Is This the Next Big Thing in Sunglasses?
Fashion Week is back in full swing, with plenty to see. You’ll miss the details if you blink. Tiny purses, towering shoes, feathery caps, leather capes, and diamond dog collars. As part of a new series called Wow Moment, we’ll highlight items that delighted or perplexed us on the runways.
MILAN — As customers came into Sunnei’s spring presentation on Friday, a disembodied voice chastised them again, “Don’t open the bag.”
As they approached the runway, an all-white tunnel erected inside an empty warehouse, guests received white cotton drawstring purses. The voice (turned out to be the marketing director) did not tolerate peering into the bags.
The voice reprimanded again shortly before the concert started. It finally allowed the audience to open the pouches and reveal a pair of sunglasses inside.
“This show was designed to be experienced while wearing the sunglasses, not while pointing phones at the models.”
Almost everyone obeyed the first half of her directions when an angry white light slammed on overhead. (How about the second part? Not at all.)
That’s how you get a group of fashion insiders to put on sunglasses that look like sophisticated ski goggles. Midway through the event, when it appeared that some guests were about to yank them off, strobe lights dissuaded them.
The sunglasses are known as Prototipo 3 by Sunnei, and they were worn by every model on the runway. They were available in a number of colors; Jet black, dark beige, or white with red and blue lenses, similar to 3-D glasses. Instead of full-length temples, the rectangular acrylic frames have stubs that are coupled to adjustable head straps. Sunnei put some up for sale online after the show.
Sunnei’s designers, Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina, clearly believe in the product’s marketability. Sunnei has been gaining traction since its inception as a men’s wear label in 2014. The brand secured a $7 million investment from the fashion conglomerate Vanguards last year.
In a city dominated by extremely old, very steady luxury residences, Sunnei has developed with a cool, rebellious vitality. It has a sizable Instagram following, and it’s easy to see the Prototipo 3 gaining traction among influencers.
These are sunglasses for those who don’t care about the ease and versatility of Ray-Bans, but do care about being noticed. What’s more, you know what? They snatched ours.