THE MONOCLE ORDER INTERVIEW
A Member's Club for Sunglass Lovers
MONOCLE ORDER is an online member’s club for sunglasses founded by Zoe Nightingale & Alex Van Klaveren . Our audience can receive a free membership once you buy a pair of sunglasses. The perks? You will receive a f'ing cool steel membership card and will be entitled to buy all subsequent pairs for half price, ( brands like L.G. R,, Lotho, Karen Walker, Mayfourteenth, etc). The original sunglasses are carefully selected so you won't look like every other Joe Shmo in Raybans. Sunglasses can really be the accessory that defines your personal style. Zoe explains more below...
How and why you began this venture?
I was professionally taking up space all over the world for years. Traveling extensively throughout South America and Europe. I went to school in Charleston South Carolina, where I would zoom around in my six speed cabrio, my dog's head stuck out the window terrorizing the confederates. I was the sole representative for Yankees and Jews! I probably set both causes back a century. In college I lived with three beautiful European men whose influence sky rocketed me headfirst into the bottomless pit that is the electronic music scene. After school I had brief yet passionate love affairs with Paris and Berlin, finally deciding to settle down and marry New York City. One of the very first people I met upon arrival was the illustrious Play A Tranny , aka Maxwell "demon" Wright, ( *editor's note, he wears curlers). I met him because I was wearing a full body cat suit made of cheetah print which upon seeing he dubbed me lady leopardtard. I fell in love with his charm, wit, posh accent and gaggle of friends, except for one, a nefarious sounding Alexander Van Klaveren. But Alex is an ocean, he wore my obsidian like dislike into to a smooth pebble of friendship. His ability to navigate the business world is breathtaking, and he is the best mentor a girl could ask for. I adore him. Alex and I were talking and he was lamenting that he had destroyed his latest pair of 400 dollar sunglasses with his giant clumsy paws and we got to talking about shouldn't there be a company that serviced as a insurance policy against hurricane's like us who destroy everything in their wake. Alex and I both have a background doing events, and we wanted to come up with a way to reward true sun glass affectionados and create like a secret society to celebrate wanton excessive love of eye wear. Alex has started a myriad of other companies, so he basically showed me how to start the business. I had no idea how difficult this would be when we started off…The experience constantly reminded me of the epic struggle of Sisyphus…only instead of being eternally punished by capricious Greek Gods, I am tormented by customs and our agitated competitors that are trying their hardest to smite me. So it goes, and the rest they say, is history.
- My biggest influences are fashion designers and musicians from the 60's and 70's. There's a wholesomeness and a integrity to their designs and music that has completely evaporated.
- My sister has been absolutely my best influence considering she took me to Wig Stock (the celebration of drag queens in NYC) when I was 10 which completely blew my mind, and started my love affair with all things camp. She also made me watch Purple Rain, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Heathers, which are arguably the best movies of all time.
- So I guess my favorite things are disco balls, glitter, Ziggy stardust, Prince and drag queens.
- Grace Jones, Katherine Hepburn, Veronica Lake, Hedwig from the Angry Inch,
- Debbie Harry, Stevie Nicks, Marie Helvin, Lady D from Deelite, Faye Dunaway.
- I like ferocious, feral, predatory, unpredictable females.
Who are Monocle Order Members?
- Monocle Order members are super slinky sophisticated complicated trail blazing world travelers.
Tell us about these "events"?
I like to create events with a palpable cornucopia of delights for all your senses. The last one featured magicians, air brush make up artists, Aeriel acrobats, photo booths, and a giant Saturday Night Fever inspired light up disco dance floor. I am not messing around. I want people to step out of their business suits and into my circus du soleil dreams.
Your selection process?
I want to represent independent ideas and celebrate unique fashion. I am so bored of seeing everyone walking around with the same wayfarers plastered to their skulls. I have found designers who are craftsmen and create original designs with fantastic materials. I spend my days searching for new brands to bring into my collection. Basically I find a designer I love, and then I systematically email/phone/harass them until they agree to at least talk to me and hear why I want to work with them. I am shameless.
Why should someone join the Monocle Order ( although I highly doubt anyone needs more convincing)!
- The biggest advantage is you will have access to designers and styles that no one else will have.
- You will be supporting independent artists instead of giant mega corporations.
- We through the sickest parties in town, and you will be able to come with a friend for free.
- You will have a steel membership card to pull out at parties as a conversation piece.
- You can come into our showroom and I will sit with you for hours until you find the right pair of glasses for you. -if you live out of town I will go on skype and video chat with you. This way I can show you different designs I think will compliment your bone structure and coloring.
- You will have access to incredible discounts and a one year warranty on all of our shades. Basically you will belong to a community of eye wear lovers and rewarded for your loyalty.
Anything else you'd like to share darling Zoe?
This company was built on our blood, sweat, tears and love. We have worked tirelessly to bring you idiosyncratic, extraordinary, unequaled, unparalleled, peerless shades that will make people of the opposite sex want to snuggle with you and your parents proud. I think it's important to support small artists who are chipping away at our conglomerate walmart dominated world. Either way, come party with us, we are excellent dancers.