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This month, eBay, in partnership with the Strategist, went back to some of our favorite celebrity shoppers — including musician Leon Bridges — to ask them about things that they can live without and would be willing to sell at auction for charity. All proceeds will go to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (eBay is receiving and donating all proceeds and matching every dollar the auction earns). Click here to see all the stuff you can bid on.
Sunglasses have always been a staple in my wardrobe. To me, they evoke the vibe of jazz musicians from back in the day: They’d always be wearing some shades in the club. I collect vintage frames and probably own at least 100 pairs. I love how sunglasses can transform an outfit and make a statement, so I’m always on the lookout for brands that are inspired by retro frames. I first met Ahlem Manai-Platt, the designer behind eyewear brand Ahlem, in 2017, at the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards. (Ahlem was nominated — and won.) She told me she was a fan of my music, and I just loved the aesthetic of her brand, so she thought it would be cool to sell a pair of limited-edition shades in conjunction with the release of my album Good Thing on vinyl. You could say I jumped at the chance to do my first — and still only — collaboration with a brand.
Ahlem and I went back and forth on the design for a bit. We finally settled on frames that are electrodipped in 22-karat gold and laser engraved with lyrics from my single “Bad News”: “Alright, alright, all day, all night.” Those lyrics remind me of the jazz musicians wearing sunglasses during the day and inside at night. We ended up releasing 50 pairs of the sunglasses, which came with a second pair of khaki-green clip-on lenses, two hand-stitched leather cases, and a vinyl copy of Good Thing (these accessories are included with the pair I donated). I was so impressed with the sunglasses that I wore them to the Good Thing vinyl-release party and to my sold-out show at the Greek Theater. That was a big milestone for me — it was the first time I’d ever played there — and I just felt so fly.
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