STEVE MCQUEEN – PERSOL POSTER BOY

by bulang - May 17 2018

Our HeyDay Collection celebrates the warmer seasons of the year – and you can’t live it up in spring and summer without some proper sunglasses. That’s why we offer a selection of vintage and special shades as part of the exclusive range. To provide a little insight, here’s a few lines about the connection between the famed Italian eyewear brand Persol and the actor Steve McQueen.

It’s no secret that we here at Bulang and Sons have a soft spot for a number of male movie icons of yore. The authentic swagger and original style of these cinematic heroes was something that is found all too rare in our digital small-screen age.

CONNOISSEUR AND DARE-DEVIL

In this respect, Steve McQueen might be our ultimate man-crush. There are hardly any photos of the legendary actor where he doesn’t sport a beautiful watch on his arm. And sunglasses from the famed Italian company Persol before his blue eyes.

As a connoisseur of beautiful things and as a dare-devil, Steve McQueen had been a Persol fan throughout the late 1960s. The foldable Persol 714 model quickly became his favorite shades, thanks to its combination of functionality and unmistakable style.

 

THOMAS CROWN AND THE PERSOL 714

The 714 – in particular, the version with a light havana frame and crystal blue lenses – got to be an everyday accessory for the actor that would famously make it into a film: In 1968, McQueen wore it a lot in the starring role of The Thomas Crown Affair.

Playing the titular business man and bank robber, McQueen is the epitome of cool in the heist movie hit. No wonder that Faye Dunaway – who is supposed to convict him – falls for the guy. And gives him a one-minute kiss, the longest in a film at the time.

Original vintage grey and brown foldable Persol 714/T Ratti from the 1980s

STYLE ICONS AND THEIR ICONS OF STYLE

The Rolex Daytona has become inseparable from the persona of Paul Newman. And much the same can be said about Steve McQueen and the Persol 714. Style icons and their icons of style: Both actors shared an exquisite taste for quality products.

Persol is one of the oldest eyewear companies in the world. Established in 1917 in Italy, it initially provided glasses to pilots and sports drivers. The quality, functionality and durability of their designs would soon help the brand find a wider clientele.


Persol is renowned for the extraordinary quality of their glasses. The “Meflecto” patent (1938) as well as the production in the famous “Ratti” manufactory in Turin made them world famous.

TRAM DRIVERS AND MOVIE MAKERS

McQueen wasn’t even the first to wear Persol in a film. The comedy Divorce Italian Style saw Marcello Mastroianni sporting a Persol 649 in 1961 – another legendary model that had been introduced only four years prior for the tram drivers of Turin. Incidentally, the 649 would later provide the base for the McQueen’s foldable 714.

Ever since those days, Persol has become the favorite eyewear brand for film folks and many other people who value quality products with effortless style. With over one hundred years of heritage, the Persol brand is going as strong as ever today.

 


Marcello Mastroianni sporting a Persol 649 in the  comedy Divorce Italian Style

 

Men of all styles and ages can wear such classic design

VINTAGE AND SPECIAL FOR SPRING AND SUMMER

We’re excited to be able to offer you a selection of vintage and new Persol designs as part of our HeyDay Collection. Among these, there are two original vintage 714’s Ratti, as well as two of the Steve McQueen Special Limited Edition models from the brand.

Among the most wanted vintage sunglasses. The pair of original and rare NOS vintage Persol 714 Ratti sunglasses, as also used by Steve McQueen. Still with its hangtag and sticker. Just like a NOS 5513 Submariner. A great great find.
Now available in our shop here

Feel free to browse and be inspired by our range of sophisticated sunglasses from classic brands. One thing is for certain – the next sunny day will come soon enough!