Selin Olmsted discovered her passion for art and design at a young age while growing up in Istanbul, Turkey. She was continually influenced by the diverse textures around her such as the metropolitan cityscapes and the style of people living in Istanbul. This, with her love of fashion, brought her to NYC to study at The Fashion Institute of Technology. After graduating from F.I.T.’s Fashion Design BFA program, Selin designed menswear for 10 years. While in the menswear field, Selin was introduced to an opportunity at Warby Parker. While at Warby Parker, she created several collections from concept to production. Selin then ventured out on her own and became an independent eyewear designer. She now creates sun and optical eyewear for brands in the U.S. and England.
Her passion for all aspects of eyewear design continues to grow. Selin describes this love for her art in the following way: “It seems unusual at first glance, but I have always been fascinated by the materials and degree of detail you can achieve in eyewear design. The fact that designing in millimeters can have such a profound impact on a person’s face and the way they feel about themselves is exciting. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing someone’s expression change as they try a pair of glasses that fit them perfectly. Watching their confidence grow, feeling great as they see themselves in a new light is one of the most rewarding feelings in my work.”
Selin, could you let us know about your background and what brought you into 3D printing in the first place?
Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, I have completed BFA Fashion Design program at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. After my studies, I have worked as a menswear designer for 10 years. Then thanks to a freelance opportunity, I have started designing eyewear, which became my full-time profession after 6 months of freelancing. I have been designing eyewear for the past 5 years. Currently thanks to some of our manufacturers, I have started being exposed to 3D printed prototypes before production.
What was your very first experience with 3D Printing?
A few years ago, one of our Italian manufacturers had sent an eyewear prototype as 3D printed to approve front shape and temple. That was the first time I have seen and reviewed a sample in 3D printed material before the actual design was crafted in original acetate material.
Could you explain furthermore what services you are offering as an independent eyewear designer?
- Collection Analysis
- Concepting & Creating of a story
- Creating of a color palette
- Research and suggest materials
- Design eyewear shapes
- Design details on eyewear
- Inspect samples
Who are your customers?
How do you use 3D Printing on a project?
I work with our eyewear manufacturers to execute designs and develop samples. They are the ones who have invested in 3D printing and added a 3D printer to the group of their machinery.
However, a few months ago I have visited a 3D modeling/ 3D printing company located in Brooklyn. They provide services in 3D printing. I am interested in working with them on some future eyewear design prototyping together.
Do you have any (fun or not) story about the company or your career to share with us?
One time we were on our way to one of our acetate vendor’s office in Varese, Italy. We had a rental car. The road to the office suddenly ended for no reason and became a cornfield. However, the navigator insisted on going straight ahead. And I did. We weren’t sure what to do. There was a pause of hesitation, but I kept insisting the navigator is telling us to go straight. At that point, we have decided to drive through the cornfield. Everybody was bouncing around like crazy in the car as we were following the navigator directions to where the vendor is. Eventually, the cornfield ended and the road started again. We got to the vendor and the navigator was right all along.
Have you run into any challenges from being a woman designer in 3D Printing?
What is the most impressive or impactful use of 3D printing you’ve seen so far?
Do Good & Innovation: 3D printed organs – Have not seen them, but I found them fascinating and would love to find out more about them.
Aesthetics & style: Iris Van Herpen – haute couture womenswear design with 3D printed fabrics
Thank you for reading and for sharing!