20 pairs of glasses at the pinnacle of luxury
Sometimes seen as a new Eldorado of luxury, designer glasses are often an ‘affordable’ first step into the couture world. A good health insurance plan will generally cover the most expensive models. We’ve rounded up a selection of 20 designs at the very top end of the price range.
Designer glasses are apparently the best-selling product in the luxury market, itself worth several billion dollars. Not able to buy themselves a Lady Dior handbag, some people satisfy their desire for luxury with a pair of glasses from the famous French label. The biggest couture houses have understood that for some people, buying a pair of glasses is a point of entry into a world normally reserved for those with the biggest cheque books. A pair with a logo on the side has become a more affordable alternative to a ‘simple’ €900 Gucci t-shirt .
Luxury: everyone has their own definition
There’s no one-size-fits-all definition of luxury as everyone has their own idea of what it means. That said, these three definitions will help give an idea why we chose this selection. Luxury could be thought of as ‘a relatively costly pleasure that one wants but doesn’t really need’, something ‘out of the ordinary that brings us pleasure’ or even a ‘lifestyle characterised by expense’. It’s impossible to generalise when talking about what is expensive as this idea is different to each person, their wealth and their lifestyle. So, to try and reach some consensus over the definition of ‘luxury’, we could turn it on its head and think of describing something as ‘no unnecessary luxury’, an idea that contrasts a necessity with the superfluous nature of luxury.
1. Square Elton John sunglasses — Gucci, €1000
The Swarovski crystals in this frame are set by hand, alternating with tiny studs to give these oversized glasses from the Elton John collection with their orange-tinted lenses, a sparklingly pop look.
2. Crystal oval sunglasses — Gucci, €1000
These Hollywood Forever sunglasses are also adorned with Swarovski crystals. The rounded edges and the contrasting colors give depth to these geometric frames while the end pieces of the arms are designed to allow the glasses to be worn around the neck with a twill ribbon.
3. CATSTYLEDIOR1S glasses — Dior, €1200
Seen on the Fall/Winter 2019 runway, the CatStyleDior1S sunglasses sparkle with the light of 1000 hand-applied Swarovski crystals the color of the aurora borealis. What’s more, the butterfly shape gives a very vintage, Fifties feel to these frames.
4. Antibes limited edition glasses, — Tom Ford, $1950
Inspired by the Fall/Winter 2019 show, Tom Ford’s Antibes glasses are incrusted with 292 Swarovski crystals, each delicately set by hand by craftsmen
5. Winter gold-plated, limited edition glasses — Tom Ford, $1950
An edition worth its weight in gold, the Winter model from Tom Ford shines with 18-carat gold plating.
6. Tom N.16 glasses — Tom ford, $1450
The Tom Ford private collection is an edition of frames inspired by the designs that the designer himself wears every day, made from materials including leather and gold plate.
7. Month Frame May 2018 / Anthracite glasses — Lucas de Staël, €1800
Depending on how the wearer uses these Paris-made glasses, the leather and shagreen on these frames will patinate over time.
8. Blitz / Whisky glasses — Lucas de Staël, €820
These glasses are the result of a collaboration between Blitz Motorcycles, a customization garage in Paris, and Lucas de Staël made with equal parts love, nature and craftsmanship.
9. 1.1 MILLIONNAIRES sunglasses — Louis Vuitton, €585
A label instantly recognizable all over the world thanks to its famous Monogram logo, Louis Vuitton took inspiration from the designs worn by Al Capone in Chicago for the 1.1 Millionaires sunglasses, an idea that came from the house’s creative director of menswear, Virgil Abloh.
10. LV Precious sunglasses — Louis Vuitton, €1750
Attention all collectors, these oversized aviators are for you. White gold-plated frames engraved with the Monogram motif and platinum-coated lenses are crowned by Swarovski crystals in this Louis Vuitton design.
11. Trinity sunglasses — Cartier, €890
These Cartier cat-eye sunglasses are as feminine as they are refined. The hand-polished arms with their three intertwined rings are the perfect demonstration of Cartier craftsmanship.
12. Santos sunglasses — Cartier, €2160
With white horn arms and gold-finished metal, Cartier’s Santos sunglasses were made to be seen. They were created in tribute to renowned aviator Santos Dumont using the Santos screws found on the watch of the same name.
13. Paris cat jewelry sunglasses — Balenciaga, $1320
Once again, with the finest attention to detail, the crystals on these Balenciaga sunglasses were delicately placed by hand while an oversized form gives these frames their unique charm.
14. GV Shower sunglasses — Givenchy, €690
The silver-finish metal frames studded with grey and white Swarovski crystals on the bridge and the white crystal fringes on the arms might make us forget the price of these frames made of 70% crystal.
15. Manière limited edition glasses — MIU MIU, €535
These glasses adorned with crystal pearls come with their own gold chain and gingham fabric. But don’t wait too long, these are a limited edition.
16. Decade-two limited edition glasses — Dita, €1,200
To celebrate their 20th anniversary, Dita has delved into their archives to bring back one of their classic models: the Decade-two. Only 1000 pieces of this limited-edition pair were originally produced across the world. The titanium frames are made in Japan and plated with 18-carat gold.
17. Mach-seven glasses — Dita, €750
Dita’s Mach-seven model is a celebration of craftsmanship with delicate details like its made-to-measure hinges with a design that takes inspiration from the world of motorcar racing.
18. Handmade sunglasses — Dolce & Gabbana, €800
These men’s sunglasses pair glamour with practicality with their innovative folding mechanism. They’re made by hand in Italy (of course).
19. Crystals’ rain sunglasses — Dolce & Gabbana €2,500
The most expensive glasses in our selection, this D&G model described by the house as a ‘true masterpiece’ is adorned with crystals that create a cascade of light.
20. Mambo sunglasses — Dolce & Gabbana, €1,950
“Hey, mambo, mambo Italiano.” The perfect song to share its name with these glasses from the Sicilian label. A dose of eccentricity, rose gold frames and an exquisite attention to detail make these one of the most distinctive designs from Dolce & Gabbana.