Designer Spotlight: Jason Wehlage of Penguin

Indiana basketball, Imelda Marcos and a smart phone?  Check out our behind the scenes look at the life and inspirations of Original Penguin designer Jason Wehlage to discover the connection.    

What drew you to eyewear design?

For me, it was an affinity with the first pair of frames I owned in High School.  How one object not only can transform how you see, but also how others view you.  Eyewear gives an identity and expresses personality…Unlike a singular item of clothing or pair of shoes, it is an object worn nearly every day…it dresses the face…it forms a first impression and a lasting one as well…to create a silent object that speaks so much about the wearer is extremely rewarding.

Who or what is your design inspiration?

It is kind of cyclical…In the big picture, ultimately it is the end consumer and how each design will convey who they are--their style and personality--in an authentic way.  The creative process manifests itself at a moments notice, and old photos, architecture, furniture and fashion are just a few resources used to garner ideas.  Collaborating with the amazing team from Original Penguin helps to conceptualize a focused collection that resonates with the brand.  And at the end of the day, the goal is for the individual object to inspire the wearer as well.  Then the cycle begins again...

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

The Mens Head Basketball Coach at Indiana University

What is your most treasured possession?

A foul ball I caught as a 7 year old at a baseball game with my dad on Father's Day

What fashion or tech accessory can you not live without?

The smart phone (iPhone in my case) completely changed how everyone lives…aside from glasses, I’m closing in on being the male version of Imelda Marcos when it comes to being a shoe freak 

What is your most distinctive trait?

Would have to go with quick wit…quick enough to know when to use it and wise enough to know when to censor it.

What trait do you admire most in your friends?

How varied interests have led them to success and philanthropy, but have never changed the core of who they are over the years

What talent would you most like to have?

A golf handicap with a plus (+) symbol beside it

Who do you secretly love following on twitter?

@TheTweetOfGod…you know, since God has a twitter account and all

Carnivore or herbivore? 

Big Carnivore w/ a small herbivore side dish 

What matters most to you (in five words or less)?

My kids love & respect