Up and coming designer Beth Peele was recently announced one of three winners of the Specsavers’ Young Innovator Design competition for her piece ‘malleable metal’. Inspired by a trip to the library in which she was struck by beautifully coloured light reflections, the design incorporates hints of gold and presents a juxtaposition between cat eye shapes and round frames.
Ms Peele was presented with the opportunity to apply for the design award while studying a diploma of fashion design and merchandising at Kangan Institute in Melbourne. Traditionally focusing on garment design, Ms Peele says she was excited to branch out into designing eyewear and enjoyed the challenges the process presented.
I was very intentional with which shapes I thought would be suitable, but allowed my creativity to guide me to the final choices
“I loved getting into the headspace of the wearer, and the challenge of taking trend research, personal inspiration and the target market’s needs, and bringing the design to life. It’s been very exciting to develop a design with people outside of myself in mind,” said Ms Peele.
Inspiration in Unlikely Places
During her time spent researching eyewear styles and the history of trends, Ms Peele formed a design concept she felt fit forecasted trends and responded to market research. With the cat eye and round frame shape in mind, her inspiration for materials followed from encounters in everyday life.
“I drew inspiration from the world around me, looking at metal tram stops, buildings, hand rails etc. I was particularly inspired by a visit I made to a library during the time I was creating these designs. As I walked up one of the isles, the sun shone through a window and reflected beautifully on the gold leaf lettering on the spine of an old book. I loved the contrast of the dark and light, so that is why I have a contrast of bright gold and dark black metals together in these designs,” she said.
A Deliberate Design
Narrowing down her design ideas before entry involved playing around with shape combinations. “I was very intentional with which shapes I thought would be suitable, but allowed my creativity to guide me to the final choices . . . I trialled many different materials and methods to create the prototypes,” said Ms Peele. This process involved the use of hand sketches and CAD (computer-aided design), both skills she has learnt throughout her course and proved to be “exceptionally helpful”.
On top of the lessons learnt during the design process, Ms Peele acknowledged the value of presenting to judges to improve her pitching skills. She says the experience has contributed to her knowledge of the design industry process and helped to refine her own skills in the field.
The Hall of Fame
With her design set to appear on shelves alongside the likes of designs by Alex Perry, Carla Zampatti, and Kylie Minogue, Ms Peele says she feels “very lucky and incredibly humbled to be able to work with the team at Specsavers to bring these designs to life.”
“I’m very excited to be a part of the refinement process and to learn everything I can along the way. I see it as an amazing opportunity to grow and to learn more about the world of eyewear design.”
Excited by the opportunities that exist in fashion design, Ms Peele looks forward to further exploring the eyewear design avenue. Her experience working with Specsavers to finesse her design has proved an invaluable insight into the industry.