Sponsored Feature: Spec-tacular: Most iconic glasses of all time
Trends come and go, but here we profile five of the most iconic spectacle wearers in history:
BUDDY HOLLY: Singer Buddy Holly's heavy black frames were synonymous with his image as a rock-and roll pioneer, but ironically the style wasn't his first choice. At the time, performers didn't wear glasses on stage so he tried contact lenses, but the technology was so new, wearing them proved to be impractical. Holly quickly became frustrated and it was then that his optometrist made a pivotal suggestion: Why not wear something distinctive? Something heavy and black. While Holly's were a simple, non-branded pair found by Armistead in Mexico City, they were almost identical to the iconic 'wayfarer' style created by Ray-Ban in 1956 – now one of the best selling sunglasses designs in history.
HARRY POTTER: Author JK Rowling stated in an interview that the reason she gave the character Harry Potter glasses was that she wore them herself as a child and was fed up with reading books in which the bespectacled character was the "brainy one." She said she wished to read about a hero who wore glasses. In 1990, J. K. Rowling was on a crowded train from Manchester to London when the idea for Harry suddenly "fell into her head". Rowling says: “I had been writing almost continuously since the age of six but I had never been so excited about an idea before. I simply sat and thought for four hours, and all the details bubbled up in my brain, and this scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled boy who did not know he was a wizard became more and more real to me." The high contrast round black glasses worn by the famous fictional character have now become an iconic trademark around the world.
STEVE JOBS: Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ trademark style of glasses has seen a dramatic spike in sales since his death in October 2011. The cover of biography ‘Steve Jobs’, prominently featured a photo of him wearing a pair. The glasses combine minimalism with cutting edge technology, being so ultra-lightweight and finely made as to be almost invisible from certain angles. Jobs wore a design called 'classic rund' (classic round) from German eyewear brand Lunor, a label with a reputation for understatement as well as attention to detail, as each frame requires 200 separate steps to manufacture. There is no metal frame around the individual lenses, and the design has a special 'saddle' bridge that requires no nose pads. The simplicity is thought to be a big part of what drew Jobs to the style.
MAHATMA GANDHI: Mahatma Gandhi, who became one of the most pivotal figures in India’s history in the Twentieth Century will also be remembered by his iconic spectacles. The round steel-rimmed glasses were sold for a record £39,780 at an auction in April 2012 by specialist Mullock’s in Ludlow, Shropshire, UK. They were expected to fetch £10,000-£15,000. The glasses, kept in the original metal case, were corroded with age but with the original felt bearing the name H. Cannam Optician 23, St.
Aldate Street Gloucester. They were bought by Gandhi when he was a student in England in the 1890’s. The identity of the buyer has not been disclosed.
JOHN LENNON: Beatles musician John Lennon was known for many things, but when it came to his style, few elements are more iconic than the small round glasses that were his signature. So distinct was the look that it became synonomous with his name, and to this day similar designs are often referred to simply as 'John Lennon glasses'. Also known by the more generic term 'teashades', John Lennon's glasses were defined by small to medium-sized, perfectly round lenses supported by a thin wire frame and pads at the bridge of the nose. The ‘granny’ glasses are now a massively iconic item from one of the greatest luminaries of pop.