Designer Spotlight: Robert Denning

1. What drew you to eyewear design?

I wanted to design something that would appeal to everyone, regardless of their age, gender, location, personal style, etc. Something that would be universally flattering. There is virtually no other product that is as universal, unisex, and timeless as Wayfarer sunglasses. So I guess I was drawn to eyewear design because it felt like the most inclusive product I could find in fashion. That, and I have always LOVED sunglasses.  

2. Who / what is your design inspiration? 

All our sunglasses are dedicated to a different human achievement, usually something involving history or art or science. They each have a name, material and charity related to this achievement, and as pretentious as it sounds, I really do start with a specific human achievement when designing a new model/pair of Westward Leanings. 

3. If you were to die and come back as any other person or thing, what would it be?

If I had a choice, George Lucas. Or Carl Sagan. 

4. What is your most treasured possession?

I would like to say I don't treasure any material possession. But that's probably not entirely true. 

5. What fashion accessory can you not live without this season?

The Nike Air hi-tops designed by Kanye West. Whatever you think about him, they are incredibly cool sneakers. 

6. What talent would you most like to have?

The ability to draw. Really, I can't draw. I have to use the computer or rely on my very talented art-schooled assistants when designing new glasses. 

7. What trait do you admire most in your friends?

Tolerance and forgiveness when I (and others) are less than perfect and/or make mistakes. 

8. What is your most distinctive trait?

Probably the volume of my voice. Which is loud. 

9. Who do you secretly love following on twitter?

@RealTimeWWII, which is a six-year project by an Oxford history student to "live-tweet" the events of World War II as if they were happening in real time. He started a few years ago in 1939, and we are now in 1941. The tweets are like a live update from embedded journalists of the time. It's incredibly well-researched, and has almost 300k followers.  

10. Carnivore or herbivore?

I used to be a vegetarian, but started eating meet again last year. Ideologically, I'd like to be a herbivore, but realistically I'm a carnivore.   

11. What matters most to you (5 words or less)?

Having impact, being kind.