Designer Life

Feature Story
October 22, 2018

His bold, edgy sunglass designs first caught the eye of the jury at the CFDA’s inaugural Incubator program in 2010. Since then, Grant Krajecki has turned his hand to eyewear exclusively, despite a background in fashion and costume design in Los Angeles. Today, co-owned by Krajecki and Natalie Levy, Grey Ant sets itself apart with consistently new and distinctive ideas for sunglasses and optical frames that sell in some of the finest fashion boutiques around the world.

“The freedom to innovate combined
with the brand’s direct and uncommon approach where quality and individuality are paramount, has secured Grey Ant
a loyal following of eyewear enthusiasts and fashion industry insiders.".

“I went to school at the Art Institute of Chicago, then moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in costume design. Although I had been designing and selling clothing since I was 16 - to help pay for school - it wasn’t until 1997 that I turned from the costume life to start my own fashion label. In 1998 Grey Ant was born and a new journey began. From then until 2007 we were focusing on clothing collections. Our eyewear started to emerge in that year and by 2012 it became the sole focus.”

\\ GREY ANT: the fashion collections, first launched in 1998

Campaign image from 2014 when the brand launched their exposed hinge designs. Model Kemp was one of many exclusive designs from Grey Ant featuring the original exposed hinge concept.

Oversized with a beautifully sculpted shaping at the front: model Coum available in tortoise, clear, multi and red.

“Grey Ant was part of the inaugural CFDA Incubator 2-year program which moved our company from LA to NYC in March 2010. The agenda was a bit disorganized at times at the beginning but it did usher us into the city where we wanted to be. We met some very influential people and listened to many wise words of advice.”

Krajecki is pictured in the back row, 3rd from the left.

The ready-to-wear collection launched in 1998. Two sunglasses were introduced during 2007 – one being the influential Status design. The Status is one of the brand’s shapes that has inspired new directions in the industry.”
The Grey Ant frames are handmade in Italy and produced in limited quantities. “We could see more and more eyewear production coming out of China, Vietnam and Korea but we wanted to focus on quality and Italian production. So a few years ago we moved headquarters upstate to Woodstock NY (2 hours from NYC) and this lowered our overheads considerably including smoother shipping logistics. Today, we have agents and showrooms in four countries and production in Quero and Venegono in Italy – we have been able to lower our pricing in areas of our collections that need to sit well in this changing market….”

Model Wurde, one of the hottest Grey Ant styles in 2018: oval and slightly extreme in width.

“I find inspiration in modern art galleries and my favourite place to reflect on everything going on around me is on top of Overlook Mountain in Woodstock NY.”

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