By the time Scott and Lana Arnold’s three-year-old son August – affectionately nicknamed Augie – turned three, he was already pretty particular about his sense of style and dress. And when he needed a pair of prescription glasses, there was nothing that really fit the look he liked.
“We went shopping and found some glasses that were kind of just alright – I thought, ‘They’ll do,’” Lana tells Broadsheet. They ended up buying a dark red pair that was, in hindsight, far too big. A year later, their younger daughter needed a pair too, and the search restarted.
“I just couldn’t find what exactly felt right for them. It was all pretty kid-ish: like Disney or Spider-Man or things like that, but we’re a pretty minimalist kind of family. It just didn’t feel right for my kids,” she says.
Last year the Sydney-based couple launched Augie Eyewear, a new company that makes stylish and affordable glasses specifically for children. They wanted to make good-looking eyewear easily accessible for parents, so they wouldn’t go through the same exhausting search.
There are currently seven styles available, each with three or four colourways. Smith is a popular one – a cross between a round and square shape with pin details – as are the oval Poppy and Sunday with its subtle wing tip.
The colours are a mix of minimal – such as the brown tortoise shell, or the slightly translucent peachy puff – and vibrant hues like raspberry, ultramarine and pink glitter, a personal favourite of the couple’s daughter Poppy. “Her face was just beaming because she felt so proud and happy to wear them.”
The bestseller is the crystal clear colour which, as the name suggests, is almost entirely translucent. “For a kid, they don’t stand out so much. They can feel almost invisible in a way,” she says. “You want your kids to feel confident in their glasses, maybe you don’t want them to be such a focal point.”
Each pair comes in two sizes: the small is better suited to younger kids from age three to seven, while the large is for those between eight and 12. The affordable price point means a replacement pair won’t be expensive when a child moves up a size, and the earpieces or temple tips are flexible so they can be bent to better fit the wearer.
Augie also lets kids do a virtual try-on through an Instagram filter on @augieeyewear that uses the social media app’s AR feature to let kids and parents see how a particular frame or colour might look on them before committing.
There are options to purchase just the frames, or any of three levels of prescription lenses to go with them. You can also upgrade the lenses with scratch-resistant coating, multi-coat to reduce reflection, light adaptation, blue light blocking and polarised sun protection.
“Both the kids and the parents are happy with the end results, as opposed to just settling for the pair that makes you think, you know, ‘that’ll do’,” Lana says. “I just really wanted to create eyewear that felt more minimal, simple, classic and slightly more grown up, but for kids,” Lana says.”
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