In September 2010, The Ivy Shades Eyewear line debuted its first collection in Houston. A longtime aficionado of fashion and eyewear, she created the brand unexpectedly from a personal pair of shades that she enhanced with gold chains to wear for a video shoot. “I was out with friends and I decided to wear the shades,” she recalls. “A girl bought them off of my face for $350. So I made another pair, wore them to a club, and another girl bought them for $210. I decided to create a few more. My first line consisted of eight pairs of shades and I decided to release them.” Within months, she was shipping eyewear internationally. Six lines later — Boss, Retro, Flawless, Envy, Rockstar, B.B.O. — Ivy Shades are everywhere, from the hippest clubs to the most upscale boardrooms.
Ivy was in town promoting her line of eyewear at the W Hotel. I got a chance to talk with the stunning rapper and designer about her line.
Ivy, what inspired you to design glasses? I have a shade fetish! I also wanted to separate myself from the other female artists and when I changed my name from Poizen Ivy to Ivy Shades, people laughed at me, which just motivated me even more-and it took off kinda fast from there.
You’re a model yourself-how on earth did you pick models for your model search? It was so overwhelming! These people were just knockouts! We had people from all over-Canada, Miami…I cried a lot, I wanted everybody to win! It was the people who got the most likes from their friends and family, the top six.
How do you design your glasses – are there certain elements that go into your designs? I get visions; I have a little book…I sketch it out, I color it, then I hand it over to the team. If it looks right, we take it from there, if not, I start over!