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top luxury sunglasses brands
Sunglasses might be a seasonless essential, but with warmer weather on the way, there’s even more reason to get a slick new pair of shades in your armoury. Look sharp and stay focused with our pick of the season’s best sunglasses for men…
In addition to the usual stock of aviators and wayfarers you’d expect to be filling the shops at this time of year, there are three additional noteworthy eyewear trends you should be aware of right now: namely that for oversized and overtly chic and feminine, and also that for futuristic wrap-around styles (epitomised by both Balenciaga and Prada’s recently released, hype-soaked range) – both very much 1990s- and 2000s-inspired.
Whatever style you choose – classic shapes are good too – it’s not always easy picking a new pair of sunglasses, primarily due to the sheer amount of choice on the market. Pile that on top of the breadth of choice in lens strengths, colours and polarisation (glare protection) options and it can all become quite baffling.
Another important thing to consider is face shape. If you want to wear your glasses more than once, it would be smart to consider what actually looks good on you. If you have a square face, for instance, you’ll benefit from the soft curves of rounder frames. Likewise, the angles of a triangular- or heart-shaped face will be accentuated by aviators. Rounder faces? Opt for square or rectangular styles (wayfarers are a good option).
Here, to guide you through the jungle of competing eyewear brands is GQ‘s best sunglasses roundup. Credit cards at the ready.
As collaborations go, few brands work quite so well as the Kanye West-adored Parisian purveyor of minimalist menswear APC or the shades beloved by Steve McQueen, Ryan Gosling and Jay-Z, Persol. Reworking the iconic 649 silhouette, this line comes in a neutral colour palette that’s exactly as chic as one would expect. £219. At End. endclothing.com
Though his knitwear took the bulk of the praise in Knives Out, Chris Evans’ round-framed gold Ray-Bans take the gong for best accessory in a supporting role. Evans proved that as well as being good value for all seasons, they’re just as well suited to a brown overcoat and paisley scarf as your summer getup. £131. At Sunglass Hut. sunglasshut.com
Under the creative eye of Kyle NG, Brain Dead’s reputation in streetwear is ever-growing. The debut eyewear collection from the brand known for its out-there graphics was a sight to behold and these oversized, retro-futuristic sunglasses are a perfectly playful addition to your summer accessories. £198. At Slam Jam. slamjam.com
Transparent frames have firmly cemented their place in the eyeglasses world, but are notably less often adopted with the tinted kind. It’s something we think we’ll be seeing plenty more of this summer, though, and we’ll be putting our money where our eyes are in these slick Ralph Lauren wayfarers. £118. At Asos. asos.com
If you’re after an uber-chic pair of frames ahead of the summer, Ace & Tate’s unisex options err on a more feminine style of eyewear which, we must admit, we’re quite enjoying. Done out in a light tortoiseshell, their wide wing and slight slant are just the nod you need to the current wave of gender-fluid fashion, without rocking the boat. £98. aceandtate.com
Simon Porte Jacquemus’ incomparably chic output suggests he’s a designer who sees the world through rose-tinted glasses. Now, you can too. These square frames look pixelated enough for Pacman with their rigid squareness. Note the subtle branding atop the bridge. Magnifique. £295. At Farfetch. farfetch.com
Jacques Marie Mage is an LA-based specialist in the micro-production of artisanal eyewear and its pieces are always quality, provocative and beautiful. These sunnies go by the name of Beauregard, which urbandictionary.com defines as a “designation of male of the human species – generally rich, white, conservative, preppy and well-dressed”. Focus on the “well-dressed” bit, which these help to amplify, and hope people think the rest is ironic. £755. At matchesfashion.com
Perhaps Betty White isn’t the first celebrity style icon you think of when you’re looking for shopping inspiration, but these Saint Laurent frames are a nod to the 98-year-old. In fact, this year, there’s a bit of a trend for sunglasses that wouldn’t look out of place on the peepers of old Hollywood’s most iconic women. We’re very much here for it. £230. At Browns. brownsfashion.com
Bigger isn’t always better, but these Burberry sunglasses are pretty damn great. The futuristic frames by Riccardo Tisci are a bold choice, with Burberry branding not only scrawled across the temples but embedded in the lens. On the Burberry scale of stately to modern, these fall further on the latter. £185. At Sunglass Hut. sunglasshut.com
These #Sun Nautic shades have category-three polarised lens and 100 per cent UV protection, making them perfect for water sports and driving, two of the most integral activities of a summer road trip. If you do legitimately use #Sun when on holiday, fear not: the sunglasses’ classic frame in tortoiseshell will redeem your Instagram sins. £45. At Selfridges. selfridges.com
Consistently the most reliable and stylish sunglasses on offer, Ray-Ban is a household brand for good reason. Though the Wayfarer tends to get the best press, the label’s Blaze Meteor style is no exception. The one-piece lens give them a uniformity of design that’s neither overwrought nor boring: a well-balanced pair of holiday shades. £136. At Sunglass Hut. sunglasshut.com
Like the imagined curvature on a smooth, mahogany drinks cabinet, these Persol sunglasses look as if they’d been whittled out of a single block of wood and polished with a rare resin for a very specific amount of time. Such is the craft and beauty of these sunnies, they will be difficult to take off. £146. persol.com
Being both old-world masculine and new-world stylish is a challenge. For example, is camouflage still trendy or just a “battle reenactment” prop for sad old men? We’re out here trying to meld the two and, in doing so, present to you the Bulgari Octo sunglasses in gunmetal steel. The Rolls-Royce of shades, they have an irresistible masculine beauty about them. £479. At Sunglass Hut. sunglasshut.com
What do you get when you cross one of the most revered fashion designers of the past 20 years with one of the most famous eyewear manufacturers? You get some of the coolest sunglasses money can buy: not just this particular pair of sunglasses, but the whole of Linda Farrow and Dries Van Noten’s collaboration. We urge you to check it out. £294. At farfetch.com
Looking to get in on the aviator trend this summer? Hackett has you covered. Available in navy and two shades of tortoiseshell, these frames will ensure you’re the most stylish man at your next barbecue. Crafted from ultra-thin acetate, they have an open double bridge and they’re finished with hidden Hackett trims within the hinge. £195. hackett.com
The thick rim and reverse cherry gradient combination make this Cutler And Gross style impeccable to look at. The frame has been designed using interior “televisioni” milling to reduce weight and create a grill effect. The nose bridge is sculpted for comfort and the reverse-gradient lens makes them the natural choice for switching between indoors and outdoors seamlessly. £315. cutlerandgross.com
Founded in 2012, Cubitts makes frames the traditional way and goes through 50 crafted stages of production over a period of six weeks, including four separate stages of polishing to ensure a glorious lustre. Opt for the Collier frames with an angular lens shape to complement both an oval or round face shape, while the bridgeless style will add length to shorter noses. £125. cubitts.co.uk
If you’re looking to play around with some more experimental frame shapes this season (we actively encourage it), Saint Laurent is a brand that’s plenty more innovative than most. Sleek and stylish, these unisex sunnies are just one such example of the “new wave” designs that are just as cool as they are attention grabbing. £295. ysl.com
The Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Classics are the most recognisable in the history of sunglasses. After its initial design in 1952, the Wayfarer quickly endeared itself to Hollywood filmmakers, musicians and artists, solidifying its iconic style status for years to come. You really can’t go wrong £131. ray-ban.com
© Getty Images
Balenciaga often sits at the forefront of eyewear trends. This intriguing pair of “hybrid” sunglasses is unlike anything we’ve seen before: instead of subtly blending two different style tangents, they are almost diametrically opposed and forced to coexist. It creates an awkward and strange beauty that is hard to deny. £295. At End. endclothing.com
The soft frame and light lens make these square aviator sunglasses look almost like reading glasses. They are crafted from metal and feature BPA- and phthalate-free acrylic acetate accents and temple tips, coming with UV 400-certified nylon lenses. We just love these 1970s-referencing sunnies. £40. arket.com
Thanks to their slim profile and slightly squared frame, these keyhole bridge sunglasses with blue lenses are an easy way to make a stylish statement. Finished with the signature “Polo” printed on the temples and etched in the corner of the left lens, they’re a good match for your summer suit. £130. ralphlauren.co.uk
Who says that prescription sunglasses can’t be on trend? These double-bridged, round-shaped polarised lenses are perfect for a square- or heart-shaped face. The tortoiseshell frame and acetate and gold details detract from the fact these glasses won’t break the bank. Go to the website to virtually try them on. £75. eyedoo.co.uk
Finlay & Co shot to attention when Meghan Markle wore a pair of the brand’s sunglasses at her debut appearance with Prince Harry. It also does stylish frames for men, as visitors to its newly opened store will attest. Located on London’s Broadwick Street, it offers eye tests using the latest optometric technologies and showcases its full range, from specs to shades, all handmade in Italy. Our pick of the frames? These Bowery beauties. Grab a pair and set yourself up for summer. £120. finlayandco.com
INNES EYE CLINIC BLOG
16 AUGYour Guide to High-End Sunglasses, from Fendi to Gucci
We’ve got the skinny on all the latest high-end sunglasses right here. From Fendi to Gucci, here are your top luxury brands on the market today!
Fendi has always been known for their creativity, with their FF label often associated with bold, vibrant and futuristic designs. Fendi is one of the few brands that has figured out how to perfectly blend sophistication and out-there designs that really captivate and draw attention for the right reasons. These unique looks are for the daring and fashion-forward consumer who loves geometric shapes, brazen colours, thick frames, and daring patterns.
One of the most renown sunglass brands on the market is Gucci. In fact, Gucci is a master of luxury. Made of the best, high-quality materials with an array of unique designs, it’s still one of the most elegant, fashion-forward and expensive brands out there. If you’re looking for a statement piece that screams high-end, look no further than the Gucci line.
If Gucci screams luxury, Prada screams class. The Prada brand is not only a leading name in designer eyewear, but it’s also a trendsetter. They’ve helped transform the eyeglass industry over the years and have taken high-end to an entirely new level. This fashion powerhouse specializes in luxury goods and designer eyewear for the high-fashion circle. But you can also find ready to wear sunglasses like their classic butterfly style. If you’re looking for high quality and sophistication, Prada delivers.
Dolce and Gabbana
This luxury fashion brand that took the Milan runways by storm soon expanded into eyewear in the 1990s. In just a short period of time, their bold sunglass styles were being worn by high-profile celebrities and soon became the forever favourite among models and actors alike. Offering many designer styles for both men and women, D&G is best known for its edgy yet elegant styles and durable materials.
There are few people in this world who haven’t worn an original Ray-Ban design or a knock-off. The brand has been around since the 1930s and made popular by the Aviator style that was specially designed for pilots. Even before Tom Cruise sported a pair in Top Gun, these glasses were making waves in nearly every generation before. And today, the Aviator is still one of the most widely worn functional-styles in the world. Made of thin metal and large polarized or photochromic lenses that provide ultimate protection from the sun, these glasses can be found in many different colours and tints. But the Aviator isn’t the only popular design by the Ray-Ban brand. The Wayfarer and Clubmaster have also stood the test of time and are still considered among the most trendy today.
If you love vibrant colours, Maui Jim is one of the most popular choices on the market. They offer stunning mirror coatings that provide impressive colour enhancement and optics nearly as clear as glass. Originating in Hawaii, Maui Jim glasses are truly made for the sunshine, combining fashion with superior protection for your eyes. They’ve also just released their PolarizedPlus 2 technology that eliminates 99% of glare and offers the richest colours, highest available light reduction capabilities and sharpest contrast.
One of the most popular high-end brands in the world is Chanel. Always luxurious, never boring, Chanel is the definition of femininity, elegance, and sophistication. Easily distinguishable by their CC logo, these sunglasses are the perfect choice when you’re looking to make a statement. Best of all, new sunglasses are released each season that perfectly complement the latest Chanel wardrobe. However, the signature oversized rectangle-shape pair that Chanel is well known for will never go out of style.
Looking for the latest in high-end fashion? Visit us at Laurier Optical. We stock the widest and newest selection of luxury sunglasses and eyewear at unbeatable prices
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