Vulva la revolution! How feminist eyewear brand Polette isn’t censoring their newest collection
“We can propose affordability and fashion, so… you can be who you want.”
Unlike many eyewear brands, Polette has pushed the limits of the eyecare industry by innovating examinations, price options, and designs.
Launched just ten years ago, Polette saw the opportunity to sell glasses after noticing that France sells the product for more than ten times as much. Polette figured that by cutting the middleman in their work, they could make their products cheaper, selling their products for an average of £60 compared to other companies that sell their frames for £500.
Polette chose recycled acetate as their material for the frames because it is sustainable, comfortable, and highly resistant. Along with acetate, Polette uses a metal that is light and helps shape and form the glasses even more. Polette has created a sense of transparency with how they produce their frames to show the world that they are caring for the environment while also expressing their creative side with fashionable choices.
And creative they are.
In an interview with The New Feminist, we spoke with Elodie (head of design) and Marianne (producer) who described their new collection, Orgasmic, which pushed the boundaries of eyewear. Their envision was to put the ‘vulva in your face’, hoping to educate and break stereotypes on female pleasure and sexuality.
Using recycled acetate and metal, they were able to make bold frames to represent female sexual organs, hoping to not only send a message of representation in their frames, but also a message within their material. When asked about their usage of environmentally friendly materials, they mentioned that this was one of the big concerns in Polette. “If we want to take care of this topic, it’s nice to have a message in the product”, showing that the brand is dedicated in creating a healthy future for not only women but for Earth.
When asked what their inspiration was for this collection, Elodie and Marianna laughed when they explained reminisced times in school when they saw “boys drawing dicks everywhere” but couldn’t find any ovaries. They also referenced Greek statues that are often in museums where their genitalia are presented, yet women are often covered. Polette is pushing the boundaries of censorship by putting female genitalia in their customers face, showing the world that female pleasure is not a taboo.
They said that even when asking both men and women what the ovaries look like, they were unable to give you an answer. No one really knows what women anatomy looks like, women being part of that. They spoke on the inspiration of the names of the glasses, specifically L’Origine. Elodie and Marianna referenced the famous painting, L’Origine Du Monde by artist Gustave Courbet, which was the first ‘porn’ photograph. “It’s not about selling the product”, they said when talking about how strong the designs were, it’s about sending a message.
With the inspiration of celebrating female sexuality and pleasure, Polette chose a beautiful packaging that focuses on female pleasure and orgasms, while adding in a sex toy. When asked about this choice to add this, Elodie and Marianna simply said; “We’re trying to make a collection about female pleasure, why not just add the sex toy”. When speaking on promoting sexual pleasure, they felt it would be beneficial to allow women to explore themselves by adding the toy.
Another way that Polette is trying to bring awareness is through an auction where they have seven exclusive pieces of artwork collaborated with female artists. With their art, they have worked on representing female sexuality. All proceeds will be going to Plan International, an organisation that strives to aid women’s rights and safety. The auction took place on December 3rd, with great success.
When asked what society can do to start opening the conversation of feminine pleasure and sexuality, Elodie and Marianna spoke on the changing times with social media. Since social networks are so accessible, it helps so many learn and educate themselves, with both highlighting that “people are not afraid to ask questions”, helping to create a conversation that aids women’s sexuality as no longer being taboo.
For those who are interested in finding a frame for you, you can find a list of showrooms here. The showrooms are an innovative design that will shape the future. Without stock or many employees, except for one to help with medical examinations, Polette has kept its glasses affordable and kept waste products low from producing products on demand. By using QR codes, clients can scan the frame that they want and then order their lenses after taking a free eye examination run by a medical employee at the showroom. For the glasses in the showroom that are not used or sold, Polette takes them and recycles the product to make new frames in the future. Soon, Polette is hoping to start recycling your own glasses!
The list includes spots in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, and France with the hopes to broaden their locations in the future.
Polette hopes that even though the collection is bold, the customers can understand the message or at least question their beliefs. Elodie and Marianna want to thank all artists who have helped them in their process, including those that have created work for the auction section of their collection, as well as the models. They are so happy with how the collection came out and hope to express more creativity in the future. The one thing they hope to achieve is for everyone to know the shape of ovaries from their message.
For those of you who are interested in getting a free frame, Polette has worked with us in creating a giveaway! Just head to The New Feminist Instagram page, follow us, like the post about the giveaway and tag a friend who would be interested in creating conversations that will change how the future sees sexuality. The winners will be chosen and announced on Christmas Day, so hurry and put your name down for a chance to win!