Jonathan Van Ness' Pride Collab With DIFF Eyewear Is Named For Michelle Kwan

by Alex Blynn
Originally Published: 
Courtesy DIFF Charitable Eyewear

It is fantastic that it is now almost de rigueur in the fashion industry to create dedicated charitable foundations and programs. One eyewear line that gives back and has celebs obsessed with their wares is DIFF Charitable Eyewear: for every pair sold, a pair of reading glasses and an eye exam is donated to someone in need. Now, Bustle can exclusively announce, the brand has teamed up with gay lifestyle guru and Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness (JVN) for a special Pride collection — adding him to a list of DIFF collaborators that includes Kendall Jenner and Khloe Kardashian.

Arriving just in time for all the gay parties, the collection features a pilot-style aviator in multiple color options, and includes various shade types like the absolutely beautiful rainbow ombre lenses and blue-light blocking lenses.

DIFF partnered with the Queer Eye savant because, as CEO Bob Ross tells Bustle, “he encapsulates the DIFF wearer! Energized, on trend, fiercely fashionable, always curious, and highly intellectual. We knew it would be awesome to tap into his spirit, utilize his eye for design, and make a fun, stylish frame that anyone can wear for any occasion, from a Pride parade to a day at the beach! Jonathan truly looks at life through rose colored glasses... figuratively, and now literally!”

Courtesy DIFF Charitable Eyewear

“We did a Pride collection because I just love Pride so much!” JVN tells Bustle. “Pride month is about celebrating LGBTQ+ visibility, and making sure that we’re advocating for equal rights for everyone. It’s an honor that DIFF would choose me to do this campaign for Pride, and with all the festivities, you’ll need some very cute lewks... and my DIFF line can help you with that!”

The collection’s style is named the Tosca after Michelle Kwan’s figure skating playlist which featured the famous opera during the 2004 World Championships. “I knew I wanted my frames to be big, glamorous, and vintage ferosh,” JVN says. “The name was a no brainer; Tosca is the last medal long program music that Michelle skated to in 2004, which was so major. Michelle has been my role model in everything I do for so long, and has become the most wonderful friend and cheerleader to me in this new phase of my life, so I try to pay tribute to her whenever I can. It’s the least I can do for the most decorated American figure skater of all time!”

Courtesy DIFF Charitable Eyewear

Blue-light blocking glasses have skyrocketed in popularity recently, with a growing group of accolades claiming the lenses ease issues like eye strain and tension headaches from staring at computer and phone screens. Wellness is incredibly important to JVN, so he was pleased when he heard that DIFF wanted his collection to feature the health conscious lenses.

“Yes honey!” he says enthusiastically. “I feel like they [blue-light blocking lenses] have really improved my sleep. It’s so important to set aside time in your day for self care, but it’s also important to incorporate habits of wellness into your entire busy day. You need to protect your eyes from the dangerous blue light that you stare at all day. Remember: more sleep helps with happier skin!”

The limited edition JVN x DIFF Pride collection retails for $85 and will be available on starting May 30.

As for what JVN hopes for the wearers of his new line? “I just want people to have a gorgeous time during Pride, and not feel like they have to do anyone else’s version of Pride,” he says. “If you want to have a crazy night out, you can do that, just make sure to take care of yourself, keep yourself safe, and do it responsibly. If you want to just do a chill cozy Pride, that’s cool too!”

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