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LE KEVIN – a beautiful optical and lifestyle accessories brand.

LE KEVIN - a beautiful optical and lifestyle accessories brand.

My name is Michele Quastel and I live and work in London. I own and developed LE KEVIN – a beautiful optical and lifestyle accessories brand.

I have had many lives founded on the backdrop of the aesthetics industry.  Formerly a knitwear designer and then latterly the owner of a creative consultancy working in branding, delivering bespoke creative projects and interior designing for over a decade.  I realised that many people did not want to pay for an idea or concept and preferred and valued a tangible commodity that they could see and hold in their hands.  If someone doesn’t understand vision, it is hard to imagine and trust the creative process which is intuitive.  It became wearing to have to have to justify the design process and to say… well you wouldn’t walk into the hairdresser and say I will only pay for it if I like it.

As I aged and began to continuously turn the type font size up on my phone and give in to wearing glasses, I thought wouldn’t it be cool to have an item that rather than detract from your look only enhanced your cachet. And so, I designed one KEVIN for myself and had it handmade.  It was beautiful and luxurious and became an everyday essential.

However, what I didn’t account for was the reaction from other people, men more specifically.  It was a godsend for men who don’t carry man bags.  Men continually wear their glasses perched on their heads, hooked in their shirt / T-shirt collars or lodged in their jeans pocket.  Or they sit on them or lose them. Le Kevin is entirely unisex but very much a man magnet.  Move over babies and dogs. If you want to engage with a man – wear a Kevin around your neck because they will always ask what it is. And say oh… that’s so cool…   I want one of those. 

70% of people wear glasses, some wear two pairs and almost everyone wears sunglasses – Le Kevin is a very useful and attractive staple. I also came to understand that eyewear in all its form was as attractive accessory rather than a grudge buy – the same way Europeans appreciate shoes, handbags and belts and buy many colours to coordinate with their outfits.  

Le Kevin is a precision item, seamlessly handcrafted in leather for both function and form and the fashion-conscious high-end fashionista. With no real demographic it has a totally open and generic audience. Le Kevin is made entirely in leather and offered in 38 colourways and a combination of embossed leather textures of crocodile, lizard and ostrich finishes. There are double-sided varieties and printed rainbow prints to boot!  Loud and Proud!

Le Kevin was founded almost four years and has absorbed both Brexit and the pandemic.  It was launched as a B2B business focusing on selling and supplying high end opticians and lifestyle stores around the world.  It is now available in over 15 countries in niche accounts. Le Kevin is often a window showstopper as we provide impactful retail displays and attractive retail points of sale material. 

 The brand is continuing to develop and is now a fully-fledged lifestyle accessory brand not just for optics.  Le Kevin is evolving all the time with new editions to existing collection and adding new ranges all the time which includes bespoke styles in silver and whimsical wood characters. It is now available direct to the consumer B2C on many ecommerce sites including the Le Kevin site.  

The challenges and advantages go pretty much hand in hand. As an accessory and add-on to eyewear – a glasses holder can be an afterthought especially as the retailer makes a better return, higher margins selling expensive eyewear.  So naturally it is preferential for the retailer to sell their pricey eyewear rather than cultivate a sustained long term campaign selling ethos of little and often.  My solution has been to extend the offering to the lifestyle, fashion, jewellery, gallery / museum, gift and promotional merchandise sectors where the accessory is the whole focus of the picture and not just a small addition supporting act.  Many people build their outfits around their accessories and not the other way round.  Many retailers use Le Kevin as promo merchandise and gift Le Kevin as a fixed price discount when the client buys expensive eyewear.  We also offer leather etched name branding and colour customisation for clients.

The mainline leather collection is a handcrafted luxury item, each Kevin takes 50 minutes to lovingly hand create. Quality is paramount and our quality control is ruthless.  The leather collection will always remain niche and high-end retailing approximately 55 e / £50 / $60.  On the back of this I realised that an accessible mass market lower priced glass holder was required that was entirely scalable, limitless, and so the soon to be launched Le Kevin Life which has been under wraps and totally top secret for the last two years is just about to be launched. [RRP 17e/ £15 / $17]

All our collections are manufactured in cherry-picked factories throughout Europe which includes Italy, Hungary, Germany. After Brexit the entire distribution was moved to Hamburg from London.  

Business life is hard – it takes enormous conviction and belief in your product to circumnavigate the daily pressures and problems which are a normal part of daily business life.  The rewards of growth and intellectual and social reward can be great and the knowledge that you never stop learning…

MS, University of Tartu Sleep specialist Using the acquired academic and professional experience, I advise patients with various complaints about mental health - depressed mood, nervousness, lack of energy and interest, sleep disorders, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts and anxieties, difficulty concentrating, and stress. In my free time, I love to paint and go on long walks on the beach. One of my latest obsessions is sudoku – a wonderful activity to calm an unease mind.

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