As Ray-Ban unveils the Clubround, Adrian Clark salutes the dawn of a new icon
The Holy Grail for any fashion brand is to strike it rich with a zeitgeist design that can stand the test of time and rise through the ranks to achieve iconic status.
Levi’s has its 501, Adidas the ‘Stan Smith’ and Burberry its ubiquitous signature-check lined, belted raincoat. Even fewer brands have had such historic impact on popular culture that they can boast not one but several star-turns making their way at one-point or another into our arsenal of wardrobe staples.
Ray-Ban, founded in 1937 has earned such lauded ranking, thanks to pivotal cameo-roles in films such as Rebel Without A Cause, The Blues Brothers, Men In Black, Reservoir Dogs, Risky Business, Goodfellas and Top Gun, firstly with the ‘Aviator’ (1937), then the ‘Wayfarer’(1952) followed later in that decade with the ‘Clubmaster’. It goes without saying then, when a brand with such pedigree releases a new style of frame – and that isn’t so often – we should it sit-up and take notice.
Released this summer, the new ‘Clubround’, as the name would suggest, takes its inspiration from the iconic ‘Clubmaster’, defined by its half metal, half-acetate-across-the-brow design, once favoured by intellectuals, heads of state (Kevin Costner was said to have needed his ‘Clubmasters’ to get into role as JFK in 1991) and most famously human rights campaigner, Malcolm X, but has been given a more rounded, less winged and contemporary shape. Made for modern intellectuals and bohemian creatives who love the unique identity of trademark profiles, this new shape fuses authentic Ray-Ban DNA design and iconic style to create a more universally flattering shape.
Original style, authentic design and unique new colors and lenses define the look of this new icon - available in-both sun and optical frames - as the rounded phantos shapes feature Clubmaster-inspired acetate brows, coined metal rims and bridges. The sun frame comes in black and red Havana with green lenses, black fleck Havana with solid green and Havana fleck with solid brown lenses, new wrinkled black on black with mirror pink lenses, wrinkled blue on black with mirror silver lenses and wrinkled white on white with mirror green lenses. The optical model is available in black, Havana, red Havana, top Havana on opal peach and top Havana on opal purple.
The launch of the ‘Clubround’ celebrates exciting times ahead for Ray-Ban, having recently opened its first ever flagship store in New York City’s Soho district, dubbed the ‘Ray-Ban Hub’. Located on 116 Wooster Street, Manhattan, the Hub is a celebration of the brand creative spirit and an example of Ray-Ban’s commitment to offering customers not only the world’s best eyewear shopping experience, but also the chance to immerse themselves into the heart of the Ray-Ban lifestyle.
If you ever find yourself across the pond you should try out its unique customization experience, available both on sun and on optical styles. The store includes a bespoke atelier room, where professional craftsmen will reproduce customers' creations. Ray-Banistas have the chance to create their own prints and choose from a larger range of materials to produce the ultimate pair of personalized sunglasses.
Prices for the ‘Clubround’ range from £135 to £153; ray-ban.com