I’d like to introduce the readers of bkstyled to Pamela Tietze, the creator of h0les, which you may have seen worn by Lady Gaga last summer. H0les started as an interesting experiment and the trendy eyewear is now being sold all over the world. I first met Pam when she donated some of her prism glasses to a set I was designing last year. Trying on a pair of her unique glasses was like stepping into a colorful dream world. The room I was standing in was reflected hundreds of times in a range of pastel colors. It’s a pretty fantastic experience.
Pam was kind enough to invite us over for a home tour last month, and I’m excited to share her home with you today. To me, Pam’s apartment isn’t so different from her glasses. It really reflects her creativity and quirky design aesthetic. You definitely leave Brooklyn the second you walk in. There’s a lot of light, but there is still mystery. Every item in her home has a story and while each and every thing is so different from the next, nothing seems out of place.
One item that stands out in her living room is a ceramic bulldog that Pam found abandoned on the side of the road. Since she’s adopted him, people have always had a strange interest in him. For instance, while hosting a party in her home a while back, a group of men decided to pick him up and drop him as if he were a pillow or made of rubber (hence the chipped ear). Perhaps they thought he could bounce?
The focal point of her living room is an enormous poster of Elvis hung above a rainbow-painted futon. Pam painted the futon herself as part of a set design commission for an expo. She painted all sorts of things including furniture, carpets, and decor. In the end, she ended up taking most of the items she colorfully decorated home and each piece has integrated nicely into her space.
Pam acquired her Elvis poster when passing by a grocery store which was going out of business in Chicago. The grocery store manager told her she could take anything she wanted. Inside she found two of these enormous Elvis posters in the grocery’s basement. She grabbed one and carried it home on her back. It has been with her ever since, even surviving the move from Chicago to New York City.
My favorite part of Pam’s apartment is the colors. She has somehow managed to create a colorful space without ever painting a single wall. She gets a good amount of light in her apartment, which creates an upbeat atmosphere and allows for many healthy plants. And while her apartment contains a collection of very different unique objects that Pam has come across over the years, it in no way looks cluttered or out of place.
Before Pam started h0les most of her work was done within the world of film and video. She studied business in school and was a successful art director in Chicago for years. After a while though, she realized that the art director world was not for her so she left behind a world of financial stability for the world of creative freedom.
H0les came into fruition after a breakup. Pam was playing around with the idea of creating a camera lens out of prisms and to get an idea for how it would look, she took a pair of expensive sunglasses her ex had given her and popped the lenses out. She replaced them with circular pieces of chandelier glass which, when held up to the eyes, created an effect that resembled a kaleidoscope.
After creating that first pair of glasses, it was her friends who pushed her to continue with the project. She played around with different frames and one night, while Pam was putting together a new pair, she thought of Lady Gaga and how perfectly they would suit her style. Little did she know that in a few months Gaga’s people would be contacting her for a custom pair. When they first contacted Pam, she thought it was a joke. Even while signing a bunch of legal forms at the Brooklyn Navy Yard she still couldn’t believe what was happening. Before she knew it, h0les was a success.
Pam recommends wearing her glasses while watching fireworks or for just sitting around on a sunny day. She says nothing beats the time she wore them while riding on the back of a motorcycle across the Manhattan Bridge at sunset. Beyond passive experiences like those, they can be pretty disorienting. Moving around in something that reflects everything around you hundreds of times is not easy. Personally, I’m saving up for a pair right now.
Photography: Rima Brindamour