#runtheworld: Meet The Start-Up Run by Women

In honor of #IWD2017, here’s to the company making #runtheworld more than a hashtag. PERVERSE sunglasses, a start-up based out of Los Angeles, counts women as 81% of its corporate workforce. This statistic includes the company’s CEO, Toni Ko, former founder of the groundbreaking global beauty empire NYX Cosmetics.

Since launching at Coachella 2016, PERVERSE has quickly garnered a cult-like following of celebrities, influencers, and stylish women and men who define their individuality with on-trend (and affordable) sunglasses.


PERVERSE is also a quiet case study in how startups shake up statistics about women in C-Suite positions and business. While vastly “underrepresented throughout the tech sector…they’re (women) still building some incredible start-ups, apps, and products.” (Source: businessinsider.com)

Is this little-brand-that-could a diminutive ripple in a pond that desperately needs a cannon-ball splash? Yes, but what’s more exciting than the ripple is this: PERVERSE’s creatives, bookkeepers, salespeople, and social media experts weren’t intentionally assembled to be a woman empowerment femme-squad, says Ko. “We interviewed both men and women for each position. Time and time again, the best talent consistently came from women.”



Not that PERVERSE sunglasses isn’t dedicated to empowering women. The brand created the ICON GIRLs® initiative to recognize those who do inspirational things and inspire others to do the same. The brand’s first-ever icon GIRLs award recipient is Lucy Meyer, Special Olympics Gold Medalist in Swimming and Official Spokesperson of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF – Special Olympics Partnership, the U.S. fund for UNICEF’s Spokesperson for Children with Disabilities. (Before you ask, the brand is equally dedicated to empowering men. The anticipated launch of the Icon Guys initiative will award outstanding young men who are making a difference.)

PERVERSE sunglasses is also breaking ranks with stereotypes. Many think an office of women would be rife with rivalry, envy, and jealousy. Account Manager Melody Zedgh says it’s quite the contrary. “We’re all so busy, there’s no time for office politics. We come in, turn on our computers, and work our tails off. But, if one of us says she needs help with finding a file or filling a huge order, we all drop everything to support her. That’s how we’ve come to know and respect each other. We’re a hard working group that’s autonomous and collaborative at the same time.” 

And for the 19% of men in the office? They should stand tall: They beat out some pretty talented women.

 PERVERSE sunglasses launched at Coachella 2016 and quickly became an “Eyewear Label to Watch” (fashionista.com). Known for diverse unisex styles and approachable prices, the brand counts celebrities including Lady Gaga, Jessica Alba, Beyonce, Cara Delevingne and Olivia Palermo as devotees. Start your sunglasses adventure at www.perversesunglasses.com.

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