, there’s a muted colour way that will keep the more conservative happy.
And the prices … As any fan of designer shades will know, £125 for a pair of wellmade wayfarer-style sunnies is stupidly reasonable. No wonder Taylor Morris is now Harvey Nichols’ biggest selling sunglasses range.
Last week, I got the chance to chat to Hugo and Charlie about SS15, the boys’ biggest collection yet, and filmed part of the interview. As you’ll see, for all that Hugo can come across as posh dilettante on screen, he’s enormously personable in real life.
What you won’t see as clearly in the clip are the shades – and they’re something, with top quality acetate and beautiful finish. The styles below are my favourites from both AW14 and SS15 but forget the reality show origins and take some time to peruse the rest. They’re worth it.