CHANEL model A 71014 is featured as third and last part of sunglassespreservation’s mini-series, dedicated to the evolution of CHANEL quilted leather in combination with acetate, metal, glass and nylon sunglasses.
As you can immediately see from the first picture above, what we have here is a very special and complex pair of CHANEL shades. They are incredibly detailed, on highest levels of modern day eyewear technology and standards. This model is a hybrid between a mask and sunglasses. In fact, they look like the designers merged two models into one. The back frame, made in nylon and covered with matelasse lambskin leather, functions as the mask, surrounding the actual silver metal titanium frame, protruding out of it, creating an exceptional three dimensional visual effect.
Model A 71014 looks like it came straight from a movie based in a futuristic re-enactment of the twenties. It could also be defined as a hyper luxurious steampunk design or a prototype for a futuristic pilot.
One mustn’t forget that these shades come from CHANEL’s fall-winter 2013 pret-a-porter collection, which was inspired by “world-travelling”, flying and a twist on CHANEL’s “conquering” the world by showcasing an enormous giant earth globe in the middle of the fashion show’s venue, with hundreds of tiny lights and flags pinned onto the cities and countries all over the world, where CHANEL has already opened a boutique. In a way, these sunglasses represent the CHANEL explorer, ready to travel all over the world, to find a new place to build a new boutique. One may take this as one will… it could be seen as a negative in this day and age, but all things considered, CHANEL does still make a big effort to produce their goods in Europe, providing fair labor and keeping some of handcraft’s tradition alive by subsidising small companies specialized in different style, design and meterial techniques.
The sunglasses you see here are CHANEL’s most complex and detailed model ever made. Where to begin with? The temples, for example, are the first temples that, when folded together, have a built in block in the hinges to prevent them from rubbing against each other, keeping the delicate leather on top of the temples unharmed. The nylon frame and temples have elevated edges to allow the leather to snuggly fit within its borders, preventing it to protrude, hence avoiding damage to the material.
The second, titanium frame, is brushed and protected by a light glossy coat of another material to prevent it from being scratched easily. The metal double “C” logos on both temples are perfectly placed above the quilted leather base, without any show of stress in the leather underneath.
The faded lenses fit perfectly into the metal titanium frames, without any screws or additional fixtures needed. The metal frames fit perfectly into the nylon frames without any visible sign of how the designers solved the issue of combining two materials together. The way the two frames are kept together is partially a secret. What we see is just one black screw, on the back of the nylon bridge. This screw keeps the front metal bridge together with the back nylon frame. As for how the frames are kept together around the lens area is still a mistery.
The interesting choice of using matelasse leather without it being stitched is probably due to two factors: first, on such a small size of leather used, the stitching would have been unpractical and second, eventual stitching would have compromised the overal elegance of the shades as it would have plumped the sunglasses quite a bit, making them lose their overall futuristic appeal.
The leather, however, is extremly soft and fine textured and it extends to the end of the temples, in the ear area. It is glued onto the nylon backgorund. We do not know how good or bad this leather and glue will withstand the test of time. Hopefully the glue will not dry out and there will be no pealing.
A lot of love and thought went into the process of making these sunglasses. Extremely low quantities have been produced. Most CHANEL boutiques did not even have this model for sale as it is clearly a museum item rather than a piece one would wear each day around the city. There is something extremely sculptural about these sunglasses and it transcends mere wearability. They might, at certain angles, even appear to be hyper modern toys because the back side of the frames looks more simple then the complex front. In fact, thats another reason why we also say they look like a movie prop. Extremly high-end and complex on the outer surface and yet extremly simple and comfortable on the inside.
This model is a boutique exclusive and was made in Italy, by LUXOTTICA. LUXOTTICA has begun using nylon for many of their higher end products. This is an interesting fact. In this case we are not sure if nylon is better or worse than acetate. We are also not sure if nylon would have been the only way to make these amazing sunglasses/mask. Perhaps the molding of nylon could be done through 3D printing or is sturdier than acetate. We are not sure what the reasons were but nylon does offer a significantly different surface structure than acetate does. Acetate is very glossy and even on the surface, while nylon, even though glossier, appears to be lightly bumpy and uneven. This is due to the texture of the material. In this case, we appreciate it as it adds a futuristic final touch to the overall appeal of the shades. We are also sure that CHANEL and LUXOTTICA did not spare any means as to how to produce this luxury item so there is no reason to believe nylon was chosen as a cheaper material for this particular model.
Each one of the faded lenses bares the CHANEL logo on them. The right frame also has the personal authentication identity number to prove its origin and authenticity.
These sunglasses have received almost no press and promotion. They have been put into CHANEL’s sunglasses website section: “runway models” but were taken down less than a week later and are no longer to be seen there. We applaud the designer team at LUXOTTICA for pulling this model together! They never get the merit they deserve and never get mentioned! We believe that Lagerfeld probably did not have the idea to make these babies himself! The many talented designers shoud get aknowledged!
Model A 71014 also has a smaller sister or brother, also named A 71014 and in the same shape but made without titanium and leather. The smaller model is made of opaque black nylon (temples and back frame) and glossy black nylon (front frame and front bridge). There are also no edges elevated on the borders of the frame and temples as there are no fillings used.
This concludes our three part mini series on CHANEL’s use of quilted leather in combination with acetate, metal, glass and nylon sunglasses. We have shown you the evolution of a brand and hope there will be many more surprises left in stock for us from designer’s future creations!
Jump to episode one here
Jump to episode two here
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