The Ivy Shades Collection

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!

Read more about Ivy here or on her twitter.

Donna Lethal

About Donna Lethal

Donna Lethal is the author of "Milk of Amnesia" and writes for her own blog (Lethal Dose), Hair Hall of Fame, Dowager Quarterly, Find A Death, & the Valhalla Cemetery chapter in "Weird Hollywood." A native of Lowell, Mass., she's lived in Boston, NY and London before settling here. When not writing, she's hiking, soaking in a Korean salt room or in the high desert with her pit bull.
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