“We want to sit on your face,” is rarely a phrase one hears in polite company, much less in the first person plural. But Tortoise & Blonde, an online eyeglasses company based in New Jersey, just adopted the sentence as its new slogan. In fact, the company–run by the father and son duo of Dr. Steven Weisfeld, a trained optometrist, and his son Evan Weisfeld, a former analyst at Credit Suisse and “self-proclaimed culinary master“–have filed applications to trademark the phrase.
“In essence, you know, what do glasses do? They sit on your face,” the younger Mr. Weisfeld told Betabeat by phone from Lollapalooza, where Tortoise & Blonde unveiled the bracing new campaign. “This is almost a rebranding for us,” he explained. “We’ve had this edgy look and feel. We’ve been supporting artists, musicians for the last year and a half with tour support and free vision care. This just brings it all together, kinda like ‘Sex, Specs, and Rock n’ Roll’ type of vibe.”
Mr. Weisfeld said he and his father came up with the slogan-cum-rebrand together almost two years ago, leaving us to wonder if the sentence was thrown around the office during Dr. Weisfeld’s many years of practice. “My cofounder is my father, so this was a family decision,” he noted. Didn’t Mr. Weisfeld find it an awkward subject matter to reference with his father? “Not at all,” insisted Mr. Weisfeld. “I will send you a picture of us wearing t-shirts [with the slogan] later on, if you’d like.”
In the past few hours, the company has been happily tweeting out images from Lollapalooza of people wearing “Sit On Your Face” t-shirts with the hashtag, you guessed it, #sitonyourface. Concertgoers have also been posing for Tortoise & Blonde’s Instagram account with temporary tattoos of the company’s logo pressed onto various body parts.
If you’re turned off by an eyeglass startup employing the phrase, the Weisfelds anticipated that reaction. “It’s pretty tongue-in-cheek. We know it’s going to offend some people, but we’re pretty sure our fan base will appreciate it,” said Mr. Weisfeld. “Lollapalooza is pretty out there. People are, you know, looking to have some fun. This is just the right demographic,” he added, pointing us to the Instagram account, which has been “blowing up today with some pretty provocative looking pictures.” The response, “validated our thoughts.”
When Betabeat inquired as to whether the rebrand was an attempt to distinguish Tortoise & Blonde from high-profile competitors like Warby Parker, Mr. Weisfeld said, “Well, listen it’s a big space. Warby Parker is not the first one to sell eyewear online. But yeah, this carves out our niche pretty good.”