The Nolcha Fashion Week: New York team had the pleasure of catching up with the founder of Dharma eyewear Dhruv Jagasia, to find our more about the brand and to see what 2015 has in-store for them.
Why did you decide to become a fashion designer? I have always loved designing. Looking back at my old high school notebooks, they’re all covered in drawings of glasses (besides love notes, that is). After gaining experience in the background, learning the manufacturing process from my fathers and visiting eyewear factories as a child, and understanding the limitations and freedoms in that process, I wanted to bring my own designs to the forefront.
What’s it like being in the fashion industry? It’s awesome to be same space as so many talented, even some legendary designers. I can only learn from others, and that’s what I’m here for. To learn and to share.
How would you describe your brand? Dharma Eyewear is an extension of my experiences, my learning, my spiritual practice and my creativity. I put all of this together in an affordable, attractive package so that the masses can access high-quality, fashionable eyewear without having to worry if their glasses will break down within a year or two.
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far? Tough question, but one of my proudest moments was when the producer and director of an upcoming indie film, Anomaly, called me and said they loved my eyewear and wanted to feature them in their film. This was amazing because I was a fan of the film before they knew about me, and before I knew about their interest in Dharma.
What is the inspiration behind your Daya glasses? All of my glasses have an inspiration behind them. Daya, for example, was a collaboration between myself and Anna Lesniak, the owner of Daya Yoga Studio in Brooklyn. Daya means ‘compassion’, and as soon as I learned that I knew I wanted to create a pair to celebrate compassion.
Describe your ideal consumer. Spiritually inclined, culturally aware and socially tolerant. Someone who has an eye for quality, and is fashion-forward enough to care about the glasses they put on their face.
What is your favourite piece and why? Nirvana, hands down. Since I launched Dharma a couple years ago, this frame has been our best seller, by far. It’s a classic round shape from the 60s and 70s, and the inspiration behind it was John Lennon and Gandhi. While their frames were metal, when I wanted to create THIS round frame I couldn’t stop thinking of them. I love the shape – it just gives me peace. Artist Libat Ohayon took it to the next level by creating a painting for us with the Nirvana glasses in them. You can see that amazing piece here.
If you could have any celebrity spokesmodel, who would it be and why? I can’t help but think about Johnny Depp. He’s obviously an eyewear fanatic, you can tell by all the amazing eyewear pieces he wears in several movies he’s graced. Besides that, he is one of my favorite actors.
What store would you love to have your eyeglasses in? I’m not too sure about this one. I absolutely love Moscot, and the culture of eyewear in NYC that they have established. Of course, they have their own brand. I wouldn’t want to put my eyeglasses in their store, but I would love to establish a Dharma culture here in NYC. I think that will happen, as our roots seem to be growing deeper.
What does 2015 hold for the brand? 2015 holds a lot of surprises, I’m sure. But from what I can foresee, there’s going to be lots of expansion. We’re in 5 retail stores right now, and we’re hoping to increase that, but not too much. We want to keep a certain level of exclusivity to the retail stores that will carry our brand. Besides that, we have some things in the works. Think custom eyeglasses, 3D printers, and sustainability. The surprise will be somewhere in between those 3.
“Spread love and be tolerant and forgiving. Love, tolerance and forgiveness will make the world a better place. That’s a guarantee!”