laEyeworks

l.a.Eyeworks' culturally engrossing Great Face campaign and provocative eyewear have captivated public consciousness since exploding into national magazines in 1981. Then a single store on Melrose , l.a.Eyeworks has become an internationally known leader in eyeglass designs. The ad campaign's mix of offbeat and known faces immediately grabbed attention, netting awards and imitators. The Great Face ads have been replicated and shown in museums and books, and even been interpreted on the wall of a blues club in Hollywood .

 

Seriously glamorous visages such as those of Lauren Bacall, Laura Dern, Jodie Foster, and Sharon Stone have graced the campaign. Other notable participants include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Andy Warhol, and Grace Jones; rock and rollers from George Clinton and Boy George to Nana Mouskouri and Melissa Etheridge; as well as athletes from Mike Piazza to Martina Navratilova. l.a.Eyeworks also has made it a point to celebrate interesting “pre-famous” faces and personalities, from Pee Wee Herman in 1983 to Heidi Fleiss; web graphics designer Lynda Weinman; Mihaly Michu Meszaros (smallest man in the world); basketball star Zheng Haixia (female center for the L.A. Sparks at 6'8”); and Dale Chihuly, first American Glass Artist to work in Murano, Italy. A year after his l.a.Eyeworks ad was shot, singer Rufus Wainwright was voted Best New Performer by Rolling Stone magazine.

 

l.a.Eyeworks ads have run in a wide array of publications including The New Yorker, Wallpaper, Interview, OUT, Wired, Paper, Vanity Fair, German GQ, L'Uomo Vogue, and Flaunt.

 

The unique collaboration between photographer Greg Gorman and l.a.Eyeworks spans two decades, and the renowned celebrity photographer has shot nearly 200 images for l.a.Eyeworks. Gorman's third book, Inside Life , documents 30 years of legends—from movie stars to porn stars—and he appears as himself in the John Waters film “Pecker.”

 

l.a.Eyeworks always has chosen to include the world's finest drag stars, who understand the power of accessory. Gender-bending faces in glasses include New York 's John Sex, Divine, Lypsinka, RuPaul, Phranc, Boy George, Billy Erb, Ron Vawter, Joey Arias, Pat Briggs, Justin Bond and Dame Edna Everage.

 

Collaboration between artists and the campaign is also at the forefront. In 2000, l.a.Eyeworks collaborated with Italian quick-change artist Ennio Marchetto, who created paper glasses to wear in his shot. And ”big eye” icon Margaret Keane allowed a classic art piece to be scanned and digitally outfitted with l.a.Eyeworks frames—the first true “work of art” face.

 

l.a.Eyeworks has expressed political beliefs loudly in their full-page ads. The ad introducing the l.a.Eyeworks LUCK frame stated: "A portion of the proceeds from Luck will benefit the Aileen Getty Hospice for Women with AIDS.” The donation continues in perpetuity, raising tens of thousands of dollars. And NEA-censured artist Karen Finley's ad included a donation form to the National Coalition for Freedom of Expression, with an altered tag line: “A face is like a work of art. It deserves a great frame and the freedom to express itself."