April 29, 2020
\\ Betty Bachz and Torunn Lovise Gullaksen, Co-Founders
Adored by British Vogue and the likes of Kate Moss and Naomi Shimada, it’s no surprise that MoY Atelier has found a comfortable niche for itself as one of the sunglass brands of choice inside the luxury fashion scene.
Founded in 2017 by Betty Bachz and Torunn Lovise Gullaksen, the label has a distinctive style and creative precision which has lead to a uniquely eclectic collection with exciting shapes and details.
Q: How has the brand successfully developed its own style?
A: Betty Bachz: I remember, MØY Atelier was finally launched in the summer of 2017 after a long and scrutinizing period of fine-tuning our aesthetic and testing different shapes on as many faces as we possibly could.
Torunn Lovise Gullaksen: Before Betty and I founded our own brand, I designed and developed eyewear for several fashion brands like Wood Wood, Sun Buddies, Dover Street Market, and Opening Ceremony. As I worked with a lot of unisex brands, I took notice of how the definition of unisex was heavily masculine. I realized that we still power dress, only now we have switched out the mimicking of broad shoulders for ‘boyfriend’ jeans, shapeless t-shirts and so on. In an era of strong feminism and change, I find it odd that we still look to the traditional masculine for guidance of behaviour and style. Betty, coming from such a male-dominated industry as finance, had the same notion and so we decided to create MØY; a unisex brand with a feminine expression.
TLG: I believe we created our brand, because we felt we had something to voice. The DNA of MØY is warm, inviting and individualistic. In the design, we reflect this through warm colours, lenses which are transparent enough to make eye-contact and the complete frame is so lightweight that you forget it is even on your nose. It is further translated in our branding by the use of warm colours and analogue photography to create a sense of intimacy and inclusiveness.
Q: What are the key features of your SS19 sunglasses collection? Comment particularly on the shapes you have introduced and how those have been developed.
A: TLG: In SS19 we have introduced two very special styles: Stranger’s Ray and Wild at Heart. Every one of our collections is inspired by a version of the feminine energy, this one focuses on the fiery one. It was Gloria Allred’s unafraid spirit that sparked this collection. Equally uncompromising are the shapes designed for it. Wild at Heart is by far the most challenging construction we’ve ever made. Two pairs of nylon 0 base lenses, cut in a thin pointy line, one piece of brushed metal block all bound together by a detailed matt rim wire in sharp strokes.
Q: Talking about the shapes, are you inspired by vintage designs or not so much? Explain if you have other inspirations.
A: TLG: Generally I don’t look to other eyewear designs for inspiration. As I studied to become an accessories designer at Polimoda, my teachers were very strict about never looking at products of the same category for inspiration. I guess it stayed with me. Anyway, after seven years of drawing eyewear, I know most of the classic shapes, and so I’m free to explore other sources of inspiration.
\\ Left: Wild at Heart in ‘Silky Tortoise’ - Right: Fiery Femme in ‘Pink Dragon’
Q: Has it been challenging to produce very detailed original shapes with unusual forms? And what can you tell us about the lenses?
A: TLG: Yes absolutely! The production part of it has been extremely challenging. We spent months finding the right factory. Luckily we found one who shares our interest in making something unique and of the highest quality. As our signature constructions are lens-in-lens and they are cut in sharp and unusual forms, we needed to source top-quality lenses. We joined Essilor in a collaboration from the first collection, and we have been using their beautiful nylon lenses ever since.
Q: Tell us what you are up to over the summer in preparation for the new season.
A: TLG: We are spending some time in Italy, where we can slow down and give our new collection a test run under the Tuscan sun.
Q: Can we expect to see a MOY Atelier optical collection soon?
A: BB: We would love to do optical styles - there are a couple of drawings in the making already, and hopefully they will see the light of day very soon.
Q: At the moment you are very much linked to the fashion world. What has been your plan in distributing the collection through optical channels and are you happy with how that is going?
A: BB: We are believers in organic growth - we’ve put a lot of attention in details so it’s nice to be recognized and embraced by the optical world. From our side, we love working with optical stores, as they are open-minded towards independent eyewear brands and offer our customers their expertise and knowledge.