Over the past decade, the New York City borough of Brooklyn garnered massive notoriety and recognition as a direct result of a tremendous creative renaissance. No longer do people consider Brooklyn a fading wasteland but rather, the borough rebounded from a downtrodden image and put itself back on the map due in large part to an increasing number of educated and artsy entrepreneurs. The city’s seen a revival of 1970’s motorcycle culture, a swath of tech-forward start-ups, and can once again consider itself an industrial center of New York City. Hell, the Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation even nicknamed the West Brooklyn area of Greenpoint to Cobble Hill the “Creative Crescent;” it goes without saying, but Brooklyn is back.
One of the neighborhoods located smack dab in the middle of the Creative Crescent is Williamsburg, home of the fashion-forward and innovative eyewear company Brooklyn Spectacles. Founded in 2012 by Brooklynite Jenny Ma, Brooklyn Spectacles properly follows the borough’s recent fashion revival and embraces the city in all of its designs. Each of the company’s frames take their names from various Brooklyn-area neighborhoods or landmarks like Kensington, Kent, or Clinton. It’s little gestures like these which show just how heavy Brooklyn runs in Ma’s bloodstream, and how much she respects the city.
A resident of Williamsburg as a young girl, it wasn’t an accident Ma ended up opening her business in the popular neighborhood. While growing up, Ma’s family owned their own eyewear business which allowed the young entrepreneur to glean an immense amount experience and inspiration for her own venture. While recognizing Williamsburg for the budding neighborhood it was, Ma found unique inspiration from area artists, musicians, and trendsetters. A quick look at Ma’s collection clearly shows this artistic inspiration oozes from each of Brooklyn Spectacles’ many frames and styles.
As one of the first companies to get out in front of the wood movement before it was hip, Ma’s first collection of Brooklyn Spectacles featured fifteen different styles of wood frames. Though unlike many wood products flooding the market, Ma’s wood frames consist of an acetate plastic surfaced with a wood-like finish, rather than real timber. What this means is the finish product eminates wood’s modern style while allowing the wearer to experience a comfort reserved for versatile synthetic material. Ma’s forward-thinking approach to this first collection allowed the brand to quickly establish itself in Brooklyn and beyond. The Wood Collection’s successes saw Ma introduce both the Classic Collection (frames made from classic acetate), as well as the stainless steel-manufactured Metal Collection.
Nowadays, Brooklyn Spectacles is found in 21 American states, as well as countries like Canada, Europe, South America, and Asia. Ma’s global expansion isn’t just a result of Brooklyn’s recent creative renaissance; she’s earned all the recognition by showing a relentless devotion to her craft while celebrating all that makes Brooklyn, well, Brooklyn.
To see all of Jenny Ma’s Brooklyn Spectacles collections, head on over to their website.
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