CHANEL model 02471, color 90405 (black opaque/matt) is a very special and rare pair of shades made in the early-mid nineties in Italy. This model presents an extremly difficult build as the round frames hold square dark black/blue lenses. This construction is very fragile as it appears to be held together by extremly thin metal, holding lenses in place that were cut with such precision that prevents them from moving even an inch from their designated positions!
The frame is metal, laquered in opaque black, hence the color code 90405 (given to CHANEL sunglasses in opaque black independently from the material: acetate or metal). The temples are extremly thin, also in black laquered metal, with a double “C” logo as integral part of them, in polished gold shine on each outer side. The temples are screwed to the frame with one screw each and a hinge. The edges of each temple are covered with plastic supports for ear wear comfort.
The CHANEL insignia is printed on the inner right temple. The “made in Italy” stamp as well as the model number and color code are printed in white on the inner side of the left temple.
These shades are extremly elegant in their cut and shape as they are very thin and small. In fact, they weigh only a couple gramm making it difficult to gentlyhandle them as they have almost no heft. Still they manage to remain sturdy and extremly stable. They are, however very difficult to photograph as they are much more elegant in real life then on any picture.
They came in a black, CHANEL-signed, high-gloss carton box with black soft foam on the inside. This is the first and oldest type of CHANEL eyewear packaging and is interesting to see how it has been used for so long, until the mid to late nineties, with particular models because by the time these shades were released, CHANEL had already begun using the first “clap”/closable black plastic containers like this one here. This would mean that special models were still packaged in carton boxes as these differ a lot in elegance to the later plastic ones. Unfortunately the carton they are made of is very fragile and tears easily making it very difficult to store safely. Another possible reason the carton boxes were still in use after the introduction of the plastic clasp boxes is that there might have been a surplus left to use.
The concept of uniting round frames with square lenses is rare and extremly sophisticated and as such is very typical for CHANEL. A very beautiful and rare piece of sunglass design history and a true gem in our sunglassespreservation archives!
These sunglasses were a CHANEL boutique exclusive as in the nineties no optician was allowed a CHANEL eyewear retail license.
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