Chance delivery to Eddie Hearn sees Kettering sunglasses start-up go global

The start-up saw its shades worn by one of the world's biggest boxing promoters

Saturday, 19th June 2021, 7:00 am
Connor Shrimpton.
Connor Shrimpton.

A start-up Kettering sunglasses firm gained a global audience after its owner chanced his arm by posting a pair to millionaire boxing promoter Eddie Hearn

CLAS.eyewear, whose office is in Headlands, was only created in July last year after Connor Shrimpton decided to set up his own business after a lightbulb moment in Ibiza.

Its sunglasses got an outing to boxing fans around the world earlier this week when Hearn, who promotes boxing stars such as Anthony Joshua, wore them at the launch of Matchroom's new Fight Camp event.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Hearn, the chairman of Matchroom Sport, had asked eyewear brands to "hit him up" - and Connor duly obliged by taking a punt and putting some in the mail.

Connor, 25, said: "I couldn't get hold of him so I sent some in the post to Matchroom HQ but didn't hear anything.

"Then I was watching the launch and I was like 'I am sure they are my glasses'.

"I took a closer look and then I realised they were definitely my glasses.

Eddie Hearn wearing Connor's sunglasses. Picture from Instagram.

"I couldn't believe it. I'm just a small brand from Northamptonshire, not Dolce & Gabbana."

Connor, who is from Raunds and formerly attended Manor School Sports College, was on holiday when he decided to create his own firm after struggling to find good sunglasses with a tinted lens.

CLAS (Connor's Lenses and Sunglasses) was born, specialising in vintage/classic frames with a tinted lens, with Connor working from his bedroom before moving to an office in April this year.

He designs his shades - which are in the £25 to £30 range - before they're manufactured elsewhere.

Hearn wore the firm's 'Paradise - dark red' sunglasses to the launch, which was streamed globally on Dazn's and Matchroom's YouTube channels, as well as wearing them for media interviews with a picture appearing in the Daily Mail.

Since the launch this week Connor's sales have increased and he's targeting famous footballers next.

Connor, who spent a few summers working in Ibiza before setting up his own firm, said: "Since Eddie Hearn wore them it's just took off.

"Our daily sales have probably doubled since Monday."