Welcome to our fifth installment of ICONS IN ICONIC SUNGLASSES – THE ROUND EYE, a metal wire or plastic acetate frame with a round lens. The round eye has been worn by all creeds and cultures, from influential musicians whose message can be heard in 2016, to pioneering artists and actors, all who have earned iconic status. The round eye became an instantly recognisable accessory amongst some of our icons, being the key focal point of their appearance, the round eye was immediately associated with their image and legacy.

The Round Eye, also known as “Teashades”, were a product of an experimental era of human kind, the rise of hallucinogenic drugs introduced psychedelic art, a progressive art form built from vibrant colours and endless visual patterns fuelled by the ingestion of mind altering substances. As the counterculture phenomenon of the 1960’s thrived, widespread social tensions bubbled under the surface creating a chaotic environment, giving heed to contemporary and experimental ideas.

As the Round Eye frame regains cultural popularity in the 21st century, brands that specialize in sports performance, high end fashion, and classic sunglasses frames incorporate the round eye style into their collection. Mui-Mui combine bold polished acetate plastic and wire metal temples and bridge to create the MU13NS, a superb female oversized round eye frame. Oakley have given us their most audacious frame of recent memory, a round eye frame which lives up to its namesake, the OO6019 – Madman. Fendi blend subtle cat eye aesthetic with a round eye lens in the Fendi – FF0177/S Eyeshine. Oliver Peoples utilise the round eye lens in a number of frames in their collection, the Delray Sun – OV5314SU are an understated polished acetate frame, the Gregory Peck Sun – OV5217S and O’Malley NYC – OV5183SM again are made from polished acetate, but come with a dipped keyhole bridge. Ray-Ban enter the fold with the classic wire frame, Round Metal – RB3447, which is a throw back to the original style. The RB2180 is a round eye plastic acetate frame with a keyhole bridge, and the RB4256 – Gatsby incorporates metal and plastic into an outlandish frame.

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John Lennon
The Beatles are recognized as the most commercially successful bands in popular music, hailing from Liverpool, Merseyside. The impact Lennon made of the music industry, as well as the world earned him iconic status. Lennon was a formidable song writer, along with his partner Paul McCartney, who made countless records, as well as music able to provoke a conscious response from listeners. The influence Lennon and The Beatles had cannot be overstated, putting their own excellent twist on Rock ‘n’ Roll, making it accessible to a worldwide audience.

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Jimi Hendrix
Truly a product of his time, Jimi Hendrix could play guitar like no other, he could rock shows and apply his craft in a way which would enchant the listener earning him iconic status and a place in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Widely regarded as one of the best electrical guitarists to play the instrument, Hendrix pushed a new sound, influenced by the psychedelic era which he made his own, Hendrix pushed the boundaries of  Rock ‘n’ Roll, a contribution which can be heard today, and a commanding stage presence which set him apart from other performers of his time.

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Elizabeth Taylor
Adored by many, Elizabeth Taylor was the sweetheart of British cinema during the 1940’s and 50’s, making groundbreaking appearances in Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters of the era. Taylor garnered the love and affection of the masses through her ability to entertain and her impeccable taste in fashion and accessories earned her status as a fashion icon.

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Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol was a key figure in the visual art movement (Pop Art) which was largely popular in the early to late 50’s in Europe and North America. While many found Warhol to have an elusive and quirky character, his contributions to art and culture allowed him to be remembered for a craft he loved. You can see art inspired by Warhol’s work still in the 21st century, with recognizable and iconic paintings visible in today’s society.

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Widely regarded as one of the most creative, hardworking and influential musicians of his time, 2-Pac told tales of hardship and violence which resonated through urban communities across America. 2-Pac was a natural born entertainer. When he was younger, acting and arts were his preferred subjects, and later he became stage crew for underground Hip-Hop acts. 2-Pac later became associated with the infamous West Coast record label, “Death Row Records”, which spawned the era of gangster rap. 2-Pac was murdered in Las Vegas in 1996, however his legacy lives on- his countless hours spent in the studio left an enormous amount of recorded material for us to enjoy decades later.

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Liam Gallagher
Oasis front man Liam Gallagher became a cultural icon in the 90’s after Brit-Pop swept the globe. It’s no secret that John Lennon inspired Gallagher both musically and in fashion. Liam can be seen sporting the teashades in public appearances and in music videos. The Oasis and Gallagher legacy still lives on today, from his clothing line to his work with Beady Eye, Gallagher maintains the same nonchalant image you’d expect from a Manchester lad.

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Sylvester Stallone
Sly Stallone’s career has spanned over 4 decades, starring in the eras cult classics and Hollywood action films earning him both iconic and cultural significance. Hailing from New York City, Stallone had the good fortunes of appearing in the Rocky boxing saga, a tale of a man who fought tooth and nail to become World Heavyweight Champion, and Rambo, a War Veteran and former US Special Forces fighting for freedom. Both films propelled Stallone into stardom, moving in the elite Hollywood circles and still featuring in cinema blockbusters.

Chapter 1 of Icons In Iconic Sunglasses – The Wayfarer
Chapter 2 of Icons In Iconic Sunglasses – The Clubmaster
Chapter 3 of Icons In Iconic Sunglasses – The Aviator
Chapter 4 of Icons In Iconic Sunglasses – The Cat Eye

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