100 years of Persol, the iconic Italian sunglasses

To mark their centenary, the heritage eyewear brand has launched a limited run of 200 numbered pieces

Few names in fashion are so synonymous with the effortlessly cool style of yesteryear than Persol. A long standing icon of designer eyewear, Persol (short for ‘per-il-sole’ or ‘for the sun’) has adorned the famous faces of politicians, stars of the silver screen and rock and roll legends alike: a wardrobe hero that has stood the test of time.

The story of Persol has always been one of iconic excellence and this year sees the brand is celebrating it’s centenary.

Sport and the military have long been sighted as two of the greatest influences in menswear and the story of Persol is another example of this. As necessity is so often the mother of invention, it was in 1917 when the Italian optician and photographer Giuseppe Ratti began manufacturing the Protector goggles designed for Italian aviation pilots in a small courtyard in Via Caboto, designed to satisfy the needs of pilots and sports car drivers alike who required comfort, protection and optimum vision and thus the Protector was born.

Persol has adorned the famous faces of politicians, stars of the silver screen and rock and roll legends alike

Fast forward 40 years to the launch of the now world renowned 649 model in 1957 when the updated model propelled its way to iconic status when Steve McQueen wore them in the acclaimed “The Thomas Crown Affair” and then in his private life.

To mark 100 years of Persol the brand have created a limited edition run of just 200 numbered pieces, each one a testament to Italian craftsmanship.

The special handmade design includes the famous arrow – luxuriously made of 18-carat gold – embellished with details such as the ‘750 gold’ marking on the arrow, the Persol centennial date and the Limited Edition certification engraved in gold on the inside of the temples; these exceptional glasses offer their wearer the chance to be a part of the brands storied history, whilst simultaneously looking forward to the next chapter.

Today, more than ever, Persol is an ongoing story – its future no doubt will continue to be fuelled by innovative new ideas and a renewed sense of passion. Here’s to the next 100 years of Persol.

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