When I connect with Dan Levy on a Zoom call, he is still processing all of his Emmys nominations that were announced last week. For this year’s awards, the Canadian star of Schitt’s Creek nabbed a whopping 15 nominations for the comedic series which he cocreated with his father, Eugene Levy. “I’m thrilled; not in my wildest dreams did I think so many members of our team would be recognized,” Levy says. For him, ending Schitt’s Creek has been bittersweet. “Saying goodbye to this group of people and deciding to end the show was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever done. Not because I wanted to, but because I felt the story was ready,” he says. He admits the final days of shooting were especially tough. “Our last day on set, I cried for like six straight hours,” he says. “I got a really bad headache and had to go to sleep.”
Schitt’s Creek’s Emmys takeover is not the only thing he is excited about right now, however. This month, Levy is relaunching D.L. Eyewear, the sun and optical eyewear line that he originally launched in 2013. Levy says he put the passion project on hold when filming for Schitt’s Creek began—you know, he was only busy making one of the funniest shows on TV—but would still use some of the frames from his line for costuming purposes. “D.L. Eyewear was all over Schitt’s Creek,” says Levy, whose frames are worn by his father and costar Catherine O’Hara on the show. Despite having not updated the website or put out a new collection in years, he noticed sales from his eyewear line were beginning to rise throughout the filming of the series. “I was selling, like, a pair or two a day for the last two years,” Levy says. “These were frames that, yes, I love, but we hadn’t put out a new collection since 2014.” It became clear that he needed to bring the line back.
Fans of Schitt’s Creek will be pleased to know that the line also has a tie-in to the show. Levy drew design inspiration from working with its costume designer, Debra Hanson. “I really got to understand the value of every piece of clothing and accessory that we put on every day—every single piece that we wear says something. It doesn’t have to say something loudly, but it says something,” says Levy of collaborating with Hanson. He also took style cues from some of the show’s many vibrant personalities as well; one cat-eye style is named the Rose after O’Hara’s character, Moira Rose.
Levy’s own personal style—and that of the avant-garde David, whom he played on the show—is a major influence too. “Glasses were always something that I wanted to do,” he says. “I love the idea of design, and the optical world was the only place where I felt like I had any experience or voice to contribute to the landscape, because I’ve been wearing glasses since I was eight years old.” He estimates there are now approximately 75 opticals and sunglasses in his ever-expanding personal collection. “This is obviously a collection that I’ve been building and growing for the better part of the past 15 to 20 years,” he says. “It’s annoying to pack, because everywhere I go I bring, like, 10 pairs.”
While Levy was familiar with designing eyewear, he says the relaunch process has continued to teach him new things. For one, he’s learned that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to creating the perfect frames. “I have an unfortunately tiny skull,” says Levy, who favors his own round-shaped Beaumont style. “It’s really important for me that anybody could try on the entire collection and find at least one style that suited their face.” Secondly, that the devil’s in the details. For instance, each pair, which retails for $135, is inscribed with “See With Love,” to encourage his wearers to do just that. He has also partnered with LISC, a nonprofit organization supporting small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “As a small business owner, I really understand how hard it is to get a business off the ground, but I also understand that I have a platform,” says Levy who is donating a portion of his proceeds from his eyewear to LISC. “We’re ensuring that we will be able to support other small businesses and allow them to grow as well.”
The collection officially launches on Levy’s birthday, August 9. “It’s gonna be a very exciting day,” he says. “I’ll be hopefully responding to some people by email. If you get an email from our support line, it is most likely going to be me!”