How Ace & Tate shook up the eyewear category

The eyewear brand has found favour among young people thanks to its refreshing tone and image. Creative director Ruud de Bruin talks to us about showcasing its offering through a creative lens

“The eyewear industry is led by super boring and old-fashioned retailers, or on the other side by super high fashion brands, so licensee brands effectively. We don’t feel comfortable with either of these,” says Ruud de Bruin, creative director at Ace & Tate. “We wanted to create a world and an experience that really excites us and our customers – a world that’s really bright, optimistic and bold.”

Launched in 2013, the Amsterdam-based brand has broken away from the often staid landscape of glasses and eye tests. The brand’s success is partly owed to its collections, but also its tone and image, which is fresh and quietly aspirational without veering into stuffy territory. The brand, de Bruin says, has never been dictated by what is expected of the eyewear market. “We just do the things that we like, and it fits within a younger demographic that’s very different than your traditional high street retailers.”

De Bruin started working with Ace & Tate in 2019 as a design consultant, before joining full time in January 2020. As creative director, he ensures there is a flow and cohesiveness to the visual language across the various consumer touchpoints, from campaigns and communications to retail design and digital channels like the online shop and social media.