The (Royal and Ancient) Leisure Society

Hear Hear! Announcing the gathering of the Royal and Ancient Leisure Society. All members in attendance say “Aye.”

The Royal and Ancient Leisure Society has the ring of a community that’s been in existence for thousands of years — or at least as long as “leisure” has been a concept, and the notion of belonging to a society dedicated to it has been deemed a path worth following.

Enter Shane Baum, fashionable upstart from the cultural center of… Iowa. Baum couldn’t help it — from the start, everything he touched became beyond fabulous. From planning over-the-top trips for friends that rivaled those of 1930s film stars, to starting and designing a slew of eye wear brands, Baum has had that special touch. Indeed, he made such a splash in his early days designing eye wear that he had developed a substantial portfolio of brands that he was designing for. This portfolio was packed with big names, among them were Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs. Life was grand and he was flying to Paris every other month for clients, but the time had come to focus on himself. This kid from the Iowa cornfields became known as an arbiter of taste and Leisure Society was his metier. He’d created The Royal and Ancient Leisure Society as a social club for friends and it evolved into his brand, know simply as LEISURE SOCIETY.

Leisure Society Eye wear

Modern Nostalgia

With his own company, Baum focused on the philosophy and raison d’ etre the club was originally built on: “Escaping the doldrums of day-to-day existence, relaxing, and spending time with friends and family.”

The Leisure Society became luxury personified: High-quality craftsmanship, the world’s best materials, and innovative design. It has this “Je ne sais quoi” about it. There is a feeling of modern nostalgia that comes from the blending of product, lifestyle, and experience. As Baum says, trends come and go, but Leisure Society is classically inspired and is about lasting forever, rather than just being a product of the moment. He built an eyewear brand that would stand the test of time.

For Baum, inspiration comes from everywhere in life. He is often found photographing door knobs or other odd-ball items simply for the inspiration they provide. As each new year comes around, his designs are about something luxurious yet never ostentatious —  designs that fit well on people’s faces and become glamorous extensions of their personalities.

Leisure Society Eye Wear

A Way of Life

Leisure Society is so much more than a product, it is a way of life. The brand extends itself into fabulous trips around the world, often teaming up with other luxury brands, including Rolls Royce. Last week was Fly Fishing in Aspen; this autumn has pheasant hunting in Scotland on the schedule.

Shane Baum has an interesting litmus test for his work. He asks himself: “If I hated me, would I still like that product? If I could say yes, it was great design, I can move on.”

Baum must have the answer to his question. Leisure Society has made a strong place for itself in the world of luxury eye wear and it appears to be standing the test of time. To Shane, Leisure Society isn’t a brand at all, it’s an evolution of life.



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