Peeping out Elliot Havok SmartShades

Elliot Havok

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.