Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 7, 2011 05:00 PM
As we previewed yesterday, the TOMS Shoes brand is shirking off "Shoes" to become just TOMS. Blake Mycoskie and his employees, featured in the big reveal video above, will continue to sell their simple but distinctive cloth shoes, but now they're expanding into a second product line: eyewear.
Similar to its "one for one" BOGO (buy one, give one) model that saw its millionth pair of shoes donated to a child in a developing country late last year, TOMS is expanding its brand to give the gift of sight to those in need, as TOMS transforms from "just a shoe brand" to a truly one-for-one brand.
TOMS new collection of sunglasses, priced from $135 to $145 a pair, come in three styles and will be sold in the same way as TOMS shoes: For every pair of shades sold, TOMS will help give sight to a person in need through medical treatment, or sight-saving surgery (such as cataract operations) through a partnership with the Seva Foundation, and prescription glasses. The TOMS website also offers the option to upload a photo for a virtual fitting.
Why glasses? Helping save vision is a solvable problem, and Mycoskie feels it's an issue where TOMS can make an immediate impact. TOMS Eyewear will begin with initiatives in Nepal, Tibet, and Cambodia. Seva has been in the business of sight restoration for over 30 years – and has given help to nearly three million people globally.
Mycoskie’s model aims to solve great human needs worldwide, through western consumerism — check out the "One for One" slogan on the sunglasses, and the distinctive striped design as the TOMS signature. "I want people to know that they're giving, in a one-for-one way, with every purchase," he said.