You’ve probably noticed: the sun is shining. As such, our ever-timely comrades over at UrbanDaddy have tipped us off to the newest kid on the sunglass block, Dom Vetro. They’ve told us what we need to know, and we’re paying it forward.
The short story is that sometime last year, Ashley Bezamat set out on a pilgrimage to find master craftsmen of Italian eyewear, hoping to bring their excellence stateside. He found Mecca in Cadore at the foothills of the Italian Alps, where he’s partnered with a family who’ve been making frames and lenses by hand since the 17th century.
Steven Alan has just launched their first in-house optical line—comprised of about two dozen men’s sunglasses and prescription glasses—with on-site opticians at select stores (they’re starting out with their Tribeca shop). As expected, Alan has applied the same attention to detail and craftsmanship with these new frames as his highly regarded single-needle shirting and upcycled menswear staples. Which means the frames are made in a legendary acetate factory in Northern Italy and assembled in NYC—replete with custom details like rose gold and fully functional hardware (as opposed to the rivets and inserts that are merely decorative on most throwback sunglasses these days).
While you’ve probably got a trusty pair of shades tucked away from last summer, it’s always nice to have another pair to reach for in the event of the inevitable... Forgetting them in a cab. A tragic kayaking mishap. Accidents happen.
Luckily, a handsome new crop of sunglasses has landed on the market just in time to have you fully equipped to keep your eyes stylishly protected from the harmful effects of the sun—and the occasional morning after—when you’ll need them most. Even luckier: we’ve rounded up your best options, from new-age club masters to good old aviators. So, without further ado:
Introducing Kempt’s March Madness bracket, wherein we pit the most iconic college basketball coaches against one another in an attempt to finally nail down who’s the most stylish of them all.
As you’d expect, it takes more than just sporting a pocket square or one nice blazer every so often to be named one of the most stylish college coaches of all time—everyone looks at least halfway decent in a suit and tie.
We were looking for coaches with a distinct through-line of personal style—and since most of these guys spent decades and multiple trend cycles on the sidelines, it usually came down to one iconic item they’d never given up. John Wooden’s thick-rimmed glasses, Bob Knight’s red sweaters or even Jerry Tarkanian’s “chew towel”—that sort of thing. Even if the pattern or cut of their sport jacket changed, that item didn’t. Which meant a guy like Jim Boeheim just missed the cut, because you might not even recognize his surgeon-cuffed look of today as the same guy who wore this in the 1970s. (Also just missing the cut: Gary Williams and his signature sweatiness.)
But there were plenty to choose from, and we just managed to cut the field down to the Sweet 16—which is where we’ll begin today, and continue to narrow down as the week progresses.
As NCAA basketball finishes up conference play and begins barreling toward March Madness, we’ve been noticing a few less suits and a few more polo shirts barking from the sidelines this season. And even a few coaches going for the tie-less suit look. And it’s got us longing for the era of dapper sidelines.
The one John Wooden coached in.
Coach Wooden is not only iconic because of his storied tenure at UCLA, his championship streaks, his best-selling pyramid of success aphorisms—he was also, quite literally, an icon for the well-dressed man of a bygone era: always in a gray or navy suit, a tie and thick-rimmed glasses (with the occasional net draped around his shoulders or his arms sternly crossed). It was the same no-nonsense approach that he took to every task. Sure, maybe the tie widths veered a bit Anchorman-ish in the ’70s, but he still kept that uniform intact. Until he gained a penchant for bolo ties in his later life—a move we might borrow for our octogenarian days.
Warby Parker has been turning out highly stylish, quality frames for some time now—and new to the lineup is a collection made using the lightest and strongest metal, titanium (for less than your similarly built fairway wood).
Our favorite of the bunch is the Cromwell, an update on the Aviator (the sunglasses of choice for fall getaways) with a titanium frame and tortoiseshell temples—which should leave you with some versatile and fairly indestructible shades. Plus, you’re still getting all of the goodwill that comes along with buying frames from Warby Parker (someone in need of glasses also gets a pair of their own).
Andy Garcia has given us a lot over the years—he’s been the gold standard of slick bastards everywhere since his first big screen outing in The Untouchables. (It doesn’t hurt to never have a hair out of place and a hint of an accent—he was born in Havana.) And on occasion of his latest turn, as a mustachioed agnostic religious freedom fighter in 1920s Mexico, we thought we’d take a moment to applaud his contributions to the three-piece suit, ascot, Panama hat and round horn-rimmed glasses, to name a few.
Last week, information leaked about Google’s plans to release a chunky pair of glasses that will basically act as a smartphone. But earlier this month, something much more impressive flew a little further under the radar—augmented-reality contacts.
They’re being developed by a company called Innovega with help from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, who helped give us a little thing called the Internet. They’ll project full 3D and HD images onto what will look like a 20-foot panoramic screen in your field of vision—and you’ll be putting them in by 2014.
Things like this tend to set our minds racing. And the more we learn, the more we get... a little ahead of ourselves. That’s why, to make sense of it all, we like to break down what they said (cold, scientific, occasionally downerish) versus what we heard (majestic, full of hope, in a word: awesome).
Last night, the Gods of Fashion Week brought us a fall/winter line from none other than Todd Snyder—one of our favorite new faces of last year. There was plenty to like at the show... but instead of the items themselves (which won’t be arriving in stores until August), we’d like to draw your attention to a few styling tricks that you can try out in time for this winter.
The Most Famous Frames in Rock: A story of how Buddy Holly found his famous glasses. Apparently, they had to be trucked in from Mexico. [WSJ]
The Year in Terrible Band Names: AV Club unleashes its yearly roundup of terrible band names, including Coeus the Boxing Titan, White Cowbell Oklahoma and Pulled Apart by Horses, soon to be famous for the heart-wrenching ballad “I Punched a Lion in the Throat.” [AV Club]
Deeply Felt: A new tie line called Gentleman Arthur makes bold patterns from felt and cotton. Definitely unlike anything in your closet. [Cool Hunting]
Don’t Call It a Comeback: The notorious Enzo returns with some fantastically tweedy menswear photos. [13th & Wolf]
For the past five years, Oscar de la Renta has been hosting a private fashion show at the Fritz estate on the western shore of Lake Tahoe. You can always count on three things: a great lake view, an overwhelming number of beautiful women, and some impeccable style from Oscar himself.
Naturally, this year he did not disappoint.
On Saturday, WWD caught him taking in the show through a pair of classic tortoise-shell frames. The lapel buttons and upturned collar are the kind of thing you can get away with when you run a million-dollar label, and the poofed golden pocket square is the stuff of legend. In other words, he’s still got it.
We assume he’s got something even cooler lined up for next year.