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Designer Brands

SmartBuyGlasses Buying Guide

  • Adidas Sunglasses

    Style:Sporty, young, urban, athletic, men, women.

    Famous for:Adidas are famous for their running shoes.

    How it all began: In 1949, Adolf Dassler founded Adidas. He began producing his own sports shoes at the age of 20 in his mother's wash kitchen, with the vision to provide every athlete with the best footwear for their sports discipline. After World War II, Dassler made the first post-war sports shoes using canvas and rubber from American fuel tanks. It was in 1948 that he introduced Adidas as his company name, a combination of his first and last name. A year later, he registered the unmistakable three stripes, which are instantly associated with Adidas. Adidas gained recognition when the German team wore Adidas soccer shoes with screw-in studs, winning the Soccer World Cup against Hungary in 1954. Dassler was the first to use sports promotion in order to make the public aware of his innovations, and used many famous athletes to advertise his products. Back in 2006, Adidas was accused of racism when one of the limited edition trainer designs created by US graffiti artist Barry McGee, featured a yellow picture of an Asian youth with bowl-cut hair, buck teeth and a pig nose. Asian-American groups accused the trainer of being an Anti-Asian stereotype.

    Seen On:As Adidas sunglasses are designed to make athletes perform better in their sport, it's no wonder that Jeremy Wariner, an Olympic gold medalist is seen sporting these shades.

    Other Products:Apparel, sports shoes, sports accessories.

    Diesel Sunglasses

    Style:Urban, retro, young, sporty, male, female.

    Famous for:Diesel is famous for its denim jeans designed to set you apart from everyone else.

    How it all began: Diesel was founded in 1978 by Renzo Rosso and he wanted to create a niche away from unoriginal fashion trends. He did this by surrounding himself with talented innovators like himself. The aim was to create an apparel line to match the individual stylistics of independent people. The cosmopolitan Diesel team has the freedom to design how they like without the borders of trends, and to create unpredictable apparel. Their unconventional working methods have attracted interest from media and international consulting organizations. At times, their freedom for creative expression has caused controversy. In 1998, a Diesel cinema commercial mocking the death of a First World War soldier clashed with the 80th anniversary of Armistice Day, causing the Royal British Legion to condemn the commercial. In the commercial, the soldier is so pleased with his Diesel jeans that he marches up and down in them attracting the attention of a German sniper. When his friend tries to get him to sit down, his friend is shot dead. It ends with the German soldiers taking over the trench as the British troops flee. What was meant to be humorous, appeared as distasteful. In line with their innovative approach, Diesel has been spurring on creativity among urban youth by sponsoring several projects, such as the Diesel-U-Music Contest. This is the chance for unknown urban music acts to get noticed and battle it out on stage for a cash prize, tour support and press coverage.

    Seen On:Bourne star Matt Damon likes to dash around in Diesel sunglasses. On screen. Diesel sunglasses have been seen worn by Brad Pitt in Ocean's Twelve. Young, female non-conformists like actress Lindsay Lohan can be seen causing trouble in her Diesel sunglasses.

    Other Products:Footwear, bags, jewellery, apparel, homeware, fragrance, helmets.

    Fendi Sunglasses

    Style:Exclusive, prestige, elegant, young mature, men, women.

    Famous for:Fendi is famous for its 'baguette' handbags. It was created in 1997 in 600 versions with different, unusual materials making it an essential accessory and a collector's item.

    How it all began: A young couple by the names of Edoardo and Adele Fendi set up the first handbag shop and fur workshop in 1925 in Rome, Italy. Fendi soon became known outside of Rome after the business expanded quickly in the 1930s and 1940s. The five daughters of Edoardo and Adele brought new ideas to the business. They later introduced Karl Lagerfeld to the company, who revolutionized fashion by changing, redesigning and reinterpreting fur into a fashionable, soft piece of clothing. The "double F" logo was designed and became an all-important feature of the brand. Similar to the fur products, the Fendi bag was transformed into a new generation of bags, featuring softer and unstructured shapes. Today, Fendi has become one of the biggest fashion houses in the world. In 2007, Fendi became the first fashion house to stage a fashion show on the Great Wall of China. This spectacular treat involved 44 models from China and 44 international models walking down an 88 metre long catwalk. The symbol of division and isolation was transformed into a symbol of union between people and cultures. To celebrate 10 years of "baguettes," an anniversary collection of ten bags in ten colors have been created. One of them is made from white canvas that comes with a set of Pantone coloring pens, allowing the owner to personalize the bag.

    Seen On:Young and mature celebrities can be seen in Fendi sunglasses, from hair-raising vixen Lindsay Lohan to award-winning actress Julia Roberts.

    Other Products:Furs, fragrances, timepieces, writing instruments.

    Gucci Sunglasses

    Style:Opulent, designer, formal, men, women, young, mature.

    Famous for:Gucci is famous for its leather handbags. It is one of the most prestigious and recognizable fashion brands worldwide.

    How it all began: Guccio Gucci founded 'The House of Gucci,' a leather goods company in Florence, Italy in 1921. Within a few years, the label attracted cultivated international clientele who sought out the equestrian-inspired collection of shoes, belts, gloves and bags. Italy was hit by the Fascist dictatorship in the 1940s leading to a shortage of materials. Through his use of resourcefulness and creativity, Gucci created the 'Bamboo Bag,' one of Gucci's most iconic products today. In the 1950s, the green-red-green web trademark, taken from the saddle girth was a great success and still remains as one of Gucci's most familiar identifiers. Gucci quickly became a global luxury brand with the opening of stores in Milan and New York. In the 1960s, Gucci headed to the Far East to expand their business and remained successful until the late 1970s, when disastrous business decisions and family quarrels almost caused the company to go bankrupt. Eventually, Gucci was sold off to Arab buyers in the early 1980s. Tom Ford was employed as the creative head of Gucci and managed to bring the brand back to its chic status in the 1990s.

    Seen On:Gucci sunglasses rose to popularity in the 1960s with glamorous icons, such as Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Onassis being big fans of the label. Modern-day Hollywood divas, such as Charlize Theron, Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow all like to wear Gucci sunglasses.

    Other Products:Shoes, belts, jewellery, watches, handbags, ties, scarves, hats and fragrances.

    Nike Sunglasses

    Style:Stylish, sporty, men, women, young, mature.

    Famous for:Nike is famous for running shoes and their instantly recognizable swoosh logo.

    How it all began: Nike was originally known as Blue Ribbon Sports, founded in 1964 by University of Oregon track athlete, Philip Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman. Most of their sneakers were sold from the trunk of Knight's Plymouth Valiant at track meets. By 1971, Blue Ribbon Sports opened their first retail store and launched a line of footwear bearing the well known swoosh logo. The first Nike football shoe carrying the iconic symbol was born. Through trial and error, Bowerman created the Waffle Trainer in 1974, after pouring liquid urethane into his wife's waffle iron. The outsole that had waffle-type nubs for traction was lighter than traditional training outsoles. The 1980s marked a decade of transition with the successful launch of Nike Air technology, and a new signature shoe named after American basketball player Michael Jordon for NBA wannabees. Nike launched a series of three empowering adverts with the tagline 'Just Do It!' featuring a young sport athlete called Bo Jackson. The series included three adverts with the young, two-sport athlete who treasures his cross-training shoes.

    Seen On:Tiger Woods is regularly seen golfing in a pair of Nike sunglasses. Apart from sporting heroes, movie stars like John Travolta have been seen wearing Nike sunglasses.

    Other Products:Apparel, bags, watches, sports shoes.

    Police Sunglasses

    Style:Edgy, urban, young, masculine, men, women, unique, distinctive, androgynous, anti-conformist.

    Famous for:Police are famous for their mirror shades. Inspired by the mirrored sunglasses worn by police officers in the US, Police sunglasses rose to popularity in the 90s with its mirrored lenses and gold frames.

    How it all began: The Police brand was launched in Italy in 1983 by De Rigo, a world leader in eyewear manufacture and distribution, to introduce a unique brand of sunglasses. During the yuppie years of the eighties, sunglasses were quickly becoming a fashion accessory, but had no substance to them. It was from this that Police wanted to create styles that gave the wearer a bold, strong personality. As a trendsetter in fashion, the blue mirrored lenses launched in the 1990s became a global hit. Previously, focusing attention on masculine silhouettes, Police has in recent years added feminine styling to its creations, and is launching kids sunglasses to contribute to their all-round lifestyle brand. Their ad campaigns named Be Younique will take "a road less travelled," where they will transform young, regular men and women into spokespeople. The adverts will play on their unique professions, such as an elephant-sitter, a shampoo taster and a shark dentist to capture real-life, unseen shots combined with the seductive use of Police eyewear. This is a brave move away from their success of using famous celebrities as spokesmen.

    Seen On:Bruce Willis, George Clooney, David Beckham and Antonio Banderas have all been carefully selected in the past to be spokesmen for Police. All four of them are unique in their own way, but reflect the charisma and masculinity of Police. Even, tough man Sylvester Stallone has been seen sporting Police sunglasses.

    Other Products:Jewellery, watches, apparel, fragrances, accessories.

    Smith Sunglasses

    Style:Stylish, sporty, men, women, young.

    Famous for:Smith Optics is famous for its high performance eyewear and goggles, specially crafted for extreme sportsmen and women.

    How it all began: Smith Optics was founded in 1965 by Dr Bob Smith, an orthodontist who made goggles by hand using dental tools, foam and glue in Sun Valley, Idaho. He revolutionized eye goggles by introducing a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam. His early prototypes were manufactured around the kitchen table with friends. Smith Optics has now become a leader in high performance eyewear and goggles. Smith Optics works with top names in motocross, skiing, surfing, biking, wakeboarding and skateboarding to develop and test new products. Tapered Lens Technology, found in all Smith models whereby distorted images are eliminated and optical clarity is received, is an example of one of their innovative creations. Smith Optics sponsors a number of athletes to become top in their sport. Ashley Fiolek, Smith Optics female moto athlete recently had the chance to touch the life of a fan. The Cooper family who are fans of Fiolek were chosen for the TV reality show Extreme Makeover. Apart from receiving a new house, they also had a visit from Fiolek. Fiolek became teary eyed as the daughter of the family spoke how free riding a motorcycle makes her feel. Smith Optics, also kindly donated gear to the children.

    Seen On:Top athletes wear Smith sunglasses, including U.S. former basketball superstar Michael Jordon, and Indianapolis Colt's quarterback Peyton Manning. Apart from athletes, celebrities like John Travolta in the film Wild Hogs wear Smith sunglasses for a cool exterior.

    Other Products:Apparel, helmets, ski poles, backpacks and hats.

    Versace Sunglasses

    Style:Luxury, fashionable, designer, high fashion, men, women, young, mature.

    Famous for:Versace is famous for its daring designs. In 1982, he introduced metallic garments that soon became his trademark. Also "That Dress" worn by British actress Liz Hurley with safety pins up the side became well-known in the 90s.

    How it all began: Gianni Versace started working as an apprentice at his mother's dressmaking business, and then started working as a freelance designer. By the age of 25, Versace was already creating prêt-a-porter collections for top fashion houses of the time. In 1978, Gianni Versace with the help of his brother, Santo, founded the Versace company in Milan. Gianni took risks in constantly challenging the boundaries of the fashion industry and that led him to win a number of design awards, including the Cutty Sark Award in 1988 for 'the most innovative and creative designer in the world. In 1997, the fashion world mourned after Andrew Cunanan embarked on a killing spree with Gianni Versace as one of his victims. It was widely reported that Cunanan engaged in prostitution with older men, resulting in media speculation that some of his victims were former clients. Donatella Versace, Gianni's younger sister took over the helms of Versace as the newly appointed Creative Director. She introduced softer, feminine lines whilst adhering to Versace's philosophy of providing superior designs and unrivalled quality.

    Seen On:Sir Elton John has long been one of Versace's biggest fans, often wearing customized items. Rock stars, Jon Bon Jovi and Courtney Love are seen head-banging in their Versace sunglasses.

    Other Products:Apparel, timepieces, watches, fragrances, cosmetics, home furnishings.

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