The Future is Bright Enough for Designer Shades

When Oakley introduced a pair of $4,000 shades back in November, it had the whole world questioning, “what recession?” But in fact, the frames are much more than just a showy display of bling. According to Colin Baden, chief executive of Oakley, which is owned by Luxottica Group, of Italy, “Rather than stitch a bunch of diamonds on them and say, ‘This is a pair of $4,000 sunglasses,’ we decided to put $4,000 worth of work into them.” And as such, the carbon fiber sunglasses use the same technology as Formula One racecars and require 96 hours of labor.

Surely it is a sign that the economic conditions of 2009 have not made us do away with luxury, but rather reevaluate the true meaning of luxury. Luxury is no longer about flashy logos, but is rather about quality and craftsmanship.

Along these lines, Dolce & Gabbana debuted their Gold Edition eyewear collection, incorporating polarized sun and prescription lenses with gold plated metal. But logo-lovers shouldn’t fear as the D&G insignia shows its lovely character on the temple end of the stems. The packaging must always be considered when purchasing luxury goods, and the boys at Dolce & Gabbana did not forgo these details either, presenting the luxe frames in a jewelry box equipped with two side drawers and a black leather carrying case. Naturally this kind of luxury can be found at one of our favorite frame boutiques, Ilori, for $580.

Stay tuned for more updates in the luxury eyewear industry, including breaking news that Safilo Group, world leader in the premium eyewear sector, just announced a global licensing agreement with the Tommy Hilfiger Group for the exclusive design, development, production, and distribution of Tommy Hilfiger ophthalmic and sunglass products, available Fall 2010. Congratulations to our Haute 100 member.

Via Just Luxe and New York Times