CHANEL model 0000, from 1988, is the first of a three part mini-series sunglassespreservation will be showcasing on this website. The mini-series is dedicated to the evolution of CHANEL quilted leather in combination with acetate, metal, glass and nylon sunglasses. We will be showcasing three different CHANEL sunglasses from different time periods to show how far this brand has come in terms of implementing new technologies and aesthetics into their designs.
CHANEL model 0000 is the first pair of sunglasses CHANEL produced for retail, which, back in the day, was limited to CHANEL boutiques only. These beautiful shades were produced in France and were not just the first CHANEL model made for retail but were also the first pair made using very soft lambskin leather attachments to both sides of the temples.
This model was portrayed in several CHANEL ads and commercials in the late eighties. In fact, they have been seen gracing the face of model Inès de la Fressange in CHANEL make-up and pret-a-porter ads. The only difference between the retail model and the prototype from all the commercials is the lack of metal studs used to attach the leather pads to the acetate temples on the second.
The leather pads have a unique shape and have been attached to the temples via a complex technique. In fact, the leather pads are double on each side of the temples. When you turn the sunglasses inwards, you can notice that the acetate temples have big geometric holes in them. The holes themselves have long slots on the inner borders so that the smaller leather pads can click into them. The smaller leather pads are sewn and glued to the bigger pads and so the entire temples stay together very tightly. In addition, the retail version was given the “stud” treatment and three studs were used to attach each temple to it’s respective leather pad.
As far as collectibility of these wonderful gems goes, they are fairly easy to come by and usually do not sell for very high prices. This is due to the fact that this model never got the attention it deserved from press and stars in the past years. Nevertheless, do not be fooled by limited choices many untalented stylists make because these shades are very important to the entire CHANEL sunglass family as they are the ones that started it all! The first model ever produced for retail and the model that gave way to experimentation with leather and dark black acetate frame shapes which would make of CHANEL shades the highly collectible and covetable objects we know and treasure today!
The frames used are typical for the 80’s era, implementing very sturdy shapes and materials. The acetate used to make these sunglasses was old-school, kept to dry for several years and then put into shape. They are extremly sturdy and durable. The lenses are typical for 80’s and 90’s CHANEL: very dark and cool on the eyes.
The inner part of both the left and right temples bare inscriptions in white. The model we have in our sunglassespreservation archives has most of the inscriptions almost completely erased but we were able to recompose all the inscriptions as we have viewed several other identical models. The left inner temple carries the inscription: “CHANEL”, the copyright logos and the “made in France” inscription, while the right inner temple carries the the year these sunglasses were produced in: 1988.
The leather pad attachments on the temples bare the same hight as the frames do, making it seem as though they extend beyond the frames on the side, where they connect to each other.
You will see in our next two desciptions coming up in the next posts how complex and technologically advanced the newer CHANEL quilted leather sunglasses have just become. In comparison, the first model, mod. 0000 will appear almost unfinished as it shows the simplest structure and construction. It also reveals how much the brand, the designers’ visions as well as technical capabilities have grown throughout the decades!
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