Hawai‘i Brand Mohala Eyewear Creates New Sunglasses For Asian Women
We’re not trying to throw shade at other companies, but for us Asians, finding sunglasses that fit has been waaaaay difficult—until now.
Photo: Lauren Easley
I’m Asian and hear a lot of stereotypes, but I’m here to set the record straight: Most of us are not crazy rich. We don’t all love math. And we do like to smile. Sometimes we just can’t, like when we wear sunglasses, because our typically high cheekbones plus a low nose bridge cause sunglasses to rise when we smile.
Ashley Johnson, owner of Mohala Eyewear, knows this. Besides smile rise, Johnson has heard other problems Asian women experienced when searching for sunnies. “I have frequent requests for sunglasses that fit noses with low bridges. Women were having trouble with sunglasses sliding down their noses and some would even try to hold their sunglasses up with their face muscles. That was giving them a headache.”
Photo: Kenna Reed
So, Johnson researched the eyeglass market in Japan. She found a significant difference in nose-bridge height between Japanese- and U.S.-made sunglasses. It prompted her to create three prototypes, all varying in different nose-bridge heights.
The Lychee Soda Keana has the highest nose bridge. The second-highest nose bridge comes in the Keana in Cherry Blossom Tortoise and the Lina in Black Lava. For those who are just a little nosey, the Lina in Cherry Blossom Tortoise and the new Pīkake style in Havana Tortoise and Charcoal have the slightest lift.
Photo: Tahiti Huetter
‘To test my prototypes, I’d visit one of my retailers and have customers try them on to get feedback on what was working best,” recalls Johnson. “Women actually enjoy trying on prototypes and sharing their feedback. They want to help create sunglasses that fit women perfectly.”
Eager as a beaver, I tried on the specs. Aaaand … voila! They fit. They didn’t dip, slip or lift when I smiled—and I smile A LOT. My favorite was the Pīkake style in crystal charcoal gray. It’s a classic frame in a very on-trend transparent color that isn’t too girly. I was sold.
Photo: Tahiti Huetter
Johnson also recommends these particular styles for women with lengthy lash extensions. “This line is perfect for women with long eyelashes as the glasses sit a little farther from the eye, so your lashes won’t constantly brush against the lenses—especially helpful if you’re wearing mascara to avoid those black streaks!”
$139 for nonpolarized, $169 for polarized styles. Sold in select boutiques including Fighting Eel, Lei Palm, Sand People and Manuheali‘i. To see all styles visit mohalaeyewear.com.
Read more stories by Stacey Makiya