‘Dress Code’ is VIBE’s fashion and style series, where were we test drive rising brands from an every day life point of view.
CRAP EYEWEAR SAYS
Designer: Peter Nussbaum
Happy Customers: Lil Wayne, MIA, Diplo, 2 Chainz, Flume, Willow Smith, Kali Uchis, Odd Future and Illegal Civ crews
Favorite Piece From Current Collection: I’m really excited about The Pop Control. It’s the best-fitting frame we’ve released yet. It’s a slightly undersized, retro sunglass with that signature extra chunk people expect from Crap, but lightweight and sporty so you can cruise around in ‘em without feeling weighed down.
On CRAP’s Humble Beginnings: The original concept was conceived when we were just punk a** kids, probably age 16. This was the early 2000s, so aside from the occasional and still very underground streetwear collaboration, the eyewear market was really boring, especially to someone our age. Lots of wraparounds and very few bright colors. My friends and I wanted to shake things up, make wild style shades priced in a way kids like us could afford.
Why The Name: The idea was to make a brand that was basically a middle finger to the established sunglass market – DIY streetwear made by the youth for the youth. As I’ve matured, I’ve grown to appreciate design and fashion and have a tremendous amount of respect for the hard work it takes to run a label. I think in a weird way the Crap name has forced us to keep it fun, keep it lighthearted.
On The Design Process: We’re nostalgists, so we like to keep things classic. I’ve always felt like “modernized classics” is little bit of a cop out term but, for me, all my idols wore iconic sunglasses so why reinvent the wheel? My first step when creating a new frame shape is to develop a certain conceptual feeling or idea for that particular frame. Once that feeling has been honed into a self-contained identity, I’ll start working on the actual design specs. If might be a classic silhouette or I’ll reference ten or twenty of my favorite designs of that frame shape – from high end vintage to low end gas station stuff – then make sure the fit, feel and look are all updated for the modern day market and reimagined into something new. There’s a fine line between paying tribute to your influences and ripping them off. I work really hard to make sure we’re bringing new ideas and creative energy to every design we release.
Their Uniqueness In The Marketplace: We’re a youth culture brand and I don’t think it’s possible to cater to our market without offering a product that’s priced accordingly. Crap sunglasses are made for living – wear ‘em to a pool party, wear ‘em to the beach, wear ‘em to a music festival without having to worry – and that’s how we price them. It’s really tough to ask someone in their 20s, or say a high schooler, to act their age in a pair of $200 shades. We still obsess over the design details and materials and make sure we’re proud of what we’re putting out, but keep our prices low.
Ashley Monaé, Vixen Editor:
I subscribe to the Carrie Bradshaw philosophy when it comes to shopping: “I was looking for a $7 dress to go with my $300 shoes, when…” Basically, I prioritize my fashion buys. For me, accessories are a must-have, an extra ounce of edginess that plays a major role in my personal style without doubt. (Therefore, I don’t mind to splurge at all).
I’ve got an affinity for classic sneakers, keepsake jewelry, designer bags, and cool sunglasses. My style varies day-to-day, but for the most part I opt for a more tomboy sensibility (ripped boyfriend/skinny jeans, graphic t-shirts, bomber jackets), adding a feminine touch with most of my accessories.
“For me, accessories are a must-have, an extra ounce of edginess that plays a major role in my personal style without doubt.”
Crap’s Jungle Tort Flash collection is super cool without feeling trendy. In the photos above, I’m rocking the Nudie Mag and Tuff Patrol styles. They both feature an eye-catching matte jungle tortoise finish with silver mirror lenses. These are sunnies that are definitely meant to turn heads. The Tuff Patrol pair, which were a favorite for me, gave me retro Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon vibes. I’m going to Coachella for the first time ever this April and I’ll definitely be rocking these babies!
Stacy-Ann Ellis, Assistant Editor:
Sunglasses have always been both a struggle and a weakness for me. As soon as the temperature hits 65 degrees, New Yorkers itching for sartorial stealth mode whip out their stash of sunnies from the back of the closet. Matte, blacked out, cat eyed, aviator, Beatles inspired, wire rimmed, transparent, retro square. There are so many styles to subtly spice up an outfit. The problem was, given my high cheekbones, a lot of shades fit awkwardly on my face. Certain pairs would awkwardly rise and fall whenever I smiled. Luckily, CRAP Eyewear has enough styles and shapes to fit both my mood and my face.
CRAP’s Jungle Tort Flash collection was right up my alley, especially the T.V. Eye and Tuff Patrol pairs. Accented with sturdy matte tortoise frames, the T.V. Eye shades add just enough flair to an outfit without being too loud, fussy or distracting. I’d say it even falls into the “jazzy nudes” categories, which is always a plus.
A common thread amongst CRAP’s cute sunnies are the high reflection value across the board. No need to fret if you forgot your makeup mirror at home, because you’ll be able to see yourself in shades like the classic Tuff Patrols crystal clear. Passersby will be able to see themselves in your eyes, too. It’s just that crisp. Overall, these babies are an easy way to up the bada**ness of your ‘fit.