SAO PAULO—Chantal Goldfinger has been obsessed with eyewear ever since she can remember. When she wasn’t asking to borrow her friends’ specs, she would kidnap her father’s readers all the time—all out of curiosity and sheer love for the accessory. Goldfinger did not get her first pair of frames—a blue, bold, and rectangular Gucci pair—until she was 11-years-old and began her slow, but progressive road to collecting frames. “I was gifted my first specs at 11, my second pair at 16, and my third at 18, for graduation,” Goldfinger stated. “As soon as I began to work, that same year I began investing in specs, so I believe I officially began collecting at 18. However, my rate was really slow because I was unaware of what a cool and huge market eyewear really was. I must have bought a pair a year.”

After years of collecting eyewear, Goldfinger decided to create By the Eyewear in 2015 once she realized that social media in Brazil just wasn’t focusing enough on eyewear. “I worked with soap operas back then in TV,” Goldfinger explained. “And I learned that every day when we wrapped up production the technical team assembled and bet what color specs I’d wear the next morning. So, I thought, if they are paying attention and they have zero fashion sense, surely more people out there must be interested in the theme.” She then decided to create By the Eyewear as an avenue for people who, like her, are interested in the way eyewear changes our perception of ourselves, as well as how other people perceive us.

“Eyewear is a huge and fantastic tool for self-expression and for fashion,” Goldfinger stated. “People (most, anyways) are unaware of the different characters and personas we can create simply by changing our specs. And that is where I come in. Most of my off-line work in Brazil has been to stimulate people to wear specs that match their personality and drive them away from pre-conceived negative ideas they might have.”


In addition to discussing the latest collections and trends, By the Eyewear also serves as an educational platform, giving readers the opportunity to learn about the amount of work that goes into a collection, directly from designers or team members of specific brands. “Since I began obsessing with specs, I have been studying eyewear with special interest in the materials, stories behind each collection, and varying stories that guide each creator,” said Goldfinger. “Mostly I go for design driven independent eyewear, but every now and again I talk about major fashion trends.”

Because adding content to the website demands a lot of work, Goldfinger has found a way to keep her readers engaged through the By the Eyewear Instagram account, which boasts nearly 27, 000 followers. “Driving traffic to the website is a huge challenge, “Goldfinger explained. “Getting people to understand that eyewear is as a huge universe that it is not boring is a matter of education, I think and that requires a lot of work and patience.”


The solution, for Goldfinger is to update her Instagram feed daily so she still gets her message across and keep in contact with her readers. “I should use Instagram as a bait to take people to my website—and I do—but I update Instagram every day, because it’s so practical and so personal. The website demands a lot of work and time which at present, I do not have.”

Though maintaining the website can be a challenge, the pay-off for Goldfinger comes when she gets positive feedback from her readers. “I love it when I get pictures of users who went out and bought new specs and send me these overly confident emails telling me that now they do not feel alone or weird anymore,” Goldfinger stated. “Some followers whom I call ‘imagnaries’ become like family. They talk to me every day and recommend friends and family. Its super fun!”

Goldfinger’s love for eyewear has also led her to other opportunities: she has moved into design, with a capsule collection she designed with Plasticdelux in France and a new collaboration with Menrad Eyewear to be launched at Silmo come September.

Though she is venturing out, Goldfinger’s message to her followers remains the same: “Consider eyewear as fashion. And think of specs as a tool for telling stories and creating a new or different image of yourself.”