Patrick Dempsey Says He Favored Classic Silhouettes That 'Get Better with Age' for His Eyewear Collab

The actor and Porsche Design Eyewear brand ambassador gives PEOPLE an inside look at his love for motorsports and co-designing his first line of eyewear

Porsche Design Eyewear by Patrick Dempsey
Photo: Courtesy Porsche Design

Patrick Dempsey is taking the wheel with his new style endeavor.

Although the actor and racing enthusiast has a deep-rooted love for motorsports, his latest designing gig with Porsche Design Eyewear, for which he's been an ambassador since 2021, has shown him that there's always new territory to explore when it comes to your passions.

"It's exciting because you're learning something new. You're learning about a different craft, the technology and the history of Porsche — the design, their attitude and culture," Dempsey tells PEOPLE while introducing his new eyewear capsule in New York City.

Porsche Design Eyewear by Patrick Dempsey
Courtesy Porsche Design

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The design process began last April and came together earlier this year in the form of two limited-edition styles — the P´8965 sunglasses and the P´8754 prescription frames.

Both, in part, reflect the blueprint of racing cars, most notably with their sleek carbon fiber and rubber-crafted temples, as well as their lightweight structure, which is "an extension from racing because you don't want a heavy car, you want a light car," Dempsey, 57, explains.

The two embody the designs he looks for in his own accessories as well, the kind of "classic and timeless" pieces that simply "get better with age."

"From a distance, it looks really simple, but when you get close to it, there's a lot of complexity to it. I think that in design or in clothing, I like to say, nothing that's too flashy but has a mixed style and a lot of detail," he adds.

When it came down to working through a designer's lens, the Grey's Anatomy alum says it was "creative, expressive and fun," but also quite "practical."

"I actually wear these," he says. "I really love them. I use them when I'm cycling or when I'm driving and it's just been fun to put all the different components together."

Porsche Design Eyewear by Patrick Dempsey
Courtesy Porsche Design

Many know Dempsey for his work on screen, which includes 1987 rom-com Can't Buy Me Love. While the film was his big Hollywood break, it also happened to be how he landed his first-ever Porsche car.

During the brand's moderated panel, hosted by Andy Peeke, Dempsey detailed the time he purchased his first 356 model with his earnings from the movie. He remembered buying it off of a sound mixer who used her car to create the audio effects for the one featured in the original Top Gun blockbuster. So, the collaboration is definitely a full-circle moment.

Porsche Design Eyewear by Patrick Dempsey
Courtesy Porsche Design

"I think racing for me has been a really important part of my life," he further tells PEOPLE. Besides his decades-long history with Porsche, he also finds the intangible components of the motorsports industry, such as the "camaraderie, fellowship and physical and mental challenge of it," completely "rewarding."

Dempsey, who also owns his Dempsey-Proton Racing team, admires the "mindfulness" that comes along with the sport, which is a profound takeaway for those in the game as much as it is for those who aren't.

"When you're racing, you don't really think about anything else other than being present. I think that's an important thing for all of us to remember in the world we're living in right now."

Porsche Design Eyewear by Patrick Dempsey
Courtesy Porsche Design

While Dempsey has been getting busy in the design studio, he's also been going full speed ahead on his film projects. "It's good to be working. It's been fun," he says.

On working on the racing-driven film Ferrari as Piero Taruffi, Dempsey shares: "I had a great experience working in Italy on the Michael Mann [directed] project. Adam Driver's a wonderful actor. It was great to be with him."

He also calls his forthcoming role in the Eli Roth-directed slasher Thanksgiving "something so completely different."

He's also managed to reserve some time for himself, though. "It's been nice to balance work with my home life, which is the most important thing."

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