COURRÈGES model inuit / eskimo (Patent PV 52 62) ss65

courreges eskimo - inuit model 1965

courreges eskimo – inuit model 1965

A very popular model in sunglass design history. The COURRÈGES eskimo / inuit white plastic sunglasses are a masterpiece of sunglass design mixed within space-age fashion and dreams of a different place where people can grow without fear of war, hunger and sadness.There are many stories related to this model. There are many photos of renowned artist Salvador Dalí wearing them, as well as getting inspied by letting his muses and models wear them. Then there are famous photos by photographer Peter Knapp depicting André COURRÈGES’ spring summer 1965 campaign where a female model wears a slightly different version of the sunglasses then was later released for retail. As is often the case not just in the past, sunglasses made for a catwalk are prototypes which mostly get altered once they go into production.

The COURRÈGES eskimo that hit retail has metal studs on the front and side of the frame and temples.

The right temple has, furthermore, a silver COURRÈGES inscription on the front, while the left temple has a silver “made in France” inscription on the inner side of the temples. These sunglasses are inspired by eskimo inuit glasses made of bones and in some cases wood. The thin slits in the lenses allow the wearer to have limited vision of what is going on in front of him/her while the remaining plastic surrounding the eyes protects the wearer from further sun beams.

These shades do not have any UV filters so they are more of a gimmick then they acutally may help prevent sun damage to the wearer. The plastic used to make them is not a sturdy acetate but rather a soft white plastic not very thick.  A very editorial piece of sunglass design that has been displayed in numerous photoshoots from Vogue to poster covers for exhibitions worldwide.

Even Italian’s most iconic and famous singer Mina has worn them on the cover of her best hits collection album from 1985: “MINA – del mio meglio numero otto”. The image is depicted further down.

The inside part of the “lenses” has an inscription stating: patent pending and PV 52 62. The screws holding the temples to the frames are silver but there are golden ones out there as well.

At Saks, Fifth Avenue, the COURRÈGES eskimo sunglasses could be purchased for 5 Dollars a piece back in 1965. Today they rate much much more then that when found in pristine condition. We at sunglassespreservation are extremly happy to have found a perfectly intact and scratchfree pair to include in our growing archives.

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