The early-aughts were simpler times. We were all wearing velour Juicy Couture tracksuits or super low jeans with a wide belt slung around the waist. It might have even been when fashion first started to peak. On September 16, 2004 Gwen Stefani presented L.A.M.B. at New York Fashion Week. What started out as a collaboration with Le Sport Sac took on a life of its own spawning clothing, shoes, bags, and a fragrance entitled L. She was one of the first to pioneer the singer-turned-designer switch-up and be taken seriously. Stefani has since paused on designing clothing for the label named after her first album and is focusing on designing eyewear, but her appreciation for the fans who show her items they've held on to brings a wave of nostalgia
"I go to my Vegas shows and it’s really fulfilling to look out into the crowd and people will hold up a L.A.M.B. bag from back in the day," Stefani tells Refinery29. "It’s really gratifying and it makes me feel good." She explains that while she really loved doing her clothing line, that's just not what her priorities are right now. "I really put my soul into every part of it. I’d spend five hours finding the right shade for a jacket. I did that for a lot of years," Stefani says. But she doesn't have that kind of time anymore and doing eyewear is amazing because it allows her to share her workload with a team. "I can’t even go to Fashion Week in September because I have three kids that are starting school that week. I want to be a part of my kids' lives. So I have to choose, and I’m doing what I can," she continues.
When we talked to Stefani, she had just come from the eye doctor and was eagerly awaiting five pairs of glasses to come back with her prescription. "I just love the design process more than anything else," she says. "I just get excited for what’s next, what’s next. I want to wear the new ones."
The singer tells us her tastes have become more refined over the course of designer eyewear for the last three years. "It’s really less is more when it comes to eyewear," she says. "You can go bigger for sunglasses, but for actual seeing glasses, it’s different. I’ve changed what I like over the course of designing. They just keep getting better every time because I think my team and I have known each other.
As for where the 49-year-old falls on the matter of skinny Matrix-style sunglasses or larger frames, she says: "I know there is trend for smaller glasses, I used to like that back in the ‘80s, for me, I like the bigger ones a little bit better, the round ones for me are my favorite. There were a pair we made a couple seasons ago that I wore so much, I should be embarrassed."