By: Michael Tommasiello By: Michael Tommasiello | January 11, 2022 | Style & Beauty
If you spend any time perusing pop culture pages across the Internet, you’re bound to have run across Fai Khadra, the enigmatic and perennially-stylish model making waves all over the world.
He’s posed for major luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Alexander Wang and Bulgari. DJ duo and beauty entrepreneurs Simi and Haze Khadra are his sisters, and the Jenner clan count him as close friends, but his own work is also catching trend setters’ eyes—now very literally.
His latest endeavor sees him team with heritage eyewear house Oliver Peoples on a sunglasses capsule collection, available now. Oliver Peoples has a history of luxurious materials and designs that also feel distinctly modern. We spoke with Fai on the eve of his launch to learn more about the collaboration and what’s on the horizon.
See also: Lil Uzi Vert Stars in Marc Jacobs' Colorful Spring 2022 Campaign
How did this collaboration come together? What is your connection to Oliver Peoples?
Oliver Peoples came to me with the idea of doing something unique and special. I was super honored they asked me, because I think they've worked with a lot of different fashion houses like The Row, Brunello Cucinelli, etc.; and they've worked with a couple estates, like the Gregory Peck estate, but I don't think they've worked with many individuals.
I was really interested in how I can push the boundary of what I was doing and what I'm interested in; how we can together go on a journey that feels really fresh to both of us. I think we really found that. I think I pushed them to find new ways to use the technology and their craftsmanship.
Their glasses are all handcrafted in Italy, beautifully made, super artisanal; and something they are good at is the filigree on the side and the core wire. I've pushed them to see how we can push the technology of the core wire using an aesthetic language that is inspiring and interesting to me. You can see in the campaign, whether it be the direct references to Robert Longo or Avedon, but mixing in a more rock and roll [style], like Pamela Anderson, Tommy Lee—a ‘90s sleek aesthetic that also felt kind of industrial and brutalist at the same time.
How did you land on this silhouette and shape?
The design of the shape is a completely new design that they've never done before. That was one of the main things that I spoke to them about at the beginning. I said, "I'd love to design everything from scratch."
I approached it more from a technology standpoint. I 3D-modeled my face and started playing around on the computer with different shapes and things. We played around with all these different shapes, and then I went around looking for more source material. I went to different vintage shops, places I'm inspired by that I shop at or buy things from; different unique little knick-knack places, and I started to compile a bunch of different frames.
I liked the bend of the frame on that side, or all these little details, and then we were able put all those details together and create something that felt new.
When it came down to the colors, how did you land on the mahogany?
I knew from the beginning I wanted to do a gradient lens. The colors, I really wanted to have a variety based on how I use glasses. I could wear a lighter lens in the evening, so I wanted to have that gradient; something that could really shield you from the sun if it was a sunny day outside, but if you just wanted something that felt more complimentary to a look or a vibe when you're out. We made a really nice light blue lens with a gray side. It's just very light and airy, and I could see people wearing that in the evening.
Do you have any plans of continuing the collaboration and doing another set or another design?
I would hope so. I would love to work with them again and do another frame, maybe a larger collection next time, maybe not just one frame. I mean, we did five different colors, but of the same frame.
Shop the Fai Khadra collection at Oliver Peoples' website. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Photography by: Courtesy of Oliver Peoples