How many of us thought that sunglasses could be as much about health as style? Not many. Torus expands the traditional role of eyewear and offers perfect shades.
By: Soumya Jain Agarwal
Posted on: August 30, 2023
LF Says: ★★★★.5
When Sheila Vance – eyewear designer and eye couturier to celebrities - was busy producing PPE (personal protective equipment) for health professionals during the pandemic, she was struck with a realization.
While making goggles for doctors and healthcare professionals – which focused on calming colors, eye health, and reducing the strain of the ongoing long hours they were forced to endure – Ms. Vance realized this was something most of us needed – even those outside of the medical profession.
“We were all on Zoom, at home, straining our eyes, focused on small devices, and with such uncertainty we were most likely suffering from stress and strain to our bodies, including our eyes. We wanted to bring new energy, a healthy perspective, and an elevated luxury to the wearer all day - inside and outside that would feel good, look great, focus on health, and empower a sunglass or optical frame wearer to feel much-needed balance and harmony,” she says.
Thus, Torus Eyewear was born. And believe me, it does achieve all that Ms. Vance created it to do.
To understand Torus, it is important to understand the illustrious history behind it.
Ms. Vance, and her husband Ross Vance, could well be called the power couple of the luxury eyewear industry. The duo started Sama Eyewear in Beverly Hills, in 1997, to support the Sam Vance Foundation – which they had created to honor their teenage son who passed away tragically. Since then, the brand shot up in prominence, soon becoming the favorite eyewear brand of Hollywood. Celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Anne Hathaway, Brad Pitt, Beyonce, John Legend and Angelina Jolie have been spotted in Sama Eyewear. Movies such as Iron Man 2, The Da Vince Code, Terminator 3: The Rise of Machines, and Mission Impossible 3 have featured glasses from Sama Eyewear.
The lenses transition from a stylish sky blue tone, apple green hue, taupe, or gray, to an activated shade of charcoal, brown, or a clarity-enhancing green G-15 lens.
Mr. Vance – along with Sama Eyewear – also creates Formula 1 inspired sunglasses for Monza Design Studio, and Ms. Vance, empowered by her experience, has now started Torus.
In sacred geometry, the ‘Torus’ represents the perfect flow of universal energy, the interconnectedness of all things, and the harmonious balance between the physical and spiritual realms. “This was our impetus for the brand name, concept, color selection, and lens technologies we implemented,” says Ms. Vance.
Zooming on the details
The most important factor, that sets Torus apart from any regular sunglass brand, is its energy adaptive technology. What that means is that the glass changes shades depending on the light. The lenses transition from a stylish sky blue tone, apple green hue, taupe, or gray, to an activated shade of charcoal, brown, or a clarity-enhancing green G-15 lens.
Explaining it in detail, Ms. Vance says, “The lens is designed to adjust to every change in light with 100% all-natural outdoor light [UVA and UVB] as well as a significant reduction of artificial indoor light blocked. They are wellness and lifestyle accessories designed to wear all day. The colors elevate the mood and reduce squinting, skin fatigue, dark circles, rubbing, headaches, eye strain, and general discomfort.”
On average, it takes about 8-10 seconds for typical photochromic lenses to adapt to their surroundings. Torus, however, takes about 2 seconds to change to full dark in direct sun. The brand can also create prescription glasses with the technology.
Second, the brand’s first collection – The Cosmos – includes six, gender-neutral styles with celestial names, which will certainly appeal to the young generation due to their shape, cut and design. “Of the six releases - male, female, non-binary, and fluid clients of all genders will find probably five will speak to them in terms of the lens shape,” says Ms. Vance. “Meant to satisfy a broad range of shapes, balancing, and framing the face, The Cosmos collection has curves and contours that were designed to complement even in unexpected ways...Layering frame color and lens tints is where fun in self-expression will be found.”
Third, is the craftsmanship of the frame, which is manufactured in Italy. The process starts with the custom creation of the raw materials, specifically a vegan premium cellulose acetate that is composed of 100% natural materials (recycled wood chips and cotton), that go through a long extruding process to ensure no imperfections and the highest quality and durability. The temples and detailed components are a strong natural beryllium alloy.
Their state-of-the-art multidimensional computer-assisted “floating”, cutting and routing techniques create perfect shapes and faceting of the frames. And finally, each Torus frame receives a minimum of 60 minutes of polishing. Each frame is touched by human hands over 100 times prior to completing the final product.
The actual Torus experience
Arriving in a simple, black box with the signature electric blue ‘T’ of Torus on top, I really could not find any fault with the sunglasses. I received the Twilight Quartz glasses with transparent gold lens color, and they turned out to be simply ideal to pair with whatever I wear, casual or formal, neutral or vibrant. The T signature pattern on the sides adds a subtle flare to your style. Wearing it was true pleasure! Usual sunglasses seem to obstruct the view. But Torus enhanced the clarity of my view. I felt I could see better! That allowed me to keep the glasses firmly on my nose during the entire day, instead of discarding it irritatingly (the way I do with most polarized sunglasses infiltrating the market today).
The case can be simply folded down into a thin layer to allow space saving when the glasses are not inside!
The lenses did, indeed, change shades as per the light. From subtle color shifts to fully dark in high sunlight, I could saw it all from outside. But when wearing it, it provided seamless comfort without me being aware of these transitions happening.
Torus Twilight was absolutely comfortable and snug. No marks or slides hampered my experience. The only thing I noticed with Twilight was that its size seemed more conducive to larger faces, and not-so-perfect for petite faces. So, when selecting your frame – please make note of this.
Apart from the wearing experience of this headturner, I was endlessly pleased with the case that arrives with the glasses. The case can be simply folded down into a thin layer to allow space saving when the glasses are not inside! So keeping the empty case in your bag, or even in your back pocket, becomes easy.
Ms. Vance – who admires the work of fellow eyewear brands like Jaques Marie Mage, Matsuda, and Cutler & Gross – is promising some “otherworldly” new releases from Torus – especially in Spring 2024.
“Torus Eyewear was created as a reminder to celebrate this current of life, to be present to the miracle of our experience in this reality, and to harness our own infinite potential - within a beautiful simple range of shapes and soft warm colors that infuse sophistication, quiet luxury with effortless, timeless,” ends Ms. Vance.
Finding photochromatic or transition sunglasses – especially in non-prescription – is quite challenging. Torus eases that pain by readily providing the energy adaptive technology in a variety of stylish frames and lens colors. My recommendation? You can’t go wrong with a Torus. Grab one!
LF Says: ★★★★.5