Archive for ‘Persol’

September 9, 2012

Vintage Sunglasses at EyeInform

Vintage sunglasses, or in other words vintage looking sunglasses are at the peak of their popularity. Brand name fashion eyewear has a relatively short history – about 100 years. First movers were Dior, Ray Ban, Carrera, Persol. Brands that joined later, with most recent being Tiffany (just 5 years ago) had to keep up with the well established players and innovate. But vintage sunglasses do have their features. Here are few short tips:

– Tortoise shell color

Tortoise shell historically was invented to accommodate market need to replace horn. Natural horn was used for eyeglasses for over 200 years and as they became globally worn, it was simply inhumane and even unpractical to use animal horn. So the invention of tortoise shell some 8o years ago had a bit impact on sunglasses trends. Lots of old advertisements have sunglasses in tortoise color. Today it just makes them look vintage

– Extreme shapes

In 40-60 there was not that much choice in sunglasses like we have today. Optical store literally had a few dozens styles. Today it’s about a thousand in a store of average size. So, certain shapes particularly stood out: round, cat eye, aviators. Today we associate them with vintage.

– Vintage brand names

50 years ago an eyewear brand name would become popular due to one sunglasses model. Ray Ban sold over 10 million of Wayfarers until today. Persol is still making it’s original Persol PO0649. Carrera has never gave up their sport racing style. Dior is still big on cat eye.

To make it easier for you we created a new category in EyeInform store for Vitange Sunglasses. Have a look at our selection. We hope big brands will be keep making cool vintage sunglasses in 2013.

May 17, 2012

Signature Elements of Persol Sunglasses. Origin, History, Current Use

History of Persol sunglasses began during the First World War in the Italian city of Turin. At that time, local photographer, Giuseppe Ratti, was spending a lot of time at the airport talking to the pilots. He noted that they often complained about sun glare. Since Ratti was a photographer and had some idea of the optics, I decided to take up the development of protective eyewear, which would be comfortable to wear and good enough to protect their pilots by the bright sun and wind.

He developed in 1917 Points Protector, consisting of two brown lenses, mounted in rubber with the strap around the head. This sunglasses model soon became widely used in the Italian air force. This model was even tested on an Italian aviator Francesco De Pinedo, during his trip across the Atlantic, which lasted 193 hours.

1957 marks a release of Persol 0649, made initially to Turin streetcar drivers to protect them from dust and wind. Streetcars at the time had fully ventilated doors on both sides and streets were much dustier than today. This and later version Persol 2978 brought the brand cult status and became an instant classic Persol.

Persol PO0649 Persol PO2978
Persol PO0649 Persol PO2978

Since the beginning Persol sunglasses are made out of acetate – material produced from the flowers of cotton. This plastic material is hyper-allergenic and warm on touch. Much attention was given to polish edges on the bridge and temple points to make sunglasses fit mostly ergonomically.

The temple contains a signature element Meflecto, consisting of nylon and metal cylinder inserted into acetate to make a flex effect. This innovative system provided a very comfortable feel on the head side as temple flexed around a head. Today, no other brand name uses this technology.

The temple and the frame is locked with a silver arrow Supreme, another signature Persol element that by shape reminds a sword. The very first design of the arrow was made by the founder of the company Giuseppe Ratti, but since undergone dozens of variations.

While brand changed commercial ownership many times in the past 100 years, the manufacturing process remains heavily labour intensive and hand made. The classic models are still best sellers and reputation has sustained a century of economical cycles that did not affect the brand. Quality is beyond profit – is a famous motto of the company.