Each year, around this time, the clocks spring forward and that first taste of summer hits the air. At around the very same time, fashion labels begin to unveil the latest in their warm-weather eyewear lineups.
While certain labels try to outdo one another on wilder-than-yours designs, the veteran houses, like Gucci and Chanel, continue to offer the classic, old-faithful frames. When it comes to your shades of choice, you usually fit into one of two camps.
With a new summer season approaching, I called upon Highsnobiety staff across the planet, from Berlin to New York, to get sight of the sunglasses they’ll be emerging into a post-lockdown light with — fingers crossed.
HS staff picks ranged from archery-grade specs to hot takes on the best sunglasses for the beach.
Our editors' picks of the season's best sunglasses for men are below.
Thom Bettridge, Editor-in-Chief — Pilla Sport FX Mask
"With everyone pent up and ready to rage, you can already tell this is going to be a summer of wild, wild glasses. So standing out in the eyewear arena is going to take some cross-genre magic. Enter Pilla Sport: a high-performance glasses brand that specializes in making lenses for archery, professional shooting, and other sports that require super-clear, glare-free vision.
Some of Pilla's glasses — like this final boss of target practice — can range into the thousands, but I'm a longtime stan of their Fx Mask that is both affordable and head-turning. Rather than a frame, it has a croakie-like lanyard that straps directly onto your head. I would call the design minimal, but the electric turquoise polarized lens doesn't exactly scream less is more."
Herbert Hofmann, Creative Director — Port Tanger Mektoub and Oakley Sutro Lite
"I'm dreaming of sitting at a sunny beach this summer wearing nothing but a pair of black speedos and these glasses from Port Tanger. I love how classy they look and amber-colored lenses give such nice contrasts for seeing green nature and blue sky."
"Same story for these Oakleys. The brown lens gives such good contrast."
Malaika Crawford, Market Director — Cartier Aviators
"I am a Cartier eyewear fanatic and these classic pilot aviators check every box for me. Oversized green square lenses with a gold frame — so outrageously ‘70s."
Graeme Campbell, Senior Features Editor — Oakley Flak 2.0 XL
"I recently re-discovered U2’s 1997 “PopMart” tour (an infamous, utterly ludicrous production that cost like $200,000 per day to run and saw the band perform in bespoke Y2K clubwear by Walter Van Beirendonck) on YouTube. Everybody remembers Bono’s Simpsonified “muscleman” top, but it's his ahead of the curve sunnies (by Alain Mikli, if you were wondering) that have me reconsidering the much-maligned tinted lense. These fiery rapscallions by Oakley are like naga peppers for the eyes and will transform even the daintiest third-wave coffee shop into a diabolical hellscape. Devil horns up, baby!"
Ella Jayes, Instagram Editor — Persol Vintage Mint
"I can put these sunglasses on or ride in a vintage convertible down the Amalfi Coast while Ennio Morricone scores my life; it’s the same thing."
Rhianna Matthews, Market Editor — Marine Serre Visionizer
"Still waiting on Elon's response to my DMs regarding a SpaceX pass (and many other topics). But preparation is key, so I'll be waiting in these Marine Serre x Gentle Monster Visionizer glasses. Moon very soon!"
Haley Culp, Assistant Fashion Editor — Kuboraum V1 BM
"Experimental eyewear will always be my wave. Kuboraum doesn't hold back with its unique silhouettes."
Corey Stokes, Fashion Director — Retrosuperfuture Drew Mama
"I’m loyal to RSF and the Drew Mama frame. It’s the perfect silhouette for my face and the quality is great. I feel like Anna Wintour behind these, it’s a real Ice Princess vibe. A classic black frame should always be in rotation but if this classic isn’t your vibe, there are literally a million other styles to choose from."
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