The Manual
Fashion & Style

Peeping out Elliot Havok SmartShades

Written by Noelia de la Cruz Posted on February 11, 2013

Steven Elliott Ng doesn’t care about shades that conform to the mainstream classics of our day — think aviators or Wayfarers.

Instead, he likes a pair that falls in the middle: practical, reliable, affordable, but still good-looking. Having always been interested in entrepreneurship, he saw an opportunity to create Elliot Havok, a San Francisco-based design company.

“Designer shades have high costs for mediocre-grade products and cheap shades lack durability altogether,” Ng states in a video on his Elliot Havok SmartShades indiegogo page, where he ultimately raised $7,000 to fund his project.

For a year, Ng studied various head shapes and sizes, temple lengths, contours, and materials to create the sunglasses he desired.

He ended up with two models: Rogue (matte black) and Prestige (gloss black). He designed a third, Architect (clear gloss black), for prescription use.

After sampling a variety of woods for the temples–birch, oak, cherry–Ng settled on rosewood for its strength, pliability, and texture, he says. The glasses feature a 9-layer polarized UV lens, which means: shock absorbers to prevent cracking and shattering, waterproof anti-scratch layers, 4 UV filters, and a polarized core that serves to eliminate glare.

Because the lenses are thin-rectangular, they’re more of a fit for round or oval face-types. But we like how these feel. They’re sturdy, they don’t slip, they’re easy on the nose and on the ears.

Add spring-loaded hinges for flexibility, and you’ve got a solid pair that will cost you 60 bucks in the Elliot Havok shop. Each pair also comes with a 30×30 cm navy blue pocket square for a handy smudge-reducing cloth and a little class to add to your suit jacket.

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