Desire is the “loose theme” behind a creative new campaign from eyewear brand Ace & Tate and Polly Nor. The illustrator, famed for her work depicting women and their demons, often playfully blurring the boundaries between the two, has delivered her take on Ace & Tate’s Jacques frames plus a trio of illustrated cleaning clothes. Of course, a Valentine’s Day product for Polly also has to have a certain amount of bite, with more traditional roses appearing alongside an intimate look at a demon’s skin texture.
It’s not the first time Polly has created wearable designs; she often illustrates with clothing in mind for her own online shop. But glasses are new territory. “When it comes to drawing, I’m a maximalist. I can’t help but go really overboard with my pen work,” Polly explains. “So yeah, the physical limitation of designing a much smaller product was new for me, but it was a challenge that I really enjoyed, because it meant I had to break out of my usual creative habits, and think more carefully about how to make the design work, and how to make the glasses interesting and wearable enough to buy.”
Ordinarily, Polly’s work is full of detailed scenes with a strong sense of story, with past illustrations depicting a group of demons washing out their human skin suits among other narratives. For the Ace & Tate collaboration, the limitations on space have resulted in a more intimate approach to line work and character. The Jacques frames feature “tiny little pen lines” that can be typically found repeated across the faces of demons in Polly’s illustrations.
“Because my work is often about the thoughts and feelings that we keep concealed within,” Polly continues, “I thought it was fitting for the detail to be added to the inside of the frame. The semi-transparent material allows for the internal illustration to be seen only very subtly from the outside.”
The glasses come in deep cherry red, supported by a campaign palette of pinks and reds – a further nod to Valentine’s Day. Polly points out: “I wanted to design something sexy and playful without compromising on the darker themes and characters that my work is known for.”
Since we last caught up with the illustrator on her 2020 animation with Andy Baker, Polly’s releases have spanned a wide range of mediums, from illustrating the book cover for Ione Gamble’s Poor Little Sick Girls – a release which rebelled against hustle culture, wellness and modern feminism – to exhibiting her skin suits alongside Paula Rego, Louise Bourgeois and more.
The Polly Nor collaboration is the first of a series of upcoming creative collaborations from Ace & Tate. The limited edition sunglasses will be available online and at selected Ace & Tate stores from 14 February.
GalleryAce & Tate by Polly Nor (Copyright © Ace & Tate, 2023)
Ace & Tate by Polly Nor (Copyright © Ace & Tate, 2023)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.