June 15 2011
Lucia van der Post
Keeping up with trends in sunglasses is an alarmingly expensive and time-consuming business. Those who care about what Cate or Gwyneth or any of the usual suspects is wearing will be onto a losing wicket (and if you think nobody you know would be so daft, it’s worth noting that when Kate Moss, a few years back, wore a pair of Oliver People’s sunglasses, Heidi Klein, the Notting Hill boutique that caters for the St Barths set, sold out in 48 hours flat).
Nevertheless, if you are going anywhere near a boat this summer, sunglasses are essential, the light glancing off water and the gleaming yachts being of a particularly piercing kind. Let me draw your attention to a new name on the block. Finest Seven is a range put together by Jesse Stevens, a renowned figure in the industry as he’s been designing “eyewear” for everybody from Cutler and Gross to Oliver Goldsmith, Prada and many others for years. The notion behind his range and the reasons for the name is that there are seven key components to most sunglasses; what Stevens has done is to source each part from the finest ateliers.
Take the lenses; all are from Zeiss, the eminent maker of optical parts, and they come in three colourways. He uses the best Italian acetate, Mazzucchelli, for the frames, he sources vintage gold hinges, the metal frames are solid-coated in rose gold, yellow gold, white gold and rhodium (most frames are merely flash-coated). The cases are hand-stitched Spanish leather, the comfort and fit have been given much thought, while the aesthetic is simple and pared-down. Only 100 of each colourway are made. The full range (from £495 to £695) is stocked at Harvey Nichols.