If you are looking for designer sunglasses but are unsure which brand name is right for you, be sure to shop at a variety of stores or one shop with a large selection so that you can try on styles from many different lines.
Each designer has a certain image that he or she portrays through clothing and accessories, as well as through advertising and promotions.
Designer and celebrity sunglasses tend to be pricier, and often have more expensive upgrades such as jewels and inlays with unique patterns and designs. Attractive designer logos may be etched or inlaid in high-end frames.
To help you decide which designer or celebrity sunglass style best fits your personal style and budget, here are examples of how top brands are advertised at high-end boutiques, department stores and other outlets:
- Calvin Klein. Often found in the economical $50 to $80 range, many Calvin Klein sunglasses feature classic aviator shapes in wire rim or rimless styles.
- Chanel. The Havana (in the $300 range) is one signature Chanel style, available in bold plastic frames with brown gradient colors and matching lenses.
- JLO by Jennifer Lopez. This sunglass collection for trendy women is one of many examples of recent lines launched with branding that uses celebrity names. Some JLO styles are available in the $100 range.
You'll find many other popular designer names in sunglasses such as Jimmy Choo, Balenciaga, Kenneth Cole, John Varvatos, Alexander McQueen, Badgley Mischka, BCBGMaxAzria, Gucci, Dior, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Diane von Furstenberg, Fendi, Jil Sander and Valentino.
Most optical shops, department stores and sunglass specialty stores will have promotional materials in the sunglasses section that portray the images of the designers' lines they feature.
You also can question the sales staff about the qualities of each designer sunglass line.
Certainly the true test is in trying on the frames and finding what's right for you. Some lines are more conservative, some are feminine, some are urban and cutting-edge, and some are simply but beautifully designed.
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Typically, if you like the clothing styling from a designer you also will like their frames and sunwear. Most designers maintain significant control over the design, pricing and imaging of their sunglasses. Lines are produced under a license with an eyewear company that has great experience and knowledge in manufacturing and distributing eyewear.
The result is a product that is right for that fashion designer and the designer's loyal customers.
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Celebrity Sunglass Collections
In addition to famous designers, many celebrities have worked with eyewear manufacturers to create their own brands of sunglasses.
Randy Jackson, Jessica Simpson, Lauren Hutton, Britney Spears, Sophia Loren, Kathy Ireland, Cheryl Tiegs, Sean Combs, Donald Trump, Daisy Fuentes, Joan Collins and even George Burns and Jerry Garcia all have or had sunglass lines.
One sunglass collection featuring cat-eye and traditional shapes was designed in cooperation with international actress and singer Thalia. Another collection, which includes blingy rhinestone-adorned eyeglass frames with cute clipon sunlenses, is called "That's So Raven," after the TV show starring Raven Symone.
Many celebrities who have their own line of sunglasses also have branded frame designs for prescription eyeglasses as well.
Each celebrity has an image created through movies, television shows and appearances, modeling, music performances and books he or she has written. The celebrity's eyewear typically is consistent with this image.
Some consumers choose to go this route when purchasing sunwear because they can identify better with a celebrity than with fashion designers or their products.
Marilyn Haddrill also contributed to this article.
[Page updated March 2015]