While summer may be the perfect time to pick out a new pair of shades, we’d like to advocate for also picking out the right pair of lenses this year. With the risks of UV exposure growing each year (studies say 1 in 5 cases of cataracts are caused by harsh UV light), it’s important to consider your sunglasses not only as a statement accessory, but also as protection for your eyes.
According to the latest reports, over 90% of harsh UV may pass through clouds. Under full sunlight, UV intensity is up to 20 times higher. And, researchers say UV exposure is increased even more by surrounding reflective surfaces, like water, sand and even grass. The takeaway from this: invest in properly-tinted lenses that offer anti-reflective properties and a strong UV protection. To help you get a head start, we’ve highlighted three of our favourite frames for the season, and offering a few reminders on how to shield your eyes in style from that UV light.
1. Chloe – CL2233 C03
These oversized shades from Chloe are as elegant as they are sassy, with a rich burgundy colour tempered by raised polka dots that surround the Chloe logo on the temples. The lacquered acetate gives off a sultry, sophisticated look, while the exaggerated curves add a touch of fun and whimsy. Finish the look off with Xperio polarized lenses – designed to eliminate glare thanks to a specific polarizing filter that acts like a Venetian blind, absorbing the blinding polarized light, while letting through the useful vertical light.
2. Matsuda Eyewear – 2080H
We love the slim profile of these frames from Matsuda Eyewear, handmade from Japanese acetate and metal. The matte grey tortoise colour feels modern and unique, while vintage influences are found in the engraved temples and flat nose bridge. Grey polarized lenses are a refreshing change from brown or black. Use a Crizal anti-reflective coating that eliminates glare while enhancing visual sharpness and clarity. Xperio polarized sun lenses with Crizal Sun UV, meantime, offer UV protection of E-SPF 50+. That means your eyes are more than 50 times better protected than without any lens. (E-SPF values vary from a maximum of 25 for clear lenses, to 50+ for polarized sun lenses. The higher the E-SPF, the better the UV protection).
Steven Alan is celebrating two decades in business by releasing his most popular frame, the “Monroe,” in a limited-edition of 300 pieces. Each frame is engraved in gold with its number in the set. Three colours are being released, including this “Blue Sky” shade, which brings to mind sunny afternoons at the beach or lounging by the pool. Stainless steel rivets update the original frames’ diamond details, while gold-plated five-barrel hinges enhance durability and longevity. While most lenses protect against sun rays coming from the front, up to 50% of UV exposure comes from sunlight being reflected on the back of your lenses. Consider switching out the lenses for the Xperio polarized sun lenses with Crizal Sun UV, which protects your eyes from UV reflected from the backside of the lens, while also offering anti-scratch and smudge-repellant properties.
Whether your style is sporty or sophisticated, a new pair of summer sunglasses is always a fun way to refresh your look. Our advice: don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone when selecting a new pair of frames. But when it comes to choosing your lenses, don’t forget that comfort – and protection – are key.
notes: Toronto-based artist, musician and designer Curtis Santiago (a.k.a. Talwst) knows it’s never that fun to follow the field. So he’s been living his life and working on his projects in the most creative, sincere way he can. Case in point: these vintage Cazal frames that we photographed him in at The Power Plant’s annual “Power Ball” fundraiser. Made in Germany and first released in the late 80s/early 1990s, this “Cazal 648″ model is one of the brand’s most memorable frames, with its flat-top bar slicing across the rounded rims. The style is at once avant-garde and deceptively simple. The top bar is aligned perfectly with the temples, and it’s finished with a traditional keyhole bridge, while the “Havana” color and touch of gold add some retro flair.
Talwst tells us he’s always looking to make unique and memorable statements, whether in his lyrics, paintings or with his eyewear. Paired with a suit, this look is perfectly in line with his personality: a little classic, a little eccentric, and always on point.
eyewear: Tom Ford
notes: Klarisse is amping up her look this summer with these “Nastasya” cat eye sunglasses from Tom Ford. The look is futuristic yet retro, with metal detailing across the top that flares out into dramatic, winged temples. The silver frame and mirrored lenses add a luxurious sheen. Made in Italy, these shades aren’t for the faint of heart. Case in point: they’re worn by the supervillain “Viper” in the 2013 film, The Wolverine.
eyewear: Sama Eyewear
notes: We photographed Faraz in these Sama Eyewear frames while he was visiting Toronto from San Francisco. The West Coast spirit is alive and well in these “Club 54″ sunglasses, with its laidback vibe and bold, sweeping curves that bring to mind the lapping waves of the Pacific Ocean. Handcrafted from Japanese acetate (slow-cured for strength and durability), these frames feature a matte black colour on the front, and an abstract tortoiseshell print on the sides.
As with every Sama Eyewear purchase, a portion of every sale goes to the Sam Vance Foundation – a non-profit organization that assists young addicts on the road to recovery. The foundation is named after the son of Sama Eyewear founder Sheila Vance, who lost his life to drugs in 1997.
eyewear: Lunettes Kollektion
notes: “I choose this pair of glasses because of its boldness,” says Maxime, optician at Voskins Lunettiere in Montreal. ”I like its round shape and because these are the type of glasses that will make people stop you in the street to give compliments.”
Handmade in Germany at a small, family-run factory, these “Bon Vivant” frames from Berlin-based Lunettes Kollektion merge old-time craftsmanship with modern design. Using acetate from Mazzucchelli – a company that has been producing wood and cotton fibre acetates since the 1840s – these frames drew inspiration from the classic round eyeglasses worn by the likes of John Lennon and Sigmund Freud. The flat-top bar and nose bridge bring to mind European car culture, while the thick temples and arms add flair. Maxime chose a dark tortoise colorway for his sunglasses, which are designed as unisex frames. Laidback yet aggressive, these small-batch specs don’t have to fish too hard to get that compliment.