When Julie Allinson spotted Chris Gardner, the author of “The Pursuit of Happyness,” wearing eyebobs, she asked him one simple question: Would he like to collaborate on the design of a pair of readers with proceeds earmarked for charity? The answer was, “yes.” And with that the eyebobs charitable initiative came into focus (or became crystal clear).
Proceeds from the sale of “Thick Eye,” a limited-edition frame in a bright shade of blue, benefitted the Glide Foundation, which supported Chris when he was homeless. Chris’s autobiography became a film with the same title starring Will Smith.
Katie Couric was eyebobs 2011 design partner. Already an eyebobs enthusiast, Katie worked with the team to create “Katie’s Close Up. The frame made its debut when Katie’s book, The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives, was released. And, lucky for Scholarship America, a portion of the sales from both the book and the frame benefitted the Minneapolis-based nonprofit dedicated to distributing college scholarships for students.
In 2012 eyebobs collaborated with the Rare Bird herself. Really, who better than 92-year-old style “eye-con” Iris Apfel, known for her oversized round glasses, to design a pair of frames? A portion of the proceeds from the sale of “Cleary Iris” were donated to the self-proclaimed “’geriatric starlet’s” favorite charity Lighthouse International, and led to a full-fledged collection, “eyebobs by Iris Apfel,” in 2013.
On the heels of a fashion star came culinary cult figure and hometown hero Andrew Zimmern, another eyebobs enthusiast who collaborated on “The Zimm.” Creator and host of Travel Channel’s hit series Bizarre Foods: America, Andrew made it clear that reading (and travelling) in style was anything but bizarre. He chose the James Beard Foundation, an organization devoted to preserving America’s diverse culinary heritage as his designated charity. Bon Appetit!