INTERVIEW: Cyrus Chan

How was your company founded?

Peppertint is an eyewear brand based in Los Angeles, California, created by three friends, all with their cultural roots originating from the streets of downtown Los Angeles. We want to bring the urban West Coast aesthetics to the rest of the world; through affordable, handcrafted eyewear.

What are you most passionate about your company?

Being able to express my aesthetics to the public through eyewear design.

What inspires you at work?

Everyday I'm inspired by my surroundings, objects, people I know and people I don't know. Through observations and interactions with friends, family and strangers, I find a way to learn something new from them every time. I'm also inspired by what people's passions. Whether they are great athletes, great musicians, great painters, great dancers or great performers. Yes they may be from different industries, but they all have talented skill sets which separate themselves from others. My mentor once told me, "learn from the best and strive to be better everyday!"

What is one little-known fact about your company?

Every Peppertint model is named after a street in Los Angeles – Figueroa, Fairfax, Garfield, La Cienega, etc. Each comes with its own distinctive flair and its own experiences drawn from the founders’ collective California memory.

Why did you get started in this industry?

I've always had a passion in design. After graduating from Parsons, I had the opportunity to move to China to work as a menswear buyer for a french luxury fashion house. Through this experience, I'm exposed to the latest fashion trends and in the meantime formed a strong network with people in the industry.

I caught up with my high school friends one day and started talking about the past and how we got to where we are today. We started laughing about how we all have different styles but the one habit we have in common is that we all love wearing shades, thanks to the many long drives we've taken under the scorching sun in California. Reminiscing about the past made us think that our days in LA were the happiest time in our lives yet. We wanted to bring that California aesthetics and share it with the rest of the world. In the end of the day, there's no place like LA.

We started brainstorming and bounced around ideas to each other. One thing led to another, the rest is history.