With over 32,500 employees, Specsavers Optical Group Ltd offers eye testing services, as well as having large selections of glasses, sunglasses and contacts.

Head designer, Stig Hansen spoke about his role, designing glasses. “You have to consider the technical side to glasses when designing a frame”, and whether they will sell on the high street.

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Stig went on to say that, glasses have to be “commercial, whilst trying to raise the bar, and be innovative”. He informs us that Specsavers have the “best quality in the industry”, and suppliers come from all over the world.

The development of eyewear starts over a year before release. “Eyewear doesn't rotate as fast as fashion” said Stig. It gives them time to work closely with companies, like WGSN, who provide trend reports that indicate future trends.

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Stig has worked closely with Kylie Minogue on her collection and with Will.i.am on his. A trend Stig has noticed in recent years is the “shift towards individuality”. Another trend Stig has noticed is, women buying from the menswear lines. This is pushing the need for unisex lines, which has been proposed for Kylie Minogue's second collection with Specsavers.

Each year Specsavers hold an exciting design competition. This gives “young talent the chance to shine”.

GFW asked how last year’s winners, Tiffany Bachelet and Emily Hill found out about the competition. Tiffany replied “I received an email from university and I quickly started sketching ideas”. Tiffany wanted to design glasses that suited everyone. Emily took part because “glasses can be a big part of someone's identity”. She took inspiration from the architecture found in London and Spain.

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Written by Chloe Ford

Photography by Sarah-Charlotte Whalley