This fall, eyewear maker Persol is releasing a special pair of “Steve McQueen” edition sunglasses. The 714 was worn frequently by McQueen (he preferred the blue lenses, but I like the “honey” color with the tortoise shell frame as pictured above) in movies and in real life, and the glasses are part of what made the man one of Hollywood’s most celebrated style icons. It is my thought that McQueen’s lauded personal style was very consciously thought-out and crafted as part of his image. The brands and items he wore was part of a deliberate effort to enhance his star power. Now, with that said, I don’t think this was a bad thing and I can’t think of any actors in the past or present that are as masculine or cool as McQueen. Think about today’s movie stars and try to name someone that is as tough and cool as McQueen. I bet you can’t do it.
When it comes to his style, all sorts of companies are trying to capitalize on his look, and these Persol 714 sunglasses are one of the few examples that actually make sense and are well executed. (Heuer and Belstaff being two others that can get away with it.) With that in mind, I asked Persol if I could borrow a pair of the new Steve McQueen 714s for a little field test up in Maine. The special Persol Steve McQueen edition shades come in three color options (blue lenses with tortoise for $310, black on black for $360 and black lenses with tortoise frames for $310), are just as fold-able as the basic 714 model and are subtly branded with the Steve McQueen name on the inside arm. If you are someone that goes through a pair of sunglasses a week, these might not be the ones for you, but I buy two pairs a decade and after wearing them this weekend these look to be my next pair. [Persol PO714 Steve McQueen]