We are thrilled to announce the addition of Neon Hope to the YUGEN platform. Founded in 2019 by Victoria Hope Lyseggen, Neon Hope is an accessories brand that specialises in sunglasses and bumbags. We love how their pieces are practical and versatile, while still showing a sleekness and sense of timeless style.Originally from Lytham in the North West of England, Victoria did not have a typical start in the fashion industry. After studying International Business at the University of Manchester, Victoria realised her calling was different from that of her peers (who were pursuing internships with companies like KPMG and Deloitte). She spent a year travelling before beginning a career in tech.
Specialising in marketing communications, Victoria operated in a few different areas, going from sales to working for her employer’s non-profit. Her job took her all across the globe, travelling to Europe, America and Africa. Eventually, she decided to start her own tech company, developing an app that served to help women get home safely at night.
Although Victoria was passionate and enjoyed the creativity of her field, the extremely technical nature of the industry and the need for constant updates placed limitations on her vision and were obstacles for her growth. Attracted instead to the idea of using her creative mind to make physical products, she quickly decided to venture into fashion. However, Victoria now had to find a unique identity for her brand to make it stand out in a crowded market.
Inspiration arrived in the form of a sunrise. In Victoria’s own words:
“For my wedding... I had made sunglasses for our guests as part of the welcome pack... we got married at sunset and then at sunrise, our favourite DJ was playing... I remember being stood there… my whole family and friends were just enjoying this moment, wearing the sunglasses that I had made with the sun coming up behind them and I was like, this is... a sign of what I should be doing.”
Thus, Neon Hope was born. Neon for the colour of the sky at sunrise. Hope for a middle-name, shared with her mother.
Neon Hope is founded on a simple ethos: that every day holds new promise. Victoria seeks to produce pieces that people can take anywhere and at any time, encouraging us all to follow the journey that life puts in front of us. With simple but effective designs, these pieces can be paired with almost any outfit, and smoothly transition from a casual day out to a refined evening occasion. Perfect for the modern woman, an unapologetic individual who moves in many different spaces.
The importance of the sunrise is seen in the names of Neon Hope’s three sunglass styles. They are named after goddesses associated with the sun or sky: Eos - the Greek goddess of the dawn, Sulis - a Celtic goddess of healing, and Bast - the cat-headed Egyptian goddess of protection. The designs are takes on classics: Eos and Sulis are both round styles, with a central bridge and curved top bar respectively, and Bast is their version of the cat-eye. All three designs are seasonless and come in elegant black or white options.
While many designers would consider their job done after creating such a stunning product range, Victoria went one step further. Drawing inspiration from the time she damaged a new pair of Céline glasses, Victoria decided to prioritise practicality and longevity, so that no Neon Hope customer should suffer the same fate! This led to one of the brands signature elements (and perhaps the part we love the most), the matching gold chain and leather carry case. These accessories make the sunglasses easy to carry without sacrificing on style. What’s more, because of the case’s unique design, you can style it as a cool mini-bag with the chain as the strap. The chain is also detachable - you could even wear it as a necklace! Neon Hope promises to deliver versatility, and these accessories are essential to this.
It was the design process for the carry cases that also lead Victoria to conceptualise Neon Hope’s second offering; bumbags. Just as the cases and chains can be used in a variety of ways, the brand’s bumbags are also incredibly multifunctional. Rather than the typical strap belt that is used on most bags of this style, Neon Hope’s come with a more traditional leather belt, which can be detached and worn separately. These bags aren’t just one piece, they can be a crossbody or a clutch, and you can even attach your Neon Hope case to the outside. They come in four classic neutral tones, suitable for a range of styles.
As with her previous career, Victoria has global aspirations for her brand. Neon Hope has already been included in Fashion Week pop-up stores in New York, London, Milan and Paris, with a launch in Sydney as well. The brand has also featured in the green room of the MTV EMAs and been worn by celebrities like popstar Mabel. Not bad for a brand that’s less than a year old! Next, Victoria is looking to launch in the US, identifying LA and Miami as key markets for Neon Hope, while also eyeing the Middle East as an area with potential.
by Jonny McKinnell