Los Angeles native Richard Ray Ruiz gets his inspiration from art, design, music, architecture and the people who surround him. He studied at FIT and Pratt in New York City and caught the eye of luxury scarf brand Leigh & Luca, which hired him as head designer. He worked alongside the creative director designing all of the beautiful imagery for the scarves, tote bags and wallets.
A chance meeting with a friend sparked a discussion about the broad gap in the eyewear industry. Richard took a big leap of faith in 2010 when he and his friend founded Classic Specs, the online company bringing prescription eyewear directly to consumers. Richard was the creative force behind the business, doing everything from designing the frames to sourcing factories and overseeing production. Every weekend, he and his partner set up a booth at Brooklyn Flea, spreading the message of their brand with grassroots marketing. Word quickly spread and the company’s business model drew investors, resulting in the creation of Eponym, which licenses eyewear to brands such as Steven Alan, Anthropologie, Billy Reid, and Alice and Olivia.
Richard’s impeccable eye for detail and unique design style continues to attract top brands for their eyewear needs.
Richard resides in Brooklyn with his fiancee, their son and dog. In his spare time he enjoys playing music and is the art director of Alice magazine.