Beyond the aesthetic sense or a surprising design, what is truly remarkable about eyewear is the meaning it has. And it is that its intrinsic relationship with the gaze goes hand in hand with how we interpret and understand the world. Being fully aware of this premise, Ameos, an eyewear brand that, starting from coloured lenses combined with creativity and free expression, has managed to make its project an ode to chameleonic identities, now presents its new campaign. A direct invitation to enjoy life that refuses labels and opens minds. We speak to its founder, Tony Lehtimäki.
“I felt that the current eyewear space was very generic and sincerely boring,” says Tony when asked about the rationale behind his most personal project, Ameos. A brand that emerged in response to an obsolete and homogeneous market that lacked personality and passion. “Ameos aspires to put emphasis on our unique qualities that make us different and stand out,” he adds. Their impressive collections defined by colour and materialised in Italy, where each pair is manufactured by hand and from where they are distributed to the world, are the result of crystallising everything that makes us special and different from others while feeling empowered. “Our message is to be yourself and stop caring what other people think by finding your inner joy,” he explains about their new campaign, which has just been unveiled.
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Built on self-expression and creativity, Ameos is an eyewear brand that claims uniqueness by experimenting with colours. But, when and how was this project born?
Ameos takes inspiration from the sport of skeet shooting, where colour tinted lenses are crucial for the shooter to see and hit the clay targets. The coloured lenses have a beneficial impact on increasing contrast, colour recognition and depth of vision during different weather conditions and backgrounds. This made me fascinated about how looking through colours could shape what and how we perceive things leading to the establishment and backbone of Ameos.
I wanted to bridge the concept of coloured tinted lenses from the world of sports into eyewear fashion from a different angle than what already existed, as I felt that the current eyewear space was very generic and sincerely boring. This has been a way to introduce unique and colourful eyewear that speaks for itself and brings more value to the person than just another fashion accessory.
Who’s behind the brand?
I am the founder and owner of Ameos and built it from zero to an independent brand with the help of our small team. Learning how to design eyewear without any fashion or design background was one of the major challenges that I faced, and it took more than a year to go deeper into the industry, analysing materials, measurements, and colour combinations to lay the groundwork of the brand. Ameos is my alter ego and a reflection of inspirations and ideas mixed with personal style. The brand has therefore developed itself naturally without any forced changes from other input and has been shaped in the way that has felt right.
What is the creative process like from when you decide the idea you are going to work on until you materialise it in your colourful designs?
Working with an open mind or interacting with different people helps elevate my own creative process. Just as what we see constantly changes, so does the inspiration for creating new designs in different styles and colour combinations. Taking these ideas absorbed from everyday life, I fuse them together with more concrete factors that are as important, like seasons and current trends in the eyewear space. This helps shape the design together from two different angles and to further build the concept.
I create each pair of sunglasses with its own personality and base the colour selection on the personality I want to give it and how I visualise the ‘person.’ Giving them personalities makes every model unique, just like we all are. With a clear concept we materialise the collections in our factory in Italy that manufactures each pair by hand using biodegradable acetate and CR-39 or nylon lenses that have been locally sourced. From Italy, we send the products to our two warehouses located in Stockholm and Barcelona to facilitate faster shipments within Europe, covering both North and Southern Europe.
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Exploring new ways of expressing oneself beyond the comfort zone is one of the premises on which you have built Ameos. How do you achieve this goal?
We all have a way of expressing ourselves, this makes us trapped and limited to the boundaries of our own comfort zone. Ameos is a way to show and reflect how we truly want to express ourselves by using creativity and colours. We are all influenced by society and our surroundings with a pressure to fit in and feel accepted by the ones we want to surround ourselves with.
On the contrary, Ameos aspires to put emphasis on our unique qualities that make us different and stand out. Turning it around and enabling this way of thinking is one way to express yourself beyond your comfort zone.
And designs that are not subject to gender, free from clichés and stereotypes, in which each person can feel free. What characters, eras or creative disciplines do you draw inspiration from when you bring your collections to life?
My inspiration comes from many different sources, but in general from what I find fascinating and what really gets a grip of my attention. As of now, I have been inspired by movie characters, animals, and persons in real life. Analysing what makes them unique and stand out is the key factor I try to capture and transmit into the different models bringing them to life.
Your new campaign is a celebration of fun, colour and authenticity. Images with a carefree aesthetic that bet on naturalness. What message do you want to spread with this new collection?
Life is what you make it, so why not make it fun and colourful? Our latest projects have had a focus on capturing natural and genuine moments where we are simply just having fun. Taking us back to the feeling we had in our childhood when life was without any worries and our only focus was to have fun. Our message with this is to be yourself and stop caring what other people think by finding your inner joy. In the end, it’s your life and you should enjoy it to the fullest!
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Do you have a favourite glasses model among all the new creations that you now unveil? Why?
It depends on the day and how I feel like I want to express myself. Some days, I want to take on a leadership role and convey to people what I want, just like Remi and some days (maybe more often weekends?) I want to be a bit more of a rebellious troublemaker just like Noel red. Our collections are created to make you connect with certain models that either have similar characteristics as you have or is the total opposite, helping you use your chameleon identity.
Where can we buy your new eyewear collection?
You can buy our eyewear collections directly on our website or find our latest collection Genderlxss in a selected eyewear store with a strong focus on independent brands, located in the Eixample, Barcelona. We also plan to expand our physical presence in niche eyewear stores with openness to explore new opportunities.
You started your brand during the pandemic, with the release of the Singular collection in 2020 that captures today’s reality fused with your own world of creativity. Do you think the pandemic has changed how we understand fashion and aesthetics as a society?
Yes, I believe that how we understand and see fashion has expanded and an increase of new concepts have erupted that has become accepted and trendy. This would not have been the case prior to a pandemic but changes in our society’s behaviour have played a role in this, intentionally and unintentionally. However, this is great learning to take into of how fashion is being shaped and its openness to new ways of expressing it.
And what can you tell us about your plans for the future?
We are working on exciting ideas for our next collection launching Spring 2022 as well as building the presence of our brand here in Spain. Apart from this, we’ve also seen a rapidly increasing interest from an overseas market (without giving too much away), which we are also working on expanding Ameos to next year. Our plan for the future is to grow Ameos and naturally develop our concept by constantly pushing the boundaries of creativity through different projects without losing the essence of the brand. We are just getting started and we welcome everyone to follow us on our journey!
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