This Award-winning Eyewear Brand Makes Frames That Will Get You Noticed
“When you walk out of here later on, you’ll remember my frames,” predicts Mik Somers of Theo. Certainly, his own eyeglasses are a standout on an otherwise all-business outfit of black trousers and white shirt. Bright orange, perfectly round, and made out of stainless steel so thin it almost looks like a cardboard cutout fashioned out of fluorescent paper resting on his face, it’s hard not to stare at it. Behind it, his bright eyes flash, alternately intense and enthusiastic. His attitude is so infectious, you can’t help but feel hypnotically drawn in—when you aren’t distracted by his eyeglasses, that is.
These frames, not for the faint of heart, are made to be noticed. Among their award-winning designs is a pair called Eye-Witness, innovative glasses that challenge convention by being asymmetrical, created to match the inherent asymmetry in the wearer’s face. There’s also Antwerp Mesh, shades that appear to have a pattern from the outside but turn invisible when you look through them. This quirky aesthetic separates the brand from the rest, which, Somers says, is simply the way Belgians like their fashion.
“People in Belgium want to be unique,” he explains. “It’s in our genes.” As proof, he rattles off some of the prominent design names to have come out of the country: Ann Demeulemeester, Dries van Noten, and Martin Margiela, who once asked Somers’ father Wim, one of the brand’s founders, to commission a pair back in his student days at Antwerp’s famed Royal Academy of Fine Arts. And unique you will be when you wear glasses from Theo, as these are so limited, only a few of each design are ever produced. “Can you imagine buying something, and knowing there are only 20 of it made in the whole world?” he says so passionately that he makes a pair of eyeglasses sound downright sexy.
Theo by James 8 (P30,990)
Theo By James 6 (P30,990)
Theo Cinquante Huit (P34,990)
Theo Potato Mousseline (P33,990)
Theo Potato Puree (P33,990)
But as Somers himself can attest, when you wear a pair of Theos, be prepared for attention. “Everybody seems to have a moral duty to react to it. They say, ‘I love your glasses,’” he shares. “It’s a conversation piece. People love compliments, and with Theo glasses, you will be complimented.” Besides, he reasons, since prescription lenses are meant to be worn every single day, front and center on your face, it’s the perfect accessory—just as important as your watch or your shoes—and an ideal venue to reveal something of your character. “We help to express your personality. Make sure your glasses express who you are,” he says. So what do these round neon frames say about him? “I’m a very positive, happy person,” he laughs. If your glasses could do the talking, isn’t that what you would want it to say?
Theo is available from Eye Society, Bonifacio Global City and Adora, Greenbelt
This story was originally published in the Feb 2014 issue of Esquire.