June 02 2011
John Lewis’s much-vaunted fashion upgrade is nothing if not individualist. For a mid-level, store it likes to do the unexpected, quite rightly, and often chooses new names or unobvious links for its keenly awaited designer tie-ups. As a nationwide chain, it also realises the value of limited editions, and most of its designer capsules are in short-lived supply.
All this applies to the eight styles of very reasonably priced (£65-£85) designer sunglasses that go into 11 stores and online on June 4. Two of the four young British design brands involved have not designed sunglasses commercially before, but all have their own distinctive styles, which shine through in designs set to appeal to a wide cast of characters. The fan of understated glamour will enjoy shoe designer Beatrix Ong’s fine-framed, oversized black style or her large gold-colour-framed aviators (first picture). The cool will go for retro TV-shaped frames with a shadow stripe (fourth picture) or very fine-framed aviators by self-confessed sunglasses addict Todd Lynn – both designed for men.
Tatty Devine’s styles are as kooky as its jewellery – based on a 1950s bow-cum-cat’s-eye shape that’s designed to look as good pushed back on the head as when keeping out the sun, they come in bold red and white polka dots, strictly for extraverts, or in plain black (third picture). Eley Kishimoto’s designs are quirky yet sophisticated (and would look great with its distinctive prints) – a glamorous, black oversized style with subtly spotted arms, and a sporty, 1970s-inspired pair reminiscent of Wayfarers, in white with red trim (second picture). All very distinctive, but in small enough quantities (from 100 to 250 pairs of each design) to avoid the threat of finding that your best friend has them too.