Wednesday, 15 July 2015
Per il Sole
Persol's 714 model of sunglasses — textbook timeless classic — was introduced in the 1960s with an innovative hinged bridge and arms so that they could be packed away compactly.
Persol was formed in 1917 by Giuseppe Ratti, taking the name from per il sole (for the sun). Positioned as a practical brand for work and sports, Ratti's glasses with their distinctive arrow symbol became well-known for their durability and protectiveness.
The 714 model was created for the streetcar drivers of Turin, but its popularity outgrew its original market. Steve McQueen added some to his growing Persol collection and helped popularize them by wearing a pair in The Thomas Crown Affair.
About the 714
Model 714 is produced in cotton-derived acetate with crystal lenses and has over 40 stages of production.
The acetate is created in one piece and then cut where the joins need to be. The frame is filed and polished by hand, then the hinges and lenses are hand-fitted.
O Sole Mio
Luxottica (who bought the Persol brand in 1995) has honoured Steve McQueen's association with the 714 by including his name on the recent reboot of the model, which is available in various frame/lens colour and size options, though Steve's signature model was 'light Havana with shaded blue polarized lenses'.
I went for the larger frame (54) in a brown lens, which you can see in the photos here.
I've evoked the poetic symbolism of the water lily below, opening and closing when the sun appears and disappears just like my Persol sunglasses. Or something like that.