Sunglasses are the cornerstone of cool — and that’s an empirical fact. Slip on a pair of well-crafted, well-coloured shades and you’ll immediately feel funkier; more sophisticated, suave and polished. You’ll stand a little taller, walk with a little more confidence and see the world through rose, gold, blue — or whatever tinted sunglasses you choose.
The effect of these vivid, vibrant lenses is proven. Just look at Brad Pitt’s blood-red Oliver Peoples sunglasses in Fight Club. Or Johnny Depp’s sickly yellow Ray-Ban Shooters in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Or any number of Robert Downey Jr’s techy specs during his marvellous tenure as Tony Stark. These statement, signature sunglasses helped create the allure of these characters — and they could do the same for you.
Because custom-tint sunglasses are no longer the preserve of film stars. Today, brands from Moscot to Ray-Ban have introduced bespoke, colourful services for customers — allowing us to tailor our own tints and create a statement, signature accessory for summer.
So how does it work? In the case of Moscot — the five-generation, family-owned eyewear brand based in New York City — customers are invited to choose their favourite frames, and select one of 20 different lens colours. The evocative options including ‘Limelight’, ‘Candy Corn’, ‘Westside Sunset’ and ‘Big Apple Fade’.
Then, each of the lenses are dip-dyed in your chosen handmade custom colour, making each individual pair of sunglasses a unique, distinct creation. The brand has been cooking up these custom sunglasses for decades; fourth-generation craftsman Harvey Moscot’s first job in the family business was a lens-dipper in the lab.
And each colour, Moscot says, has its own benefits. Some are solely stylish, but if you opt for brown lenses, these will provide contrast and minimise eye strain. Yellow works best for object definition, amber sharpens distant objects and vermillion lenses will improve colour perception and contrast is low light.
Never far behind, Ray-Ban are also close to Moscot on the custom curve. The American-Italian brand recently launched its ‘Remix’ service — giving fashionistas and frame aficionados the alike chance to create a singular pair of shades. You can tailor the temples, frames, monograms and, most importantly, the colour of the lenses.
There are over 3,000 combinations possible, with over 149 different lens types available to choose from. And, while you’ll have fun testing out every colour from grey to green, the real draw here is the lens type rather than the colour. On top of choosing your signature shade, you’ll also be able to decide whether your lenses are standard, gradient, mirrored or polarised.
Of course, if you’re really looking to stand out this summer, you could always approach a slightly smaller brand — but one that can create completely custom lenses for your sunglasses. In the same way that Bentley will whip up any colour paint for your Mulliner Bentayga, or Savile Row tailors will source and stitch up any shade of suiting material you choose, Johann Wolff will mix you a custom tint — for no extra cost.
The German brand is inspired by slick Miami design, and offers a clutch of colours as standard — including ‘Burnt Yellow’ and ‘Ruby Rose’. But, if you’re looking for a particularly special colour, all you must do is drop them a line, provide your perfect shade — and you’ll have a truly one-of-a-kind pair of frames to see you all the way through summer.
This way, whether you want your new sunglasses to pair perfectly with your favourite summer shirt, your best baseball cap — or even your prized motor — you’ll have the most co-ordinated, colourful accessory in your social circle. So get creating; because custom-tints are the new summer status symbol…
Want more accessory advice? Forget signet rings. You should be wearing custom cufflinks…
Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.