Leisure Society’s Shane Baum Elevates Luxury Eyewear for Men


Shane Baum

Shane Baum

Many of a creative find it extremely hard to balance work and have a life. But not the man we’re about to interview. Having been the former creative consultant for Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton Eyewear, Mr Shane Baum has had his own company, Baumvision, for 15 years and among other incredible feats, has designed collections for Paul Frank, Rebecca Minkoff and now, Leisure Society. Nothing to screw your nose up at hey?

Baum not only has achieved success in his chosen vocation, but he’s also balanced his leisure life out very well, where he takes an annual pheasant shooting trip to Scotland – where along with the Royals, puts on his camo-gear at the Brechin Castle hosted by the Lord and goes on a 4-day expedition tracing the steps of the Lords and Lady’s of years gone by.

His now venture, Leisure Society is an extension his perspective on what life should be: spending time with family, friends, and enjoying intimate moments of absolute leisure. Beginning with eyewear that embodies the ideals of the CFDA designer, (a very high achievement in Fashion), Baum’s passion for building products of inherent value and heirloom design led him to crafting the world’s finest eyewear one could possibly find. We’re talking titanium frames, 12-24k white & yellow gold plating, diamonds, and buffalo horn.


How much time, per day, do you design or research?

Not as much as I wish I could. As any designer can attest, simply drawing and designing doesn’t pay the bills. You have a vision of what you wish to achieve, but so much time is spent trying to facilitate it. What starts out as a blank page and a pen ends up in conference calls, operational meetings, production issues and personal appearances.

Before you begin to design, do you have any pre-game rituals or practices?

I always like to explore, and travel before I start a new collection to clear my mind to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and nature in amazing locations to inspire me for a new season. And while my pr team would most likely want to filter me from saying so, often “having a drink” adds to my process too, because in reality, the reason why cocktails have “caught on” in this fashion is they often free your mind from second guessing your true self. To be able to release the parameters we set for ourselves, the fear of failure or giving ourselves the freedom to take chances and find confidence in any result that feel true helps the design process.

What’s your best advice for overcoming procrastination?

Set a deadline and make it a deadline that two or more people are aware of.  The reason of design procrastination is mainly fear of failure.  What if I don’t have any new ideas?  What if the new ideas fail?  Its emotional and a bit exhausting too.  I mean you really are trying to get the best out of yourself.  The culmination of your life experience forged to paper. (Note:  when telling two or more people that they’ve failed to meet the deadline, I started offering “cash prizes” for failing to meet deadlines. It cost me $500 last month (you’re welcome Darren- creative director Leisure Society).

What time of day is most productive for your designing?

I like late, soft afternoons.

Define creativity.

The ability to take the culmination of all of your life experiences and piece them together in a highly orchestrated manner that’s never been achieved.

Who are your favorite designers?

Well, there is a fine line between Brands and Designers.  They all include a vision and a team. So I’ll talk about the bigger brands.  Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein were great this season, I really enjoyed Proenza Schouler, The Row and Diane Von Furstenburg and my great friend and collaborator, Rebecca Minkoff. For a gent like me, I’m better served with Billy Reid, Shipley, Thom Browne, Louis Vuitton and the design duo behind Rag & Bone.

Do you prefer a particular type of music (or silence) when you design?

I adore many facets of music.  Lately it has been 1930”s ukelele, James Mercer (all bands) and a rocking two piece from the UK called Royal Blood.

Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment?

Alpine explorers of the 20th century.

Do you have any tricks for staying focused?

No, but I’m looking for them.  I’ve found a few, but forgot where I wrote them down.

How do you relax at the end of a hard day?

Yoga or booze.  Sometimes both.  (laughing) But kidding aside, as the summer nears,  the days get longer and the sun sets late. What I really most enjoy to relax is fly fishing with my daughters at the river jetties near my home or playing golf with friends at the club.

Who (or what) has been your greatest teacher?

My father.  He taught me that you have to work hard and that the quality of your work needs to be the best it can be.  That said, any talent I have came mostly from my mom (laughing).

What’s your biggest aggravation or pet peeve at the moment?

Technology.  At some point we’ve all had the euphoria of getting off the jet, reading emails walking down the Jetway and responding prior to retrieving the luggage.  At some point it becomes too much.  Your life becomes an umbilical cord to communication and getting “off the grid” becomes the main priority.

Choose one designer, living or dead, that you would like to have dinner with.

Dead Coco Chanel, she had so many beautiful introspective perspectives on life.  Living, Karl Lagerfeld.  It just seems like there would be no possible way that dude is boring.

Do you have a motto, credo or general slogan that you live by?

Don’t worry too much about where you stand in life.

The race is long, and in the end its only with yourself.

Can you offer any advice to designers that you might offer yourself, if you could go back in time and “do it all over?

Trust that weird feeling that makes you slightly sick before you make a decision. Whatever nerve it is that causes that is plugged in directly to your soul.

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