Persol and Steve McQueen are a pair of intertwined brands, so when it was announced some time ago that there would be a limited edition pair of the original folding Persol sunglasses with a Steve McQueen endorsement, fans couldn't wait to obtain a pair.
Unlike many celebrity endorsed products today, Steve McQueen was actually a fan of Persol and sported many of their designs both on and off screen. Famous photos in Life, Harpers Bazaar and newspapers all showed him in his favourite brand. To fans this made obtaining a pair of the new release even more of a must have. As these were what McQueen wore and loved and wasn't just paid to endorse.
When these arrived on my desk I didn't quite know if they would work for me, they are undeniably retro. With there "Havana" frames and gradient blue lenses. The folding mechanism is the icon that made Persol stand out in the 60s and it is still a curios today. Having been a Tom Ford sunglasses fan for nearly a decade, I struggled with the idea of such a departure from my usual style.
They are a weighty pair of sunglasses, with such an intricate folding design it's nice to have a bit of reassuring weight to them. Be prepared, however, for some serious nasal dents though.
The folding design does through up one daily problem. You will be constantly cleaning the lenses, no matter what method of opening and closing you use, the lenses just attract fingerprints and smudges. So always have a lens cloth handy.
The glasses come in a nicely made leather case, embossed with Persol and Steve McQueen™. The case does however seem a little small for the glasses. No matter what style of origami you attempt, they always seem to be spilling out of the case or misshaping the case flap.
These are a very unusual pair of glasses and ones that stand out from the crowd by being classic rather than ostentatious. The Steve McQueen connection undoubtedly makes them more elusive and rare, so be prepared to pay a premium even for second hand ones. Prices are constantly on the rise so for a pair new, still in there box be prepared to pay around £350, second hand in a box around £250. They are a style icon that does have people doing a second-take of you as you pass by.