By Heath Brown, 23.07.12
There are many must-haves that come in and out of fashion but the latest is a classic favourite that will see you through years of undulating trends – a pair of Linda Farrow luxe sunglasses: supremely covetable, made to perfection in the most luxurious materials together with their gloriously opulent cases of leather and velvet.
The history of the brand goes back some 40 years. Stylish sunglasses have somewhat a limited history , having been considered merely functional for most of the 20th century. However, in 1970 a new wave of fashion shades came into being, spearheaded by Linda Farrow, the pioneer of stylish sunnies and groovy goggles.
This former fashion designer became the first to treat sunglasses as fashion and not just as eye protection. Farrow gave the practical a feminine twist and merged design and style with utility and functionality. Her iconic designs fast became must-have accessories for swinging London and the international jet-set, as Linda Farrow became the name for stylish sunglasses. She even produced eye-catching eyewear for fashion houses such as Balenciaga, Emilio Pucci and Yves St Laurent. Celebs and pop-stars loved the new looks – her avant-garde wraparounds became part of Yoko Ono’s signature style.
However, in the 1980s Farrow decided it was time to concentrate on her family and put her design skills on hold. All was left forgotten until 2003, when her son, Simon Jablon, and his partner Tracy Sedino, discovered a back catalogue of over 2,000 sunglasses in a storage warehouse they were clearing out. “We were opening up box after box of amazing creations,” says Simon. “I always knew the vintage archive existed, but I hadn’t grasped the level of creativity and the value of my mother’s work—it was just mum’s stuff.” Seeing how current these retro treasures were they decided to launch Linda Farrow Vintage and share the old with the new generation.
Without much effort these vintage finds soon became popular with modern-day celebrities and style-setters, including Lady Gaga, Madonna and Lenny Kravitz from the music world and film stars such as Sienna Miller and Maggie Gyllenhaal. With their vintage finds a rarity the new company collaborated with current designers at Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang, Dries Van Noten and Agent Provocateur, developing concepts and creating new designs from old. Latest collaborations are with Matthew Williamson, The Row and Charlotte Olympia, available from Matches.
Today Linda Farrow is a contemporary brand renowned for luxurious, vintage-inspired sunglasses, its collaborations with famous designers and an accessory brand that is a must have for all those in the know. Luxury is the keyword too with materials such as python skin and 18 carat gold used, all presented in a signature leather coffer. So cool – so luxurious.