Around seven years ago, friends and photographers Kris Reid, Marty Bell and Tom Welsh were driving through the Scottish Highlands in search of sunshine when they thought how cool it would be to take the rich, warm colours they typically add to their images and apply them to real-life with custom sunglass lenses.
"We couldn't understand why regular sunglasses were always cold and boring," Kris tells Creative Boom. "So we decided to do something about it." One crowdfunding campaign later back in 2014, with a debut product described by some as "an Instagram filter for real life", their idea became a reality and Tens was born.
Original was the lens that started it all, transforming your view into a "glowing paradise" with rich and warm tones. Spectachrome came later and was inspired by the distinct colour palette of Wes Anderson productions and vintage cinema – remember the Anderson-inspired promotional video? Yes, we do, too.
Fast forward to 2020, and Tens now boasts its specialism in "multiple lens experiences" which are "forged by our background in photography," says Kris, as well as a collaboration with their new optical partners in France.
There are two new ranges: Boulevard is a "subtle and pleasing immersion of magenta and violet-blue hues, inspired by late-night drives and early morning sunrises in Los Angeles". It promises to provide gritty, neo-noir cinema vibes. Tropic High, due to launch in May, is "nostalgic inducing" with an uplifting lens tint of rich golden tones and a "seamless blend into a mood-enhancing viridescent".
So what's so special about the new lenses? "Our primary focus is on what the wearer sees and how they feel when wearing our sunglasses, less so on how they look," Kris continues. "We develop custom filter lenses that are designed to transport the wearer to a distinct time, place or feeling – drenching your view in rich, cinematic tones full of clarity and colour."
Kris adds: "Our lenses are produced using optical-grade, hi-clarity CR39 and are custom dip-dyed, exclusive to Tens. Sourced from specialist factories in Italy and France, they feature in premium, handcrafted frames constructed in plant-based acetate and brushed finish stainless steel."
We'll take one in every style. See the new range for yourself at tens.co.