In a small Italian town called Padua about 30 km west of Venice, there is a large company that has been working with Dior to produce glasses for the past 20 years. However, it wasn’t until 2014 that the team created something so spectacular that they impressed the chief executive of Italian eyewear licensing giant Safilo, Luisa Delgado.
Dior ‘So Real’ were special sunglasses. They had a striking feature, finely carved, aviator-shaped frames, with a noticeably absent nose bridge and an enigmatic mirrored stripe on their lenses. It is a recognizable form that is only achieved once in life. After their first presentation, Delgado remembers seeing the reaction:
“It was immediately apparent to everyone that this was something special. All the technicians and workers gathered there to see them, to talk about them. Of course, you could see that there was no bridge, a very interesting construction, but the most special thing is that they could be worn. ”
For this very special presentation, Dior knew he would have to take a turn and create a particularly monumental launch. It would be the fourth installment in the Dior factory’s Secret Garden campaign, and the first time in 69 years that Dior would choose a black model to be her campaign star: Rihanna the chosen muse.
In a fabulous fashion film starring the singer in the incomparable setting of the Palace of Versailles and its gardens, with her explosive and sensual style she defied all the rules of fashion. Editors, bloggers, fans, the star caused an uproar on social networks, many of them scared about whether her appearance would link with the eternal house of elegance and glamor. Two years later, ‘So Real’, like ‘J’Adore’ in her perfumes, remains Dior’s most popular sun model.
Christian Dior is a name that evokes luxury and fascination in the mind. The history of the brand’s glasses is steeped in glamor. One of the world’s most influential fashion makers, Christian Dior was the first couture house to include sunglasses in his factory with the launch of his first licensed collection during the 1960s.
Dior was revolutionary because it elevated the glasses into a fashion accessory. The brand got a lot of attention for its designs as it was the first to use visible logo details on the glasses. This seduction of fashion lovers through accessories was increasingly conscious in the image of the 60s and 70s. Dior’s oversized styles were closely imitated by other fashion houses who wanted to do the same, but Dior had an ace up his sleeve, Optyl, a revolutionary plastic material whose sensual and beautifying 3D effect nobody could imitate. In luxury details such as enameling or gemstones, Dior had the upper hand in the race for sophistication.
The Dior brand is now synonymous with French femininity. The impulse of John Galliano and his extravagant style, opened the way for Dior sunglasses to current trends, retro and vintage details. The branches of their fronts, made of fine metal or the very wide range of acetates, are decorated with rhinestones or jewelry details on metal.
Dior has not ceased to exalt the woman, embodied by many muses each more attractive: Marion Cotillard and Mila Kunis for bags, or Natalie Portman and Charlize Theron in perfumes. As they explain from the French mansion, the chosen divas have always had an important relationship with Dior throughout its history:
Grace Kelly, later a princess, chose a Dior satin gown to be engaged to Prince Raniero of Monaco. Marlène Dietrich, as devoted as any among the faithful, chose the Dior models to wear them both on the big screen and in the city, who only agreed to work with Alfred Hitchcock on condition of wearing the French brand. And the most iconic blonde, Marylin Monroe, posed dressed as the coutourier during her last photo shoot, when she was portrayed by Bert Stern for Vogue in 1962.
Despite the hostility of the different governments that prevented his designs and were even branded as superfluous and extravagant, his recognition as a professional fashion designer is increasing. Dior’s heritage lives on, even after his death, his brand remains one of the key players in the fashion industry.