As the first flickers of sunshine are starting to show and we find ourselves daydreaming about booking flights to far-flung beaches, we’re fairly certain that sunglasses season has arrived. And just in time too… Because we’re delighted to announce that we’ve teamed up with fellow British brand Cubitts to create our very own limited edition collection of sunglasses.
There are five sunglasses across three silhouettes, each named after a building in our factory in Long Eaton, Nottinghamshire. Crafted with Cubitts’ usual mix of modern technology and traditional methods, the frames are constructed from premium cellulose acetate from Northern Italy and high grade metals, with Zeiss lenses that are individually cut and glazed for each frame.
Other subtle but beautiful design details include Cubitts’ signature ‘butterfly pin’ structural rivets that are based on the industrial architecture of King’s Cross, a custom metal core that allows the sunglasses to be adjusted for the perfect fit, and temple tips complete with inlaid miniature Sunspel and Cubitts logos.
Five Things You Never Knew About Sunglasses
2. The earliest historical reference to sunglasses dates back to ancient China. In the 12th Century, or possibly even earlier, the Chinese made glasses with lenses cut from flat panes of smoky quartz. Another early reference includes the Roman emperor Nero watching gladiator fights through polished gems.
3. An optician and maker of scientific instruments named James Ayscough first introduced spectacles with coloured lenses to Britain from his workshop in Ludgate Street, London. His tinted lenses are generally believed to be the precursors to modern sunglasses. These were created only shortly after Edward Scarlett made the world’s first pair of spectacles in 1727, in Soho, London.
4. The Venetians often wore an early prototype of sunglasses, with green tinted lenses to protect them from the sun’s reflection on the lagoon. These were popularised by a famous actor and theatre manager named Goldoni, which makes it arguably the first ever instance of a celebrity endorsed eyewear style.
5. Sunglasses in their modern form began becoming fashionable in the 1920s, mostly thanks to their popularity with the movie stars of the day. While most people believed it was a way to conceal their identities in public, it may also have been to hide the bloodshot eyes that filming with the very bright arc lamps caused. Whatever the true reason, celebrities and their sunglasses are still inseparable to this day.