ChristianahJones: the entrepreneur keeping Beyoncé’s peepers protected
Sunglasses designer Tianah Hodding wants you to step out of your comfort zone
words Sophie Lou Wilson
To celebrate our first birthday, woo has curated a list of our ones. The people in our wooniverse who are redefining fashion, music, clubs, culture and much more.
At the launch of her high energy new fashion film, Calling, Tianah Hodding is sipping a custom cocktail she named ‘Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone.’ After all, if Hodding hadn’t stepped out of hers, she would never have looked down at her phone while watching the World Cup to notice Beyoncé sporting a pair of her vibrant micro shades.
In the five years since Hodding launched ChristianahJones, the sunglasses brand has become a go-to among a coterie of the most stylish celebs, counting Billie Eilish and Bella Hadid as well as Queen Bey among fans. The brand began as a Depop account selling one-of-a-kind vintage sunglasses sourced by Hodding, but the designer soon felt limited by what was already available. Her solution? Designing her own line of standout ‘90s-inspired shades in a vast array of rainbow hues.
While Hodding is passionate about several social causes, there’s one that’s particularly close to her heart. Having been diagnosed with high-frequency hearing loss at the age of two, she hopes that more registered interpreters will be placed in political, entertainment, hospitality and educational environments to make these spaces more accessible for deaf people. This is worked into an inclusive brand ethos that encourages everyone to take a chance and follow their dreams, no matter their background.
With the launch of her new short film, Calling, Hodding’s mission statement is clear. Be the main character. Be yourself. Step out of your comfort zone. And wearing sunglasses at night will always be cool.
Describe what you do in your own words.
I run a super fun brand making and selling unseasonal sunglasses worldwide which gives customers a prompt to be the main character. It’s a lifestyle.
How did you get into your chosen career?
I started with preloved clothing, merch and antique eyewear and decided to make my own pieces that represented exactly who I was.
Are there any upcoming projects we should look out for?
I’m doing my biggest summer pop-up in a mall in my hometown and can’t wait to see old and new faces. I was also cast in a feature film with a tbc release date. I can’t say too much but I'm so excited for the premiere.
What’s one thing you’d like to see change in the world?
Gun control in the United States.
And is there anything you do that you think helps that change along?
No, but by showing solidarity where possible, sending the required texts and emails to fight, signing petitions, supporting victim's families and donating to organisations who bail out protestors in tragic moments and run year-round campaigns, we can add to the pressure to change.
What’s the one thing in your career you’re most proud of?
I made a high production fashion campaign that looked like a whole movie created by a team of over 20 people, shot in two days. It’s giving Universal Pictures, Paramount, Netflix short film. It’s called Calling so pick up your phone sis, embrace the desire to do as you please and break free of the constructs created by society.
And what's one thing you would do if you were Prime Minister for the day?
Send thanks to Marcus Rashford for his child poverty campaign allowing access to free school meals. I’d also increase the number of registered interpreters legally required to be placed in political, entertainment, hospitality and educational environments to ensure access for deaf people every day.
Is there any one thing you do on the regular to take care of your mental health?
Turn off my phone and spend time alone. Don't reply to your friends and post on stories every day.
What’s one lesson that’s changed your life?
Your friends ain’t shit. The less, the better.
How about one moment in your career that you will cherish forever?
Seeing Beyoncé wear my sunglasses in France while I watched England win a football match.
What’s one thing you want to achieve in the next year?
Drive my car! My anxiety ain’t built for the road.
If you had a number one song, what would it sound like?
"Always Like This" by Bombay Bicycle Club. It brings out the emo, indie Nigerian in me. Listen to the afrobeats in the song!
Who’s your number one fan?
And who's number one on your speed dial?
Name one person who’s killing the game right now.
What’s one piece of clothing you can’t live without?
If I can’t say my sunglasses then my cotton cami. I go nowhere without it.
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