What is the most underrated cosmetic enhancement? Glasses.
Think about it: millions of people wear glasses and yet most only have one pair, perhaps with a sunglass alternate. And yet, most people wear their glasses day in day out, in the office, while working out, at a black-tie affair, and while just flopped on the couch watching television.
Richard Mewha and Rick Nelson think about this a lot, which makes sense as they’re in the eyewear business and founded their own eye frame company, bevel, in 1999. They’re committed to making eyewear as essential to personal style and self-esteem as apparel or cosmetics. After all, while wearing prescription lenses corrects an optical need, it also brings attention to a primary asset: the face. Eyeglasses are universal, not gender specific, easy to maintain, and play a crucial role in our lives and daily discourse.
During the 1990s, Richard and Rick were colleagues at the optical shop of aspen (OSA) and began seeking out one anothers’ advice and relying on each other as sounding boards. Their professional friendship seemed unlikely aside from their name, on the surface they appeared to have little in common.
Richard, with the easy demeanor of the international traveler, is English, loves living in New York City, and enjoys independent music and film and classic literature. Rick, meanwhile, is a clean-cut all-American, born, raised and still residing in suburban Kansas City, having learned the fundamentals of the eyewear business working behind the counter of his fathers optical shop.
The two recognized their differences would be a strength in establishing a business together. Through his work with OSA and Alain Mikli before that, Richard was confident his modern, minimalist design esthetic would appeal to customers. Both men were determined to create a company that opticians would enjoy dealing with. By establishing the headquarters in Kansas City, Rick knew he could find employees with the Midwestern warmth and sensibility to ensure outstanding customer service.
While Richard focuses on design, keeping up with the cultural zeitgeist, esthetic trends and opportunities for international growth, Rick ensures that all other facets of the business are running smoothly. Neither wants the brand to be the coolest or hottest or most recognizable. Instead they’re committed to maintaining a classic but minimalist esthetic, using truly high-quality materials with Japanese production, and constantly seeking innovation so glasses look, fit, and perform better.
Through it all they strive to meet their ultimate goal: to help people feel good about themselves by making them look great. If everyone wore Bevel frames, the world would definitely be a better-looking place in more ways than one.
Unlike most of the industry, bevel uses a high-quality acetate produced in Japan that is less prone to distortion and needing adjustments. The frame is hand polished, creating a rich luster. The Bevel color range is a carefully chosen to flatter a range of skin tones.
Bevel was the first to introduce BetaPlast – a beta titanium core with an acetate overlay. In 2010, we have managed to improve on that design by using a milled titanium, combined with acetate to make a more robust, but equally striking design.
Bevel milled pure titanium offers the highest the lightest weight yet strongest frame possible so the glasses are secure and comfortable. The eyepiece is a single construction with no soldering for a modern, clean design. At Bevel, three individual coats of paint are applied to the frame, a very time consuming and costly process that produces exceptional color.
While performing a function by correcting vision, glasses should make a person look good to others and feel better about themselves. That is fundamental at Bevel, and why colors are carefully crafted to flatter skin tones, silhouettes are nuanced to suit facial shapes, and frames are designed to fit properly and maintain their form.
Part of the challenge, and reward, in designing a product is improving the look, function or wearability of an object. Bevel has a 10-year record of innovation, from launching the first frames in milled titanium to introducing a BetaPlast, the acetate-and-titanium combination. Bevel’s latest advancement is a betahinge.
Bevel manufacturers a relatively limited quantity of frames, so customers are assured a distinctive pair of glasses. The collection is sold through only authorized, independent leading opticians.