New Look is introducing Tom Davies, the creative mind behind the boundary-pushing Catch London brand. Made in London, the designer brand creates urban, elegant styles reflecting London’s effortlessly bold character. We had the opportunity to virtually sit down with the man behind the frames and get a look into what inspired his new collection.
You’re a prolific designer who invented a truly unique brand in London’s landscape and in the world of eyewear, could you tell us a bit more about your background as a designer?
Tom Davies: I've only ever been an eyewear designer. When I left university in 1997 I wanted to go travelling but I was also fed up being a poor art student, so unlike the people I was travelling with, I took my portfolio in the hopes of getting a creative job. My first stop was in Hong Kong and the first job I was offered was designing mobile phones but the next day I was offered an eyewear design position at a new company and I just fell in love with the challenge. 3 years later I came back to London for the new millennium to set up my first brand, Tom Davies Bespoke. This brand now sells all over the world and today I also have my own retail stores in London. Being a bespoke brand has its limitations though, and living in London I keep meeting a wide variety of creative people. I longed to collaborate with them on new eyewear, and that was the reason I originally set up Catch London.
Catch London is all about its love for the ever-graceful city of London, what are the things you like most about the British capital?
Tom Davies:Definitely the people. I've lived in some amazing cities all over the world but nothing beats London. Just walking around you can see “locals” from every corner of the globe. When I’m doing business with people in London I meet creatives from all walks of life and I find that inspirational. Everyone has a story and a mission and all of this to the backdrop of London. There is so much history here and history being made, it’s infectious.
What is one thing a frame should always have?
Tom Davies: Lenses. Ha ha… But seriously, I try not to create generic pieces. I always look for an edge, it doesn’t matter if a frame comes in a popular shape but it should have an edge to it, something that sets it apart like the use of materials, textures, colours or branding.
Where do you take your inspiration from?
Tom Davies: I think my biggest inspiration comes from people; people I interact with, people I admire. I am the opposite of an influencer, I am influenced. I soak up information from people and I love working with people. When I see someone try on frames, I look for their reaction, little signals in their body language as well as obvious direct feedback. This all goes into a new design.
How many pairs of glasses does an eyewear designer possess?
Tom Davies: Let’s just say that I’ve converted one of my kitchen units into my personal frame storage at home.
Why should people wear Catch London frames?
Tom Davies: You should love your eyewear, so you should only buy Catch London if when you put it on, you feel epic. The frame should be comfortable, it should reflect your natural features, it should be a positive statement. There are lots of little parts of my story which all contribute to that effort: I recycle old stock to make some of the materials and I make them in London with an independent, creative and passionate team. Then again, all that counts for nothing if when you put them on, they don’t sing. So buy them if when you look in the mirror, you think... yes!