Designed for the sun
Persol sunglasses are crafted for men and women who live beyond style, beyond eras. They are tied to the past but effortlessly modern.
How it started
Born in 1917 in Turin, Persol is one of the oldest eyewear brands in the world. Giuseppe Ratti was working as an optician at his family shop when he met pilots who complained of the glare of the sun. This set Ratti on a mission, experimenting with smoked lenses and developing them alongside a German chemist. The final product, ‘The Protector’, immediately became popular with racing car drivers and officially launched the Persol brand.
Designed for work, made for style
From this point on, Ratti set about developing protective, practical glasses to shield workers from visual disturbances. His new business coincided with the industry boom that was happening in his home city: Persol soon gained massive success, and they even supplied NASA with goggles for their astronauts. The larger frame of the historic 649 model went from originally protecting tram drivers from the dust of the streets in Turin to becoming a cult object, after being worn by Marcello Mastroianni in the classic “Divorce Italian Style”.
It’s impossible to look at the history of Persol without mentioning Steve McQueen, an unofficial ambassador for the brand. When McQueen walked on the set of The Thomas Crown Affair wearing a pair of 714 folding sunglasses, the film’s producers immediately decided to incorporate them into his character’s style. It was here that one of cinema’s most enduring images of cool was born. In 2008 Persol launched their own 714 SM - a replica of the originals worn by the actor, reflecting his rebellious nature and love of speed.
Meflecto - patented fit
Impeccable fit and incredible clarity are two of the key benefits of Persol glasses. The brand’s patented Meflecto hinges and arms were developed in the 1930s, and are testament to their exemplary performance - they are still used by the brand today. Combined with the crystal-tempered lenses, they provide the perfect balance of protection with distortion-free vision.