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Tori Kelly is no stranger to collabs. From a country banger with Chris Lane to a gospel track with Kirk Franklin, Kelly has proven herself to be the ultimate duet partner. Now, the Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter has partnered with do-gooding sunglass company DIFF Eyewear on a collection of staple frames that can blend seamlessly into any wardrobe. Each of Kelly’s three signature pairs of eyewear are as genre-bending as the musician herself, making them the perfect accessory for any signature style.
“I was keeping in mind, ‘how can I make this collection as versatile as possible?’ Because that’s kind of how my life is, so I’d imagine other people might have fun with that too,” Kelly tells Rolling Stone. “I wanted to have my pair that people could wear to the grocery store or just driving around in their car. Something super casual. But I also wanted pairs that could transition into a more formal thing — like to go out with the girls. Something that could edge up a look.”
The singer was excited to get the call from DIFF, a company known for their celebrity collabs. (Previous collections have been designed by H.E.R., Jonathan Van Ness and Demi Lovato among others.)
“DIFF gave me a ton of creative freedom and it was very collaborative,” Kelly says. “In the very beginning, I was even a little bit overwhelmed because there’s just so many different styles that I could do. And it’s like, how do we narrow it down and pick the colors? But it was an awesome process and it was really fun to exercise the creative muscle in a different way since I’m known for doing music. It was a lot of fun.”
Fun with a purpose. Every DIFF purchase helps provide the gift of sight to someone in need. In fact, since 2015, DIFF has helped over 2.7 million people in need of access to vision care and eyewear.
For her collection, Kelly designed three new styles: the Spruce, Shine On and Futuristic Lover. The Spruce features a classic design with fun colorways in Festive Black Grey and Tortoise Brown Gradient. The Shine On is a new take on the trending tea shades in Cherry Blossom and Matte-Black Blue Mirror. The sleek Futuristic Lover has a sharp and thin cat eye shape in Champagne Brown and Black Grey. It also happens to be her current fave.
“It changes a lot, but lately I’ve been reaching for the black Futuristic Lovers, which are kind of like cat eye,” she says. “I didn’t expect to grab that pair first, but they go with anything and they kind of elevate a look. Even if I’m just like in sweats I’m like, ‘Ooh, that feels cool!’ I think that’s what’s fun about this line: it’s stretching me to have fun with like new looks. The glasses are kind of inspiring me.”
Style isn’t the only place Kelly is finding inspiration right now. In addition to her children’s book, The Curly Girl Blues, and her recent turn in the animated film Sing 2 she is working on a new album–and she couldn’t be happier about it.
“I’ve been working on new music, which I am, like, giddy about. You can probably hear it in my voice,” she laughs. “I can’t say much, but it’s definitely a new, fresh sound for me. Jon Bellion has been working on it with me and I’m super, super excited for people to hear it. And even to tour again. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to, so I’m really looking forward to getting out there and seeing the fans.”