Niall O'Sullivan of Pewpols Eyewear

I recently spoke with Niall David O'Sullivan, the founder of the Irish luxury eyewear brand Pewpols. Founded in 2019, Pewpols offers sun and optical glasses handmade in France from the finest Italian acetate. 

What inspired you to create Pewpols?

For many years I bought and sold vintage eyewear, and as a result, I built up a strong understanding of what people liked about older spectacles and how they differed from what is produced today. A time came when I wanted to take all this knowledge and put it into a new brand with its own unique point of view. 

Pewpols is not just another brand that produces vintage style spectacles and sunglasses. Our frames pay homage to the past, but we base our designs on what we believe is the future of eyewear. This is evident in the countless intricate details that we put into our collections.

Pewpols frames are clearly informed by vintage eyewear designs – what in particular about vintage eyewear motivated you to base Pewpols’ designs off of it? 

These days, it’s all about creating statement eyewear, but very often size, fit, proportion, and most importantly comfort, are overlooked. In the olden days it was all about comfort, as eyewear was mass produced during this time for everyday use. Don’t get me wrong, I love statement eyewear, but for me, it’s about getting the balance right, and I think that is where vintage eyewear informs the direction of our designs. 

What Pewpols frames do you wear most frequently?

Meriner is my favourite frame from the first collection because I think is a great all-rounder. It is a very simple trapezoidal frame inspired by late 50’s and early 60’s frames worn by the likes of Peter O’Toole and John F Kennedy. O’Toole’s frames were more angular with plenty of personality, and we tried to channel this design when creating Meriner. 

In my own collection, I have a pair of Meriner optical frames in Dubh that I wear most days. Also, when I travel to warmer climates, I like to wear my Meriner Sun frames in Havana with custom purple lenses. I particularly like very clean, bold silhouettes in darker neutral colours - especially black. 

Do you have any eyewear style heroes?

I can’t say that I have one eyewear style hero, but I do enjoy seeing celebrities supporting younger optical brands on the red carpet. There are a few obvious answers to this question, but to name two lesser known optical heroes of mine, I admire Ryo and Tatsuya Okamoto who run the Solakazde brand out of Japan. They collect a lot of vintage French eyewear and are truly passionate about the heritage and spirit of vintage designs.

Another optical hero of mine is a young girl who was visiting my home with her family a few years back. I had some vintage Pathway Optical thick black children’s frames in my office, and she was immediately drawn to them. I told her she should take them, and she has been wearing them ever since with her prescription. Only recently, her family contacted me to get her another pair – from what I have heard, she gets a ton of compliments on these unique vintage frames at school. 

When it comes to eyewear, there are countless different options and styles to choose from – what sets Pewpols’ frames apart from other eyewear on the market?

As outlined above, we place a lot of emphasis on the details. That said, our frames are very easy to wear and make enough of a statement to enhance an individual’s personal style. I think the detailing that goes into our frames such as the sculpting of the temple tips, milling, and choices of hardware is most evident when you physically hold our glasses in your hands. 

We are not just simply creating designer eyewear out of Italian acetate. We are looking at the entire picture and using the very best materials and manufacturing techniques across the entire frame.

What can we expect to see from Pewpols moving forward?

In the near future, we will be starting on collection two during the summer. I have a lot of designs in my head at the moment, so ultimately it is about narrowing these down to a few styles for the collection. Moving forward, we will focus a lot more on advancing our own design language and creating unique pieces to showcase our brand at a variety of trade shows next year. Currently, we have a solid collection of commercial shapes in our first collection; however, collection two is about creating more unique, obscure shapes. 

In addition, we are looking to create more partnerships with retailers and opticians around the globe over the summer. Pewpols is largely a brand for opticians, so I will be focusing on introducing our optical collection to more clients over the summer and meeting with as many customers as possible to share our brand.

We are passionate about sharing our designs and vision for eyewear with men and women all around the world, and we hope to continue to introduce Pewpols to more and more individuals as the brand continues to progress. 

Check out Pewpols:

Instagram: @pewpols 

Photos via Pewpols and Point of References. 

Damian M.


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