Covry is an eyewear line that was founded by two best friends Athina Wang and Florence Shin. Mutually frustrated with the constant discomfort and lack of stylish options for ethnic features, the two joined forces to create Covry. Their trademark design called the Elevated Fit® suitable for low nose bridges and higher cheekbones. The subtle design adjustments are a break away from the standard providing everyone with comfort and an array of unique pieces to complement any style. Covry embraces diversity and celebrates all face shapes and they continue to design with this mentality.
1. How did you (Florence) and Athina meet?
We met over ten years ago in high school. We’ve always shared an interest in fashion. After college, we both ended up working in the Garment District one block away from each other. Athina’s background is in design and production for contemporary brands such as Rag & Bone and Helmut
Lang, while I was working in strategic brand and communication for brands such as Josie Natori and Vince.
2. How did the idea for Covry begin and how did you come up with the brand name?
Both of us have been wearing glasses since we were young, so it’s been a lifelong struggle to find comfortable eyewear that complemented our low nose bridges and high cheekbones. They were always sliding down the nose, hitting our cheeks and leaving those embarassing cheek marks.
Growing up in the U.S., most of the eyewear available to us was one-size- fits-all. There is such a diverse range of facial structures across America, we knew there had to be a better solution. Covry comes from the word cove. It’s this calming, peaceful place that also feel very alive. We ultimately changed it to Covry because we wanted to create a new word to give it new meaning.
3. What was one of the biggest hurdle during your journey to creating Covry? Or what is a current hurdle you are trying to jump over at this time?
In the beginning, one of our biggest hurdles was finding a manufacturer that shared our quality expectations. Not only did we set out to create lightweight, comfortable eyewear, but it was and still is so important to us to use high quality materials without charging designer prices.
4. How do you (Florence) and Athina decide what responsibilities to take as the Founders of Covry?
Although we both worked in the fashion industry, our backgrounds are very different. Athina is the designer and manages all production, while I operate the marketing and sales part of the business. Nonetheless, we’re both very involved in every aspect of the business together.
5. What does a typical day look like at Covry? How much of this has changed since you began and what do you envision for the future of your brand?
Everyday is so different, which is true for every entrepreneur. One day I could be running around the city for various meetings, planning events, going to our warehouse, or just sitting all day at my desk going through emails. We also go to Asia several times a year to meet with our factories.
6. How does the creative process work at Covry?
Athina is always getting inspired- from there, she sketches, makes samples and well trim it down to a cohesive collection. It’s a pretty long process- we’re already planning designs for 2019!
7. Where does your inspiration come from?
The city inspires us a lot- the people, energy and diversity. We’re also inspired by pop culture, whether it’s through museums, movies or our travels. It can come from anywhere!
8. What are three major ideas you would like your work to express?
The celebration of diversity, passion and most importantly authenticity. We created our one-of- a-kind Elevated Fit® so that we could feel more comfortable in our own skin. When you feel comfortable, you feel confident.
9. What are some current projects you’re working on?
We’re launching Shop the Showroom, an initiative that we’re launching April 24th through May 25th . It’s an opportunity for us to thank our customers by opening up our NYC showroom to them with a private, personal shopping experience. This May, we’ll also be partnering with Pearl River Mart, an iconic and beloved NY institution, at their new location in Chelsea Market!
10. What advice would you give to a designer starting out in this field?
Don’t let doubt stop you and go for it. It’s a win-win situation because even if things don’t succeed in the way you expect it to, you’ve still gained priceless experience and can use that experience to try again.