COURRÈGES is back! Jacques Bungert and Frédéric Torloting are COURRÈGES’ new owners and co-presidents. They bought the company from André and his wife Coqueline Courrèges in January, 2011. They have since begun to quickly revive the brand by launching an e-commerce and reproducing famous basic COURRÈGES pieces from the past as well as new projects.
A new perfume “BLANC” has hit the store as well as a capsule collection of re-editions of famous COURRÈGES sunglasses from the sixties to the eighties. This is where sunglassespreservation’s interest was awoken and we had to rush to see the new edited pieces from COURRÈGES’s glorious past!
Before we begin to describe the first model from COURRÈGES’ revival, we need to say that their creative team had decided to work with non less than ALAIN MIKLI for the new upcoming collection of COURRÈGES sunglasses. We are not sure if ALAIN MIKLI remade the vintage pieces we are about to showcase and describe here or if he limited himself to designing the new upcoming models which will be available from February 2013 in the COURRÈGES boutique and subsequently on their e-commerce site.
The first pair sunglassespreservation got into our archives is a revisited model from the seventies. The official COURRÈGES website states, in fact, that this model was first created in the seventies, even though most vintage frame websites and archives state that it was first made in the eighties. It is a mask with a nose cover as holder under the bridge of the frame. These shades were remade in white and black. Sunglassespreservation, of course, had to go for white as white, silver and red are COURRÈGES’ statement symbol colors.
First off, these shades were available in many different colorways in the seventies and perhaps also in the eighties. In red, red transparent, pink, pink transparent, white, white with COURRÈGES logos printed in silver all over the frame and temples as a pattern, tortoise, brown, beige, gold and others which we are not sure of yet as new colors keep popping up from the past.
There are some substantial differences between the original model from the seventies and the new revisited model made in 2012. The first difference is the logo tag which was placed on the outer part of the left temple. The left temple had a cut out rectangular line in which the plastic rubbery glossy COURRÈGES logo was inserted. The revisited model does not have that. It has two plain logo-less temples. Very sleek and timeless. We prefer the new version temples.
The model number has changed as well from 7853 to CL1301 (followed by 0102 which we believe to be the color code). The new model states: “HAND MADE IN FRANCE” on the inner right temple and the COURRÈGES name, model number and size codes are on the inner left temple.
Another big change is in the structure of the shades. The original from the seventies had two screws screwed in on the back side of the frame. One screw on each side of the bridge. These screws kept the lenses firmly to the frames as the frames did not frame the lenses entirely. Todays revisited model has no screws on the back of the frame. In fact, it has no screws at all to keep the lenses in place. We are not sure if the inner part of the lenses that attaches itself to the frame have a sort of hinge or if glue was used to stick the lenses to the frame. That remains a mystery for now. Fact is that the frames look much better without the screws and the lenses appear to be kept in the frame very sturdily.
These sunglasses come directly from the COURRÈGES boutique in Paris where we believe is the only place to get them at the moment. They were also available at the Paris “Colette” boutique for aproximetely nine days. The material used to make them is not quite clear to us. It seems to be acetate but could be plain plastic instead. The COURRÈGES website states that this model is made of acetate. It does not seem too sturdy but we might be mistaken.
The packaging is neat. A space age style pouch in black vinyl with a neon pink tab to pull on to open it. The pouch is lined with black cotton on the inside. The two cover parts have two magnets each, placed inside the vinyl. There is a stitched COURRÈGES logo on the inside of the cover of the pouch. The pouch itself is not a very good container for the sunglasses as it does not fully close and it does not have a solid body to reinforce the structure of the container. This means that the expensive shades are not protected from dust and pressure. The aesthetical aspect of the pouch is good but not functional. Still it remains space-agey.
The shades come with a white cleaning cloth in a white paper envelope with a neon pink COURRÈGES logo on it.
We are very curious to see which other revisited models COURRÈGES will have to offer us! We have seen some of ALAIN MIKLI’s designs for COURRÈGES, coming out in February 2013 and we hope that the brand explores more space age shapes and virtual looks in the shades they bring out next. At least one or two models per season should be totally artist made and not too commercial. This is only our tip to the COURRÈGES design team as the shades planned to come out in February don’t really show any innovation in the field of art and design.
EDIT from 27.07.2013:
The brand “ALIAN MIKLI” has been sold to italian company “LUXOTTICA”. This means that ALAIN MIKLI’s workshops will no longer be producing COURRÈGES eyewear. It remains to be seen if LUXOTTICA takes over the COURRÈGES eyewear production. But as almost the entire staff at ALAIN MIKLI has been dismissed after the passage to LUXOTTICA, we are not sure what the plan is with COURRÈGES eyewear from now on.
Coming soon is the masterpiece of sunglass design! The re-edition of the mythical eskimo / inuit shades! Of course, only by COURRÈGES! Stay tuned!
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