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Afropolitan eyewear start-up REFRAMD completes successful crowdfunding campaign

Lauretta Roberts
14 July 2021

REFRAMED, a new eyewear brand designed specifically to fit black and South East Asian facial features, has completed a successful Kickstarter campaign raising more than £36,000.

The brand, established by Ackeem Ngwenya and Shariff Vreugd in Berlin last year, uses a software algorithm and 3D printing to ensure the wearer gets a perfectly fitting pair of glasses.

The software analyses facial geometry (via selfie cam) and adjusts the design of the frame accordingly. It focuses primarily on: 

  • Low bridge slope for a snug fit around the nose
  • Wide-angle nose pieces for a comfortable fit at the sides of the nose 
  • Low pantoscopic tilt to keep the frames away from cheekbones

Each frame is 3D printed in nylon by leading experts in 3D-printed eyewear products (the frames are made by materialise in Belgium, lenses by German manufacturer Zeiss, and the spring hinges are made in Austria by Redtenbacher). 

Nylon was chosen as it is robust yet flexible, feels comfortable on the skin and comes in many different finishes and colours.  

Combining those technologies allows REFRAMD to manufacture a large unique batch of glasses within only a few working days.

Ngwenya and Vreugd founded the business out of frustration for not being able to find good-fitting eyewear since most off-the-shelf or ready-to-order eye frames are designed around Caucasian nasal features, i.e., narrow and high nasal bridges. While REFRAMD glasses are primarily targeted at consumers with black and South East Asian facial features, the founders say their technology allows them to create products for any nose profile.

The glasses come in four different frames with four different lens options and four different colours. Backers of the Kickstarter fund were able to purchase a pair of $99 while future retail price will be around €150.

The success of the REFRAMD launch follows the launch of British brand Kimeze, created by Clare and Christina Kimeze, which is a range of luxury sunglasses design specifically for Afro facial features. The range is hand-crafted in Italy and retails for approximately £250 per pair.

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