Keeping It Real With the Founders of Crap Eyewear
DateMarch 17, 2017
When looking for a pair of sunnies to wear to the next music festival, no one likes shelling out as much cash as they spent on their ticket. If there’s one frustrating fact about many youth-oriented eyewear brands, it’s that they’re designed with the youth in mind at a price that’s way out of our reach. However, Crap Eyewear found a way to cross this barrier in a way that’s always authentic and never contrived. Everything from the name to the designs screams young, wild, and free, and you can get your hands on any frame without breaking the bank. High quality at an affordable price, frames ranging from retro to modern; you could say that Crap has mastered the art of delivering the best of both worlds. We chatted with one of the founders, Peter Nussbaum to learn about how they’ve honed in on that cool, endless summer vibe and how they were able to genuinely reach their target consumer without any bullsh*t.
Needless to say, we can always stand behind Crap Eyewear’s stylish sunglasses and we’re sure you’ll be able to too. We’ve teamed up with the brand to give away a pair of sunglasses to three lucky winners! The best part? The choice of frame is totally up to you. Check out and follow @MISSBISH on Instagram to learn how to enter and read on to see the full interview below!
What’s the meaning behind the name “Crap Eyewear?”
I was 16 when we came up with the initial idea for Crap Eyewear. We wanted to make DIY streetwear – for the youth, by the youth. The Crap name was basically just meant to be a middle finger to the established sunglass market. Now I actually love the current state of the eyewear market. Lots of talented designers putting out really exciting shades. Our design aesthetic has matured a lot since, along with the rest of our business, but we stay true to the Crap name by keeping our brand lighthearted and our sunglasses affordable.
What separates Crap Eyewear from the rest of the market?
Crap Eyewear is a youth culture brand that’s offered at a price the youth can actually afford. Our sunglasses are made to be worn to the beach, music festivals, pool parties… we want our customers to live their lives without worrying about losing their favorite shades.
Can you explain the process behind coming up with a new eyewear design?
I like to think that all our frames have their own personality and story. So for every new frame, I really try to lock down a complete story and intention for that particular frame as the first step in the creative process. Like, if we’re going to design an aviator, let’s get into it. Gather up my favorite vintage gas station pairs, look through photo archives, watch movies, put on records. Reference my favorite parts from the past and figure out what we can improve. It’s easy to spot the nostalgia in our design aesthetic, but I also work hard to make significant creative contributions to all our designs to keep things looking forward. Trim the fat, add new features, modernize the fit – all sorts of small details add up to get to the final result.
“Building an independent business and brand is tough – major challenges arise almost daily, so you have to remember to treat each obstacle as an opportunity to learn and improve.”
There are a lot of cool creatives that rep your brand, describe the typical Crap Eyewear muse. How do you want people to feel when they have a pair of your shades on?
Being based in LA, specifically Venice Beach, we’re lucky to be surrounded by an extremely vibrant mix of people. Skateboarders, rockers, models, photographers, artists, surfers, musicians… LA is a melting pot of so many fascinating subcultures. A bunch of Californians doing what they love. I would say the common ground for the Crap brand is authenticity, originality, and passion. And I hope when our customers wear our shades they feel a connection to the scenes and people that our brand supports.
Any tips for others trying to start their own independent brand? What has been a major challenge you’ve faced when launching the company and how have you overcome it?
Patience is a virtue. While we all love a good entrepreneur overnight success story, that doesn’t happen to everyone. There are a whole lot of successful people out there that have worked tirelessly at their craft/business/idea/passion for years to get to where they are. Even the overnight successes are working their asses off, too. My advice is to work hard, stay focused on your craft, and be patient. Building an independent business and brand is tough – major challenges arise almost daily, so you have to remember to treat each obstacle as an opportunity to learn and improve.
What’s the secret to staying up to date with current trends while keeping your products looking unique and staying true to the brand?
Listen to the youth, trust your team, and trust your yourself. Everyone in the Crap Family – from our office crew to our team of ambassadors – all have a big influence in what direction we take our collections, from the styles we develop to what ultimately gets made. I keep a close watch on where everyone’s attention goes to on the sample table and what pairs get tried on. Also, it helps that we have bad ass customers. Odds are if we’re all excited about a new style, then they’re gonna dig it too. We’re really lucky in that sense.
Photos by: Tony Accosta
Photos of: Crap Eyewear Music Family Ambassadors, The Paranoyds & Pearl Charles
Summer 2016 Lookbook shot by: Brad Elterman