The affordable luxury labels embracing eyewear
Fashionable without going overboard, effortlessly French in style, boho chic or full-on rock & roll… enterprising mid-range brands are increasingly moving into eyewear, much to the delight of millennials and other digital natives. Discover 11 affordable luxury eyewear frames.
As a ‘gateway’ to the very exclusive world of many famous fashion houses, glasses at the pinnacle of luxury remain the dream. However, there are some modern, urban and incredibly attractive brands shaking things up, enjoying undeniable success in ready-to-wear and must-have accessories.
What is ‘affordable luxury’?
Originating in 1980s America, the concept of ‘affordable luxury’ has carved out a place for itself between traditional luxury and fast fashion, spurred on by the success of French gems like Zadig&Voltaire, Sandro, Maje and The Kooples some 10 years later. In drawing on the best of both worlds, these brands have been able to cement their identity and unite those who value the eye-catching, creative and value for money. All brought about by campaigns designed to generate buzz, via targeted influencers and social posts.
Accessible luxury & eyewear
Unique designs, sharp storytelling and customers eager to express their personalities without falling prey to logomania; from ready-to-wear to eyewear, there was one step and that involved licenses with the biggest groups in the industry. After Paul & Joe with Seaport in 2009 and Zadig & Voltaire with De Rigo Vision in 2015, the contract signed in 2017 with Mondottica by the SMCP group for Sandro and Maje proved what potential there was for fast growth in accessories generally – and eyewear specifically.
1-PAUL & JOE EYEWEAR, DIVYA MODEL
This oh-so feminine and slightly retro design combining gold-tone metal and tortoiseshell acetate is a favorite of brand founder Sophie Mechaly and finished with a discreet butterfly. www.paulandjoe.com
2-BA&SH EYEWEAR, BA1050 MODEL
All elaborately engraved metal with colorful transparent details, these frames perfectly capture the ethno-chic spirit of the label created by Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief. www.ba-sh.com
3-ELEVENPARIS, CONCEPT EP44
Youthful and urban, the Elevenparis look can be felt in its refined yet quirky eyewear collection, where every detail counts – offset hinges, integrated rim clamps and laser-engraved logos included. www.elevenparis.com
4-ZADIG&VOLTAIRE EYEWEAR, VZV310 MODEL
Artistic Director Cecilia Bönström has reworked the brand’s distinctive brand of glam rock in these tortoiseshell Studs frames that feature metal arms strewn with studs. www.zadig-et-voltaire.com
5-IKKS, IK2602 MODEL
Incorporating acetate, a splash of ocean blue, brushed metal details, stainless steel arms and a laser engraved logo, the Windsor design from the Esprits Libres collection draws on the brand’s rebellious side. www.ikks.com
6-LIU JO EYEWEAR, LJ2753 MODEL
7-MAJE PARIS, MJ3017 MODEL
Among the on-trend frame shapes this season, the Parisian label has chosen to focus on the playful hexagon, these frames being complete with raised bridge, cut-out temple tips and an enamel logo plate – epitomizing the elegant, unpretentious, fun and mysterious Maje woman. www.maje.com
8-SANDRO, SD2031 MODEL
Complementing the F/W 21 ready-to-wear collection are these oversize and 70s-inspired square frames in olive green acetate. www.sandro-paris.com
9-BERENICE, BLONDIE MODEL
Nominated at the Silmo d’Or awards 2020, the Blondie frames truly embody the Bérénice look, their glittery look recalling the famous lurex knits and the elegant tone-on-tone rose gold imbuing them with subtle femininity. www.berenice.net
10-THE KOOPLES, ROCKABILLY MODEL
The label for cool couples has launched a collection of unisex shades they can share – alongside their taste in music; four pairs of shades for four different looks. Price: €175 from www.galerieslafayette.com
11-BALZAC PARIS, SIMONE MODEL
Committed to producing ever more responsible fashion since its inception, the label founded in 2014 has added a new eco-friendly material to its range in the form of organic acetate. Price: €195 from https://balzac-paris.fr/en/
Written by Eleanor Fullalove