Steve McQueen is quite an icon of that most intangible and subjective quality commonly referred to as “cool”. He had that rare ability to portray real rugged manliness no matter what you dressed him in, equally at home in his Belstaff sat astride his trail bike or charging around San Francisco wearing a sharp blue suit in his Mustang. Persol Sunglasses were good enough for Steve, so they are good enough for me.
The Persol company was founded in Agordo, Italy in 1917 to manufacture fine quality optical frames and lenses. Their inimitable style has seen them become the choice of movie stars from the Rat Pack onwards, their roots evoking visions of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra drinking Champagne whilst larking around with a speedboat on Lake Como with a bevy of swimwear clad beauties. It is from these lofty origins that they have made their way through the decades to become the sunglasses of choice for a bald man from middle England.
My Persol glasses have been with me for around 6 years now, I bought them second hand for a very good price and have never felt the need to change them or look at other styles. They have accompanied me to such glamorous places as Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, California, New York, Barcelona, Berlin and Manchester (ok so maybe Manchester lacks a certain je ne sais quas), and have never let me down. This combination of style and reliability is irresistible in an accessory like sunglasses.
I did not know this when I purchased my sunglasses but a little rudimentary research lead me to find out a couple of interesting things about my particular favoured type of Persol sunglasses. Firstly, they were discontinued in 2010, despite being one of the companies major sellers, and I cannot find out why. Secondly, they were worn in the movie “A History Of Violence” by Hollywood tough guy Ed Harris and were apparently much sought after due to this silver screen appearance.
The frames are elegantly styled, as are just about all Persol frames, hand made in Italy and feature Persols much lauded crystal lenses offering maximum UV protection for your eyes. I add them to my FWA list as they must literally be the 100th pair of sunglasses that I have owned in my adult life and they are the first that actually look ok on my giant bald head, add this to the timeless styling and the build quality and I believe you have a winner.