The hitmaker turned style icon might have the most influential frames in town…
It’s probably safe to assume you’re aware of the work of will.i.am.
Y’know, the Californian hitmaker who transitioned from the Golden Age of Hip-Hop in the late Eighties and early Nineties through to the Conscious Age of Hip-Hop in the late Nineties and early Noughties through to the You Know What? Let’s Just Enjoy Ourselves Age of Hip-Hop thereafter, creating party hit after party hit as the driving force behind the Black Eyed Peas and their (to date) 76 million record sales worldwide. Phew.
Mixing futuristic cool with the downright silly, the 43-year-old’s sartorial choices often veer from the witty to the profane, all in a way that never takes itself too seriously and has enough attention to detail and nuanced nods to fashion to let you know he knows exactly what he’s doing.
Nothing says that better than his eyewear, the centrepiece of his aura, which say as much about the man as his beatboxing mouth and gesticulating hands.
If the eyes are a window to the soul, will.i.am does not underestimate the power of window dressing.
And now he’s added to his specs kudos by releasing an exclusive collection of designer glasses at Specsavers, inspired by his own vintage glasses collection.
Because we’re excited about that, join us in delving into the frame lessons we can learn from the man himself…
Tie it all together
A compact style with a splash of colour, will.i.am’s squared style reflects the retro-futurism of The Jetsons, playfully looking forward and back at the same time. They also match his hat. Because if will.i.am can teach us anything it’s that if you’re in doubt, team with a hat.
The phrase ‘matchy-matchy’ is a death knell to any look, but looking to find symmetry between the hues of accessories (sunglasses, hats, ties, maybe even a backpack if you’re feeling a little risqué) can really help tie a look together.
After all, attention to detail is everything.
GET THE LOOK:
W05V, £125, BUY NOW
Go with your mood
Some frames suit your face shape, but will.i.am uses his more to evoke a mood, switching up styles depending on what character he’s looking to portray.
Here, will.i.am showcases the playful side of his personality (without ever tipping into the realms of costume) with the round glasses undeniably a look, but actually quite a versatile shape. These designer glasses frames suit many faces.
Flattering and fun: no wonder round frames are his go-to.
GET THE LOOK:
W17S SUN RX, £125, BUY NOW
Workout your face
Aviator sunglasses still remind us of Tom Cruise in Top Gun and Cartman masquerading as a renegade copper in South Park, but with a thin frame and more subtly coloured shades, the Aviator can be an everyday look.
will.i.am goes for a thin silver wire and a copper lens, flattering his round face shape.
The wider style will make your cheeks appear slimmer and accentuate your jaw line.
Like getting a workout for your face but… they’re just nice sunglasses.
GET THE LOOK:
W16S SUN RX, £125, BUY NOW
Twist the classics
The Wayfarer shape has been a design staple since its introduction back in the Fifties.
A universally flattering style, the frames have been customised ad infinitum, and here the hip-hop artist utilises a little bit of reflective gold to surprisingly subtle effect.
You might not think ‘reflective gold’ screams ‘subtlety’, but the muted shade combined with the grown-up shape comes close while allowing a little bit of intrigue mirrored in the material. The pattern of the frame is simply whatever is around him at that moment.
There’s a lot you can get away with when you keep the silhouette classic.
GET THE LOOK:
W14V, £125, BUY NOW
Try the will.i.am for Specscavers range without leaving the house.
You don’t even have to get dressed to try on the will.i.am range. The only effort you’ll have to make is picking up your phone.
If you don’t already have it, download Snapchat, then scan the Snapcode on this page, or tap and hold if you do, and you’ll unlock an exclusive lens that lets you see how three different styles will look on you.
Shop the range now at Specsavers.