Transform UV rays into renewable swag
Spyplane Sunglasses Week, Pt. I
The Sun, a.k.a. Ra, a.k.a. Helios: If we’ve gotta choose one pagan deity to bow down before & worship, we’re picking this MF all day. Some people would go so far as to say that the sun is the condition for, caretaker to, and inevitable obliterator of all life on earth… And, when push comes to shove, who are we to disagree?
AND YET in the annals of modern heliology, jawnz enthusiasts do not receive proper credit for harvesting and channeling the sun’s powerful rays into PURE RENEWABLE SWAG via “the original solar panels” — cool sunglasses.
That all changes now, because a recurring request we’ve gotten is to do a BLACKBIRD SPYPLANE SHADES GUIDE, and as our Intel Dossier of popping sunglasses grew larger & more unruly, bursting at the seams w/ the wealth of options out there, new and vintage, we decided to roll our findings into a full-on SPYPLANE SHADES WEEK.
On Thursday we R gonna dive deep into the swaggy corners of the vintage-shades realm, where we turned up some WILD HEAT, much of it costing PEANUTS.
Today ?? We are focused on some crispy … sparkling … NEW JOINTS.
And yes, we remain a 100% reader-supported masterpiece — none of the brands below give us “affiliate” kickbacks because our ONLY AFFILIATION is with YOU, the beautiful & blessed people out there in SPY NATION!! 🙂
A. Saint Laurent SL28s. These have been my (Jonah’s) go-to sunglasses since 2014. Yr boy has a LARGE HEAD containing a BIG BOISTEROUS FACE, whose divine proportions these shades interact with very harmoniously. They’re kind of like a “refined” Wayfarer, drained of any and all dusty Blues Brothers energy, but they are def not on the cutting edge of what the f**k is in vogue these days.
Which is fine by me: when U rock Mach 3+ jawnz for a living you know that not every component of a fit needs to spike yr heart rate, especially when it’s a component as hyper-potent as a pair of shades, which, as the only jawn that tweaks & teases people’s sense of what yr face looks like, can SWAY and even TOPPLE an entire look with its outsize impact.
B. The same Saint Laurent joints, but in a metal variant.
Here’s where things start to get SPICY —
C. Oakley are longstanding SUNGOATS for a reason: Among mass-market brands, they stand alone in their ability to totally scramble the line between “mainstream” and “avant garde.” And they pump out so many d*mn models, and take so many COMMENDABLY BIZARRE SWINGS, that at any given time, at least one of those models is having a moment. This Neo-from-the-Matrix-lookin’-a** pair is the Whisker…
D. … while this bugged-out Oakley that looks like a TRIPPY 3D ARMOR-PLATED BUTTERFLY is the Sub Zero, vintage versions of which go for like $900+ at resale BUT they just got a limited-edition reissue. They sold out pronto at the Oakley site but are still floating around elsewhere…
BTW if these or any other relatively more “outré” joints in today’s roundup strike you as “unmanageably sauced-out,” keep in mind that there is no better season than SUMMER to push yr comfort levels, sunglasses-wise, because it’s the official season of “cutting loose.”
Real talk, since 2020, ALL seasons have kinda been the season of “cutting loose.” Style timidity is at an all-time low, as it should be!!
Much the same advice you’d hear about working “loud socks” or “a loud tie” into an outfit applies to sunglasses: You can send an otherwise very restrained & minimalist ensemble into swag overdrive simply by putting on a pair of COMMANDINGLY OUTSPOKEN shades, and this is a beautiful thing.
Like, white tee + jeans + wild sunglasses = a Mach 3+ combo!! The math is in yr favor.
F. Very sick handmade Braindead joints — especially appealing to us in this variant, which jams together a “classic” “professorial” “quiet” tortoise frame with a VIBRANT blue reflective lens. (These come in other color combinations, too.)
G. Erin spotted this brand Clean Waves at L.A.’s Mohawk — their core design is a pair of blocky shades made from recycled fishing nets, on some ocean-tidying s**t.
H. We are highly into these understatedly GORPY “Meta” frames from longstanding French ski-slope shadesmiths Julbo…. utilitarian with panache, the way U want yr GORP to be.
I. And keeping it FRANÇAIS — but in a toned-down, Moscot-Lemtosh-reminiscent style — a chunkier counterpart to my Saint Laurent SL28s are these Lescas, hand-made in the sub-alpine Jura region… Carried in the US by the tasteful kings at No Man Walks Alone.
Not pictured— if I had $700 to burn (and if I didn’t lose sunglasses at a rate of ~1 per every 5 years) I’d consider some FANCY Jacques Marie Mage joints, designed in LA, made in Japan.
A. Call it “The Heidecker Principle”: Tim Heidecker is such a visually sensitive, anthropologically precise satirist that it is usually only a matter of time before WHATEVER he wears while making fun of various “types of guy” passes thru the “irony/sincerity” looking glass and turns out to go surprisingly hard in a non-comedic context. (Danny McBride has a similar comedy-to-swag-pipeline talent. We should explore this phenomenon in greater detail some time.) For the Ray-Ban Balorama wraparounds he wore during An Evening With Tim Heidecker — while pretending to be a bad stand-up doing a fantastically bad Jack Nicholson impression — it only took two years.
B. Another counterintuitively bussin’ Ray Ban wraparound is the Daddy-O II. Zoë Kravitz wore something very close to this (maybe a vintage Predator I?? I’d need my R-B archeologists to weigh in) very well in High Fidelity:
C. Simple & sleek nylon & titanium sport shades by District Vision x And Wander.
D. Another rounded-off pair of District Vision slappers, the Takeyoshi Altitude Masters, made in Japan.
E. SWEDISH SHADE INTERLUDE: Visiting Stockholm a few years ago, Erin sauntered into the Our Legacy Workshop and copped a pair of their archival “Bold” sunglasses in tortoise (one of many cool models OL makes, see below, along with Monokel) but recently her HUNGRY GAZE has been drifting toward Malmö, where Trés Bien’s house brand Sun Buddies operates, and whose unisex MIUCCIA shades (pictured) she is feeling, esp. in “sulfur.”
F. Over in Denmark take a look at FLATLIST, who whipped up these purple-lensed “Daze” shades in collaboration with a Yeezy stylist.
G. And we’re on-the-record-appreciators of the Italian-made Delta Lei from Alba, with its WILDLY RIPPLING PROFILE.
Other brands whose shades U gotta peepeth:
A. Tender Co. (handmade in England by an eccentric, slept-on jawn legend),
B. Illesteva (made in Italy), carried in the U.S. by Glasswing among others
C. Our Legacy, duh, what don’t they do well?
D. A Kind of Guise (handmade in Germany, with Zeiss lenses), very high-quality slappers carried in the U.S. by Today, among others
E. Dry Pond, a line we spotted at Mach 3+ Vancouver shop Neighbour
F. Monokel Eyewear, out of Sweden, who handcraft VERY DOPE unisex shades “from organic and fully biodegradable acetate.” Carried in the U.S. by Reliquary, among others.
G. Izipizi Paris, cheap characterful joints carried by the SpyFriends at Paloma
And we haven’t even TOUCHED on the fire vintage frames we found.
Those will hit the MF inbox in Thursday’s 😎 CLA$$IFIED-TIER-SUBSCRIBER sletter 😎
See you then — Jonah & Erin
Our “Master Jawn Index” — a running guide to earth’s greatest under-the-radar pieces and designers — is here. Check out our gem-stuffed Blackbird SpyMall, Cla$$ified SpyTalk chat room, and Profound Essay Archive, too.
Our interviews with Jerry Seinfeld, Tyler, The Creator, Emily Bode, Online Ceramics, Seth Rogen, André 3000, Nathan Fielder, Lorde, John Mayer, Danielle Haim, Daniel Arnold, Thomas Mars from Phoenix, Phoebe Bridgers, Michael Stipe, Héctor Bellerín, John Wilson, Rashida Jones, Hayley Williams, Ezra Koenig and more are HERE.