The New Collection by Sheila Vance Inspired by the Community, Environment, Diversity, & Commitment to Social Change - Steeped in LA
In creating deCode: LA, the much-anticipated new offering from luxury brand Sama Eyewear, founder and chief designer Sheila Vance and her team pay tribute to an alternative vision of the iconic city in which the company was born and has thrived.
deCode: LA is predicated on the quieter and occasionally even more overlooked aspects of Los Angeles - a city of progressive thinkers, whose inhabitants are at once connected, creative and committed to all manner of profoundly important causes.
"When people think of LA, they mostly think of Hollywood, glamour, surfing, Malibu," says Vance. "But there is a whole other side to the city, and I used that as my inspiration for the new collection."
In addition to all its glittering connotations, Los Angeles has always created movements with authenticity, setting its own path for key causes in health and wellness, philanthropy, education arts and culture – taking on new ideas and issues with integrity. From anti-smoking to veganism, fitness crazes and juicing, or protecting architectural integrity in the city, the trajectory of issues in LA have always had a big impact but in a unique form and fashion. "Our people put considerable time and resources into causes and community at large. This is really decoding the conduct for Los Angelenos," said Sheila Vance. This is a city, after all, that the rest of the world looks to to determine trends across the cultural and sociological landscape: if something takes root and flourishes in Los Angeles, chances are it will do the same elsewhere.
LA-centric statements have moved outward and even globally with great success and Los Angeles has become a directional city, a world stage where all eyes are watching. According to Vance, "hybrids, electronic cars, recycling, organic farm to table dining, preservation and conservation are all around us. We have leaders powerful in their movements against texting and driving, smoking, bullying, pollution, architectural integrity and stopping waste." This is the essence of deCode: Los Angeles.
So in conceiving the aesthetic for deCode: LA, Vance and her design and technical team spent months researching the city's most authentic design sensibilities, seeking to understand and convey what truly drives it.
The result is a collection of frames grounded in motifs of classic Los Angeles, reminiscent of the cool machismo of legendary actors and the gentle hum of vintage automobiles. Think streamlined silhouettes, whisper-quiet neutrals, subtle multi-dimensional textures as opposed to external embellishments. deCode: LA speaks to the innovation and resounding modernity of a sprawling city that has a rich and storied past.
"I have lived in Italy, France, the U.K. and the Middle East, and travel the world constantly, and there is no place like Los Angeles," she says. "Yes, it's a place that creates masterpieces in the movies and music. But it's the spirit of the people, and their intentions, that really make it what it is. This essence is captured in this most unique collection – unlocking that code to Los Angeles."