Bit of a sales job here but an easy one for me. I got introduced to the Persol brand only a few months back and its one of those icons that as soon as you are aware of it, you notice how many other people are also wearing it.
Its a very subtle brand, which I like…one of those “if you have to ask…” type of marques. My partner in crime at 2oceansvibe radio Seth Rotherham has been wearing a set of Steve McQueen Editions for a couple of months now, having found himself on the advanced list of those receiving them and I have to admit he rocked them…there is something in retro that clearly works for the man.
The good news is us “laymen” can now also lay our hands on them too at Sunglass Hut.
The Steve McQueen Persols have that definitive ‘cool factor’ generated by the legendary actor and the fact that these were his favorite sunglasses. If it isn’t the magnificent retro style, or the fold up element of the sunglasses that wins you over, it surely is the fact that they are more than just a fashion accessory, these sunglasses made history!
A STAR IS BORN
It was 1968 when an already famous and charming Steve McQueen™ appeared on a motion picture set wearing for the first time the Persol PO 714 model. The film was The Thomas Crown Affair (directed by Norman Jewison) and elevated both Steve McQueen™, anti-hero by nature, and his sunglasses, inseparable allies in on-set adventures, to legendary status. McQueen™, a fan of the brand and the PO 714 model, owned a personal collection, and in 2006, one of his pieces was auctioned for approximately $70,000. Wearing Persol PO 714 off screen played a role in making them a legendary style icon. The indomitable and passionate, free spirited and offbeat actor said: “I don’t believe in that phony hero stuff”™ remaining true only to himself and his Persols.
Persol celebrates the actor by re-launching his favourite model in a limited edition of just 10,000 handmade pieces, to be sold worldwide. New PO 714 differs from the original version for a series of small but important details:
- the return of the blue lens – the favourite of Steve McQueen™ ;
- a folding closure at the back end of the temple arm – no longer top to bottom, but now from outside to inside;
- the Supreme Arrow, Persol’s distinctive mark, is the functional element enclosing the hinges. Here, it is mounted both on the temple arm and front of the frame – as in the classic model – as well as on the folding hinge and middle of the temple arm, with a total of four arrows. This design choice clearly accentuates the identity of a model that is already iconic;
- the Steve McQueen™ signature emblazons the inside of the temple arm as well as the elegant leather case.
PO 714 SM: WORKMANSHIP AND TECHNIQUE
The long and painstaking production of the special edition PO 714 SM must go through ten additional phases compared to the original model. The folding frame begins as a single piece of acetate, an then is broken at three points, on both sides and at the bridge. Housings are created in the upper and lower parts to accommodate the hinges, while all folding areas are filed till smooth. After fitting the core, the hinges are attached and the frames go through a finishing process to produce a seamless silhouette for maximum comfort. To top it off, each blue-tinted crystal lens is hand fit into a classic PO 714.
The color palette includes 3 versions, all in acetate with neutral glass lenses made from very pure silica: the model worn by Steve McQueen™ in light Havana with blue lenses (PO 714SM 96/56); Havana with honey lenses (PO 714SM 24/33), and black with grey smoke polarized lenses (PO 714SM 95/58).
Craftsmanship is on equal footing with technology in this model that offers a version with polarized lenses, a Persol exclusive that incorporates a polarizing filter into glass lenses, providing clear and well defined vision while blocking out reflected light. An icon is reborn in this limited edition, designed for those who appreciate its quintessential quality: true aficionados and collectors.