Style.No.Chaser has never been keen on trends that emit a flavor-of-the-month fetor or ones well disguised with feinting attributes of staying power. However, we are fond of tectonic cultural movements that signal thoughtful progression. One such positive shift we are noticing is that more and more brands are embracing inclusivity, altruism and sustainability without skimping on style or elegance. Eone is a pioneering brand that through its first product, The Bradley, has created a gorgeous (and very stylish) timepiece for all watch enthusiasts but also possessing features that enable the visually impaired to tell time with self-sufficiency and dignity. The Eone journey is simply amazing – make sure to read the interview with Tim Fleschner (Eone Co-founder and Marketing Director seen directly below) and watch the short video on the story behind The Bradley.
“While the watch face of The Bradley is very unique, we use a classic wristband styles, such as stainless steel mesh or leather bands …”
For people living under a rock and don’t know anything about Eone, please give a brief company/product description?
Eone is an inclusive design firm dedicated to creating products designed for everyone. We identify areas where minority groups are marginalized during the design process, and then work to bring them into the fold. Designed in collaboration with people who are vision impaired, our debut product is The Bradley, a timepiece you can touch and see to check time.
Who are the people behind Eone and where does their drive to create and design come from?
Our CEO, Hyungsoo Kim (seen directly below), came up with the idea for The Bradley when he was in business school. One of his classmates, who was vision-impaired, always asked him for the time in class because he didn’t want to use his disruptive talking watch. Determined to find a better solution, Hyungsoo and a team of engineers, product designers, and people with vision loss, created a fashionable timepiece that both sighted and non-sighted people can wear.
I was first introduced to Eone through my sister, Kristin Fleschner, who lost her vision during her first year at Harvard Law. One afternoon, my sister was walking in Harvard Square with her guide dog Zoe. (Zoe actually has an incredible Facebook Page that educates people about blindness). Hyungsoo introduced himself to my sister and told her about his idea for a tactile wristwatch. After hearing about her encounter, I reached out to Hyungsoo and offered my help. Later that summer, we launched The Bradley on Kickstarter.
The remainder of our team also have similar stories of serendipity.
You state that “good design is not exclusive but inclusive” – other than your first product – The Bradley, that focuses on the visually impaired, do you have any other products in the pipeline that will focus on people with other disabilities?
Currently, our focus is on The Bradley, but our design team is always thinking of new product ideas that embody our inclusive design mission!
Also related to “inclusivity”, how does Eone think about current and future price points for its products? Also, do you have products for women?
We’ve created our timepieces so that anyone can wear The Bradley, regardless of ability or gender. All of our products are gender neutral.
The Bradley comes in a variety of colors/styles – what inspires these various color schemes?
We believe that The Bradley is a modern twist on the classic timepiece. While the watch face of The Bradley is very unique, we use a classic wristband styles, such as stainless steel mesh or leather bands, to keep our timepieces fresh and in season.
Since your first Kickstarter campaign was so successful, will you be going back to that well for future capital needs or will you be accessing other traditional forms of capital such as venture capital (have you been approached by any venture capital firms)?
The Bradley debuted via crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in 2013, and received $595k in preorders from 4,500 supporters in 65 countries. The initial funding was enough to bring the concept to reality. Since then, we have been self-sustainable from our global sales. We have recently started seeking outside investment to grow our global business and develop new models. Securing outside fundraising will allow us to leverage our momentum to release new models, expand our footprint, and reach new customers.
What other brands out there does Eone look up to or aspires to be like, and why?
We’re really excited by other brands that are also creating products with inclusive design. For example, Under Armour recently created a one-handed zipper; the Rayn jacket for people who use wheelchairs; and Nike Zoom Soldier 8 with FlyEase technology makes it easier to pull shoes on and off with one hand.
Is Eone open to collaborations with other brands?
Definitely! In the past year we’ve launched two collaborations. One with Danish watch brand Skagen, which is a subsidiary of Fossil Group, and the other with Dezeen Watch Store, the world’s leading store for watches
Since Style.No.Chaser is a men’s lifestyle magazine, what attributes/items/clothing /etc. does Eone think defines a man?
I’ve collected watches from a young age. My grandparents always gave me a new watch on my birthday, and my uncle gave my siblings and me a watch for graduation. They were always much more than an accessory, but something I planned to pass down to my own children or nephews. For this reason, I think watches are perhaps the most defining accessory for a man. They carry a history and meaning that most other clothing items do not.
Where can people get updates or purchase Eone products?
Below is a must watch video of the story behind Eone’s The Bradley timepiece.