Duane Littles

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I HAVE A GIFT FOR YOU!

Posted on August 23, 2014 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I HAVE A GIFT FOR YOU!

 


No...I didn’t buy you the black and orange Lamborghini that you test drove last week! I was going to, but realized that I left my wallet at home when I got to the dealership.


 

I do have a gift for you though. Not in the way that I’m going to hand you a fancy shiny box with a cute red bow on it, but in the way that after you hear about my EXPERIENCE it will be the best gift that I’ve ever given to you.

 

 


How was your last Eyewear Experience?

 

 


Oh what’s that? Hmm...I thought that would be your answer. It’s not your fault! Seriously!

 

 


In 2007 I went through one week of the most intense trainings that I had ever been through and emerged as a Stylist. Not in the way that you’re thinking though. I learned the art of styling people in eyewear. So mysterious.

 


I’ll elaborate. I learned about endless brand history, company missions, technical aspects and...blah, blah, blah. I know, get to it already! That was all a very big part of the GIFT that I have for you.

 

 


The MOST important thing that I learned that week was...drumroll...that eyewear is wardobe. Not only that, but I also learned that the selection of eyewear should be an experience. A dialogue of sorts with the Stylist that’s helping you select the perfect pair of sunglasses or eyeglasses. Things like material preferences (plastic or metal), color preferences, what shape frames do you already have, is this for work or for pleasure, or for a specific event in your life. You see in order for this Stylist to fully help you to build your wardrobe then they need to find out at least some basic info before they start showing you options.

 


Otherwise what’s the point?! You’ll just have one more pair of sunglasses or eyeglasses that never “sees” the light of day...no fun in that!

 

 


The point here is to build up your wardrobe...SURPRISE...yes your eyewear is part of your wardrobe, and one of the most important pieces. Your frames give your personality a voice. There’s another big point...you should be lots tons of fun in the selection process. Think out of the box, try different colors and shapes, materials etc. It is your Stylist’s job to make sure that it goes down exactly like that!!!

 

 


So as you can see, I took a wealth of knowledge away from that magical week. I shaped and manipulated the knowledge in the years since into a knock your socks off experience.

 

 


So whether you buy sunglasses from me or someone else I hope that you have the exceptional experience that I know is possible...because before my training I didn’t even know that this kind of experience existed for an eyewear purchase.

 

 


AND THAT MY FRIEND IS MY GIFT TO YOU!!!

 

 

 


TALK TO ME IN THE COMMENTS SECTION.

I thought that I should share something with you.

Posted on August 16, 2014 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

I thought that I should share something with you.


 

 

The last 10 months has been the HUGEST roller coaster ride ever!

See...it doesn’t even fit into that sentence. Bam, what did I tell you!

I’m going to get back to the roller coaster before I get carried away with the I told you so’s.

 


In October 2013 I was called into a conference at work with my bosses because it had been brought to the attention of the higher ups that I was running a competing business. Oops...Damnit!!!!

 

 


Now I know what you’re thinking...I hope he had a getaway car! No silly. CONFLICT OF INTEREST!!! Argh! Ok, ok, I get it! You know where this is going...HE DEFINITELY HAD A GETAWAY CAR! Could you please stop interrupting me?! I didn’t have a getaway car, or a magic wand or an escape hatch. Nor did I have a formal plan for what came next during this conference. They were very fond of me and I had similar feelings towards them, but that wasn’t enough to keep the next blow from happening.

 


You can’t be in the same business as us...so either you stay and stop doing what you’re doing or...YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO HOME, BUT YOU’VE GOT TO GET THE HELL UP OUTTA HERE!

 


Well maybe they didn’t say that last part like that. Haha! Just kidding. They were extremely gracious. EXTREMELY! But do to the circumstances I didn’t have an extended period of time to deliberate.

 


I called my partner, who was very supportive in this entire process and she hit me with the one, two. KO...no warning! Well, maybe we had discussed this previously. These were her words exactly “You know we both want to get our companies off of the ground. We can continue to go in these circles and stay in the same place that we are in or we can take a chance and make it happen. It seems like a no brainer to me.”

 


She just upped the ANTE!

 


A few hours went by and I called the second conference of that day with my bosses. And that would be the last conference that I had with them. It was very bittersweet. I helped launch the division that I worked in and spent a little over six years helping to shape the culture of that division. But that fateful day I knew one thing more clearly than ever. I spent lots of time nurturing my own project. Sleepless nights, hard earned dollars and tons of love invested. To just drop that and walk away would have been a disservice to myself.

 


I was TERRIFIED! What do I do about insurance, what if this doesn’t work, maybe I’m not ready, what if I don’t have enough saved. Damn...where’s my GETAWAY CAR?!

 


NEWS FLASH! THE TIMING IS NEVER RIGHT...unless YOU HAVE A TRUST FUND WAITING. I didn’t have a golden parachute. But what I did have was faith, and the guts to take a chance on myself.

 


I finished the week out and they gave me the most AWESOME going away breakfast EVER!!!

 


In the last ten months I have had several trunk shows, a three month Pop-Up Shop and countless days and nights of brainstorming, fine tuning and soul searching to figure out how I fit into this puzzle. I finally finished putting together a TV Show that I’ve been working on for the past three years. I’ve earned and lost thousands of dollars in the midst of this massive learning curve, finding myself back at square one several times over. I've worried, made mistakes and been uncertain often, but in the process of all of that I have learned the most important lesson that I could have learned.

 


No matter how many bumps that are felt while on this roller coaster my HEART will get me through it.



Thanks for LISTENING to my story! I'd love to hear yours. What is your MISSION? What are you ASPIRATIONS? I've already heard about your desires to skinny dip in the French Riviera...so tell me a different story.



TALK TO ME IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. 

New York Magazine

Posted on May 14, 2014 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Duane Littles, Actor

I buy stuff and retool it—I’ll add buttons, paint, pieces of denim. I was doing trucker hats for a while, and then women’s handbags. Now I’m coming into a T-shirt phase.

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What are you wearing today?
My sneakers are from Shoe Mania on 14th Street. The leather outfit is something I got from H&M about three years ago. I used to work there, so I could see things before they came in and snatch them when they hit the floor. This outfit was actually in the young girls’ department, but it works! The blazer was a gift from my girlfriend; I think she bought it at Macy’s. I found my hat in that little market down by Tower Records on Broadway.

How much hair is under there?
It’s to the middle of my back. I started growing it in the fall of ’95. It was never really a conscious decision; my hair just started getting a little wild, and the next thing you know, I started growing out the top of my dreads. Around the fall of ’97, I decided to let the whole thing grow and become a part of me. Not a fashion statement—part of my personality.

Is it hard to take care of?
Sometimes I get it done professionally. I went to a place called Locks-n-Chop on 34th Street for a while, but then I started to go to a friend of mine who’s also in the entertainment business. But mostly I just take care of it myself. I clean it with witch hazel—I use a Q-tip for my scalp and a cotton swab for the rest of my head. And I oil it. Right now I’m using a really good oil called Luster’s Pink Plus. You can get it at Duane Reade.

So you’re an actor. What kind of roles do you play?
I’ve been on Chappelle’s Show twice. In the latest episode, I play a barber. The first time, I did a sketch called “Odweeds,” about a fake marijuana product. A lot of people have seen it—I get stopped on the street. But I also design clothes.

Like what?
I buy stuff and retool it—I’ll add buttons, paint, pieces of denim. I was doing trucker hats for a while, and then women’s handbags. Now I’m coming into a T-shirt phase.

Trucker hats? Aren’t you over trucker hats?
I don’t wear them anymore. Not because other people don’t—I just don’t feel the need. I’ve gone through that phase. It was totally a fad. In the beginning you don’t know that, but then pretty soon you can tell.


INVISION Magazine March/April 2014

Posted on March 20, 2014 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Duane Littles Eyewear was featured in the PUMP UP YOUR VOLUME / MARKETING TIPS article in the March/April 2014 issue of INVISION magazine.




INVISION Magazine January/February 2014

Posted on February 16, 2014 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Duane Littles Eyewear was featured in the WHAT'S SELLING NOW section in the January/February 2014 issue of INVISION magazine.




Bari Studio Trunk Show Interview

Posted on October 19, 2013 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

 

 

We’re not players. We just crush a lot. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.) In our Bari Crush blog series, we’ll introduce you to the people, companies, products and services that inspire us. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Duane Littles Eyewear.

 

We sat down with Duane to learn all about his one-of-a-kind, vintage eyewear line, and we can’t wait for you to get to know him! Already in love with the sunglasses? We’ll be hosting a Duane Littles Eyewear trunk show at Bari Tribeca this Saturday, October 19th, from 10 a.m to 12:30 p.m.

 

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What inspired your Duane Littles Eyewear collection?

 

Duane Littles Eyewear is a reflection of my personal style. My love for all things vintage spurred my desire to sell vintage eyewear. There is a very distinct look and feel that you get in vintage clothing, eyewear and furniture that you don’t get in most modern mass produced items.

 

Give us a little back story. What were you doing before you ventured into fashion and designing?

 

I had been working professionally in entertainment for approximately 10 years before adding eyewear to the mix. In 2006 to 2007, I developed and produced a TV Pilot for Comedy Central. Initially my idea was to just write and sell a few scripts, but one project went full circle. I produced and financed the pilot and went broke in the midst of all of the excitement. So I scoured help wanted ads to look for a way to inflate my then-deflated bank account. I happened upon a position for a stylist for an expanding luxury division of an eyewear company. I was intrigued! I interviewed, got hired and went through some of the most intense and best training that I’d ever had. The company was ILORI, and now six years later, I am extremely happy that life took me in that direction. I didn’t even know that I had a thing for eyewear! Entertainment and Fashion. The perfect marriage.

 

What pushed you to take it from concept to product?

 

When I acquired my first round of vintage frames I IMMEDIATELY fell in love! Part of me wanted it to be my little secret, but I knew that I had to share them with the world.

 

What goes into sourcing and designing a pair of Duane Littles glasses? What is the creative process?

 

I have several distributors that I work with nationally and internationally. First, I decide what styles I need to add to my collection, and then I look at what offerings are available through my network of distributors. Once I get an overview of the offerings, I narrow down my buy based on my gut reaction to the frames. It’s usually an instant love! Once I receive all of the orders, I compare the frames to the current collection to determine what colors the lenses will be. After that is decided, I take them to a local optical shop in Brooklyn to discuss the tint colors and BAM!

 

We imagine that picking your favorite pair of glasses must be similar to a parent choosing a favorite child – but can you give it a shot? Tell us about your favorite pair of glasses and the story behind sourcing it.

 

The search for the perfect pair of sunglasses can be somewhat challenging. One of the first distributors that I started

working with was an optical company based in Northern Africa. From them, I acquired a rare pair of Ray Ban’s from the early 80′s. Everyone that sees them is like, DAMN! They are the perfect pair of unisex sunglasses.

 

Anything else you’d like to share with the Bari Tribe?

 

Your search for the perfect pair of sunglasses should be fun. It’s like any other piece of your wardrobe, so that’s the way you should approach it. Different glasses for different looks, occasions or moods. Be open and just try it on! You may be surprised at the outcome.

 

Hope to see you at the trunk show on Saturday!

 

Photos via Duane Littles Eyewear


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