The Greats of Italian Sunglasses

Image courtesy of Geneva Vanderzeil

Italy is home to many of the world's most recognised and premium fashion houses and designers. The country is known for turning out the highest quality in fashion and design and having an influence on the industry that spreads across the world. Sunglasses are one aspect of fashion that Italy takes particularly seriously, and a high-end designer pair of sunglasses is one of the calling cards of sophistication in Italy. Sunglasses and eyewear have been important accessories in defining Italian style due to both the calibre of brands that design them as well as the fashion icons who have made them part of their signature style. Here's a look at some of the most iconic models of sunglasses.

Versace 4265

Versace has a wide collection of iconic sunglasses, but the famed 4265 edition is perhaps the most influential in the fashion world. These black frames with the signature gold Versace Medusa medallion on the sides had a big impact on the fashion scene - so much so that the company decided to re-release them recently.

Oliver Peoples MP-505

Oliver People is an eyewear line that came of age in the 1980s and was immediately featured on celebrities like Paul Smith. This line focuses on subtle, understated looks such as the MP-505, which was originally released in the late 1980s. It's one of the company's most celebrated frames and features tortoise shell frames with antique metal detailing.

Schiaparelli's Cat Eye

In addition to designing Oscar-winning costumes, dressing the stars and creating both perfume and jewelry lines, Elsa Schiaparelli produced a timeless collection of sunglasses that still inspire major fashion designers today. Her exaggerated cat-eye sunglasses are in a class of their own, and celebrities have worn versions of them as far back as the days of Audrey Hepburn.

Fendi 5227

Fendi makes exquisitely designed sunglasses that have a casual yet sophisticated style to them. The 5227 is a unique rectangular pair that gained instant notoriety in fashion circles. Fendi excels thanks to its authentic Italian handiwork and detailed finishing that result in high-end designer wear that never goes out of style.