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Shady business: 5 cult sunglass brands to check out

Just like denim and sneakers, some sunglasses have received more attention in the style department than the others. And if you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary, look no further than these cult sunglass brands.

But the world of eyewear is so much more than that, and as an extension of your personality, it’s imperative you choose your shades wisely. Unlike those from the more mainstream brands, these sunglasses pay equal focus to form and function. Their designers’ long history and dedication towards the craft also means that you know that you’re not getting a pair of run-of-the-mill, factory-made shades that lacks character. You can also be assured of good quality sunglasses that won’t fall apart after you’ve worn them just a few times.

Here, we give you a rundown of five cult sunglass brands you’ll need to ace the frame game. From Quay Australia’s edgy, hipster-worthy designs, to Oliver Peoples’ vintage-inspired frames — which have been spotted on the likes of Angelina Jolie and Jay Z — these shades are just what you need this summer.

Cutler and Gross

While Cutler and Gross combines the best of Italian craftsmanship and British sartorial dandy, it also prides itself on the little imperfections that make its handcrafted sunglasses so covetable to those who value individuality — tiny inaccuracies, raw plastic edges and pins lend character to every single pair. The brand has been around since 1969, and each design is uniquely numbered and without ostentatious branding.

Pictured: 0734 in Crystal, S$543

Oliver Peoples

Oliver Peoples started off as a humble store along Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard selling vintage American eyewear from auctions, but it wasn’t long before it launched its own range, and the rest was history. Now, it counts Robert Downey Jr and Jay Z as clientele, and is best known for its vintage-inspired men’s frames, each kept minimalist with subtle branding.

Pictured: Gregory Peck 47 Sun in Matte Black, at selected retailers only

Quay Australia

If blending in isn’t your thing, this sunglass brand will surely tickle your fancy with its non-conforming range. Oversized frames are its signature, but its other playful and often edgy designs are also extremely popular with the free-spirited new age hippies of today. Great for adding a bit of Melbourne flair to your countless adventures, from the beach to music festivals around the world.

Pictured: All My Love in Gold/Purple-Pink, S$64


New Yorkers have always been known to be incredibly chic, so if you’re looking for a bit of help in the eyewear department, Moscot may be your answer to that refined downtown aesthetic the city is known for. Armed with more than a century’s worth of optical expertise, the brand feels familiar in its approach — much like a neighbourhood optical shop, but with great attention to detail and a timeless array of designs.

Pictured: Yukel Sun in Burnt Tortoise/Gold, S$419


Established by Guiseppe Ratti — a photographer and owner of Berry Opticians — in 1917, Persol started out as a brand catering to the needs of pilots and sports drivers who needed protection, comfort and optimum vision during their endeavours. The Silver Arrow, the brand’s unmistakable symbol on the hinges of the sunglasses, was inspired by the swords of ancient warriors, and is now a patent that is internationally recognised. Steve McQueen even wore the 714s in the Thomas Crown Affair (featured image) and obviously, those have remained the brand’s most iconic model since.

Pictured: 649 Series — PO3113S in 1025-56

Shatricia Nair
Managing Editor
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.