Even the most conservative blokes tend to agree that sunglasses are an approachable prism through which to channel a little personal style. Given that July typically represents the height of the Hong Kong summer; it’s an apt time for every man — be he fashion maven or no-nonsense professional — to upgrade their signature eyewear. And while much of the apparel that classic menswear devotees buy revolves around “rules” — the endless technical nitty-gritty that we know and love — picking the right sunglasses is an altogether more impressionistic affair. Here are six distinctive pairs that we love.
Translucent frames have always been a favourite amongst eyewear cognoscenti; and this striking trend looks to have resonated over the past several years with brands big and small. Kirk Originals’ 500E — designed in conjunction with Overfinch — is a handsome example: combining smoky grey acetate frames (made of natural resin) with sterling silver decoration that is subtly tucked away on the left temple tip. Wear yours with raw denim whilst navigating off-road 4WD trails.
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Nackymade is a collaborative effort between husband & wife duo Naoki and Tomoko Nakagawa. Operating out of Kobe, the designer couple are renowned for their irreverent silhouettes — Naoki is especially partial to novelty arms. While the duo visit Hong Kong to take bespoke orders several times a year, their RTW designs are equally commendable. The “Taka” for instance combines a comfortable keyhole bridge with rounded lenses and Nackymade’s signature curved pin hinge: making for sunglasses that are durable, versatile, and chock full of timeless appeal.
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For wearers really looking to put the “statement” in statement eyewear, Tom Ford remains the unequivocal gold standard. This season’s “Bachardy” aviators — manufactured by Veneto-based Marcolin group — are bound to leave an impression: channeling gleeful 80s excess with their tinted green lenses, tortoiseshell acetate and signature “T” detailing. For maximum visual impact, we recommend dressing these down with soft tailoring in warm tonal hues.
Shop from Mr Porter.
This season’s newest eyewear releases from Ermenegildo Zegna sit somewhere between Ottomila and Ray-Ban. In particular, their lightweight rounded sunglasses in gold metal reference a number of popular aesthetic queues: incorporating an aviator-style double bridge; and smoked grey lenses. To give their sunglasses a signature twist, the storied suiting behemoth has decorated this pair’s temple tips with vicuna — a camelid textile which Zegna has long used in its RTW collections.
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Championing technical innovation and thoughtful manufacturing processes, it’s no wonder that Mykita have earned a loyal following amongst design heads and other creative types. One of their signature styles is the Bilimbi: a simple streamlined frame made using mixed media (i.e. lightweight stainless steel reinforced with laser sintered mylon) and the house’s proprietary spiral hinge. Among the most dynamic sunglasses on the market, the experience of putting these on is enough to convert even the most ardent skeptic. Light, flexible and liberatingly comfortable, to wear Mykita is to embrace the future.
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Among the most famous sunglasses ever produced, the Persol 714s — often nicknamed “Steve McQueen Persols” — are a testament to the power of cinema. Notably sported by every-man-and-his-dog’s favourite style icon Steve McQueen in the 1999 film “The Thomas Crown Affair”, the 714’s major design plaudit is its foldable construction: a feature requiring these sunglasses to undergo 10 manufacturing steps more than their non-foldable counterpart. Though its popularity waxes and wanes with the decades, it’s hard to imagine another Persol design that is as much at home with three piece tailoring as it is a leather A-1.
Shop from Mr Porter.