Craig Nelson

Craig picked up these vintage sunglasses at a thrift store in Miami and knew he had to snap them up. These oval, gold-rimmed frames feature a super straight nose-bridge and squared-off temples. Notice the cut-out detailing in the temples, as well as how they almost sit detached from the rest of the frame.

These sunglasses draw influence from mod culture and steampunk style, and are reminiscent of vintage Fendi and Versace frames from the 60s and 70s. With their unique look and construction, they’re definitely one to add to Craig’s collection.

Ambrosius Smets

When we met Ambrosius Smets the other week in Antwerp, it was as if our random rendezvous was meant to be. We walked into his oh-so-delightful accessories shop, Made by Hand, and immediately noticed his sharp, monochromatic style – and those big, can’t-look-away glasses. Ambrosius found these vintage Rodenstock frames at a market in Brussels, hidden among tables and tables full of dead-stock specs. The large, “bug-eyed” shape and brown-hued “Tabac” color are staples of 1970s and 80s design. This pair, believed to be the “E584” model, was first released in the early 80s, and features the company’s “Rodaflex” spring hinges, which were quite innovative at the time.

Ambrosius loves big chunky glasses and has multiple pairs of vintage frames in his collection. When he found these frames, the prescription inside was an exact match to his! Like we said – it was all meant to be.


Talk about a pair of funky frames! Khyal picked up these vintage specs from a small shop in Paris, and fell in love with their casino-inspired styling. A big eyewear fan, Khyal was looking for something fun and whimsical to add to her collection. These plastic frames were made in France and feature narrow oval lenses that stretch across to the temples. Taking inspiration from Las Vegas and rhinestones, hand-painted white dots line the top and bottom of the frames, for a billboard-worthy impression. These glasses aren’t for everyone, but with a little bit of humour – and a dash of fashion fearlessness – Khyal manages to pull it all off!


Karl Heine

We photographed Karl in these vintage Tura frames from the 1950s. These aluminum frames featured wide, rectangular lenses, a rounded nose-bridge, and thick, motor-inspired temples that were indicative of men’s glasses from that time. Tura is actually the company that first patented aluminum frames, bringing them to market in 1947.

Originally sold out of a dispensary on Madison Avenue in New York, Tura glasses were marketed as both “medical necessity and fashion accessory.” Their frames would often come packaged with jewelry for women, and matching cufflinks for men. Karl found this pair at Fabulous Franny’s on the Lower East Side.

Maris Stella Kiener Ford

We spotted Maris Stella in a pair of vintage Cartier “Conquête” frames that originally belonged to her grandmother. Purchased by her grandmother as reading glasses, Maris Stella had them converted into sunglasses shortly after inheriting them.

This glamorous and elegant model dates back to the early 90s, and was only produced in a limited run, making it one of the hardest vintage Cartier frames to find. Each pair is engraved with an individual serial number, and engraved Cartier gold plaque at the end of the temples. Handcrafted in France, the frames are made from acetate and nickel copper alloy. We love how the bright gold is set against a more muted black tone, giving off a tiered effect. The shape may be retro, but paired with her pink lips and statement Celine bag, Maris Stella brings it out of the 90s and thoroughly into 2014.

Carole Sabas

Writer Carole Sabas wanted something that matched her obsession with Terry Richardson, and while the Moscots were too big and Balenciaga didn’t quite fit, these vintage YSL frames proved to be just right. Creator of the popular “Fashion Guides” series, Carole found these 80s, aviator-style frames at Parisian boutique Marc Le Bihan. In related news, Carole recently collaborated with Oliver Peoples on a pair of rainbow-coloured sunglasses, inspired by her love of LA and the eyewear brand’s Wayfarer-style “Braverman” frames. The collaboration is also available at Marc Le Bihan – proof that the writer, and the store, have great taste in glasses.

Jamal Johnson

We spotted Jamal Johnson at a party in Miami’s Design District during Art Basel 2013, and couldn’t help but notice his glasses. Jamal found these vintage “Annabella Offshore” frames on eBay and fell in love with their unique shape and details. The frames are made of wood, with screws made from real gold. The details extend to the rest of the frames too: notice the studded detailing of the contrast-colour nose bridge, and the beautiful wood grain that runs down the arms.

“Annabella Offshore” was a popular Italian brand in the 70s and 80s, known for their craftsmanship and timeworn design sensibilities. These glasses – which likely date back to the early 80s – reveal the fine art of hand-making frames in all its glory… How appropriate for Art Basel!

Sharad Mohan

Who says sunglasses are reserved for summer? Blogger Sharad Mohan‘s vintage shades look just as cool on the street in the fall, paired with an oversized scarf and patterned sweater. Sharad found these Clubmaster-like frames during a trip to Montreal and promptly added them to his collection of sunglasses.

These vintage specs features a slimmer and more compact shape than similar glasses that have this style. We love the contrast between the rounded black top and the silver rims, not to mention the winged temple. The etched detailing on the arms adds texture and a subtle, yet ornate touch.

Rachel Lissner

Rachel is the second person to own these fun and funky vintage frames, which she bought on Etsy. The first person to own the specs? The seller’s grandmother.

These cat-eye “Marine”-brand frames are the perfect accent to Rachel’s retro and whimsical sense of style, with their triangular rims and brow-line detail. Handmade in the USA, these glasses date back to the late 1940s and early 50s, with art deco-inspired styling and a mix of aluminum and plastic construction. Rachel has always had black glasses and wanted to stay with a classic look while having something that jazzed up her style. This pair definitely fits the look – and fits the bill!

Alice Reddick

Alice’s vintage glasses are reminiscent of plastic Cazal or Christian Dior frames from the 1970s and 80s, with their extra-large rounded shape, high bridge and translucent finish. Alice got this pair from Black Market in Toronto and liked that they were “gigantic enough” that she could see right through them, without noticing the edges of the frames. Normally a fan of black, Alice also liked the earthy brown tone of these specs, which also hark back to the 70s and 80s influence.

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