CHANEL model 71046, color S1469, material 02081 were the most showcased sunglasses on CHANEL’s ss14 pret-a-porter fashion show in Paris. This color combination graced the catwalk two times in the same show. There is a total of three color combinations produced: black frame and temples with white shield visor (in sunglassespreservation’s archives), white frame and temples with black shield visor and black frame and temples with black shield visor. All color versions, except for the all black model were shown on the runway.
These shades are a bit controversial. We know that this is not the first time a shield visor model hits the runway. This type of shades was produced in the eighties by no brand labels and was sold for a dollar on street corners and at the beach by boardwalk vendors. The most typical version of this model is a plug in visor that you attach on top of the frame via two holes. The shield visor was commonly not bendable. In the mid 00’s german designer Bernhard Willhelm took the model and vamped it up with Linda Farrow to a more fashion-y item by reproducing it one to one to the way it looked in the eighties. Since then the visor shades were no longer produced untill now.
CHANEL presented this model at their ss14 pret-a-porter collection inspired by pop art. The entire catwalk was made up to look like a sort of pop art museum, filled with art-y CHANEL models walking up and down the “museum” hallways. Each model was either dressed as an artist or as a retro vintage 80’s pop girl. The sunglasses chosen to represent this look were the shield visor sunnies. Nothing original but at second sight, when we look into detail we notice the innovation in 2014’s rendition of this now to become classic model.
The material used for the frame, temples and visor is not acetate. CHANEL has completely made these shades out of nylon fiber. The visor itself is not detachable from the frame. It is screwed to the frame via a hinge mechanism which is molded into the frame itself. The nylon fiber makes these shades look less polished than what we are usually used to see from CHANEL. They are rougher around the edges as if LUXOTTICA used new 3D printers to produce them. In fact, nylon fiber can mean a series of things. There are many ways and qualities of nylon that can be used to create a pair of shades and we are not completely sure why CHANEL’s design team opted for this material over acetate. What is clear is that the shield visor has a light ledge coming up on the back. This was probably made to hide the attachment mechanism at the top of the frame. Seen from the front, the visor appears to be suspended in mid air. That is a great effect that adds lightness to the overall appeal of these great shades!
Another interesting fact is the double “C” logo placed on the top right side of the shield visor. On the runway model as well as on the sample used for CHANEL’s online promotion, the metal double “C” logo is a three dimensional metal logo placed on top of the shield visor surface while the model that went into final retail production has a carved in double “C” placed within the shield visor and a metal double “C” plate placed within it. This does not affect the overall look of the sunglasses. It does not make them look any less CHANEL but we wonder why the decision was made to alter the look of the double “C” logo. Was the sample and catwalk version too unstable with the possibility of it detaching easily? Perhaps, but we will not know for sure unless someone from the design team doesn’t give us official answers or statements.
These shades bare the authenticity identification number on the temples (which hasn’t been done in over a decade as CHANEL sunglasses always have the authenticity identification number on the lenses). In fact, the right inner temple bares the authenticity identification number and CHANEL brand logo while the left inner temple bares the country of origin/production (Italy), model number and color number.
The lenses are faded and have a CHANEL brand logo lasered into their top left and right side, respectively. The frame top has a hinge mechanism molded into it to allow the shield visor to be attached to it via two screws. The shield visor itself can only fold to a 45 degree angle and cannot close or shut completely over the lenses. The shield visor can also not get lifted higher than a 90 degree angle to the lenses.
Interesting fact to point out is the decline of CHANEL’s lust for logos. CHANEL was famous for their incredible sunglasses from the nineties, covered with overdimensional logos, sometimes even placed over the wearers eyes! This new model has no logo on the frame or temples. The only logo we see is a small double “C” on top of the visor and now that CHANEL placed it into the carved-in socket, it is even less visible than the sample version. The tendency to render their sunglasses more “modest” is not necessary as we love to see CHANEL as a bubble-gum over the top fabulous sassy brand that delivers oversized and beyond all expectations sunglasses!
We do, however, aknowledge the willpower to experiment with new materials and technologies and we do appreciate the research that goes into creating new vibes and feels to luxury sunglasses so we do applaud model 71046!
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