Mr. Luxury Ski
Back in Winter 1960, French ski racer Jean Vuarnet conquered Squaw Valley’s Olympic downhill strapped onto metal skis and wearing shades debuting a revolutionary glass lens. Metal skis didn't pass the test of time but Vuarnet's custom shades did, launching an optics empire. After a brief break-up with Uncle Sam, Vuarnet is back Stateside, re-releasing three of its iconic styles in new lens and frames colors.
The French brand's American line-up starts with the 02, the exact style the ski racer wore at the Olympics way back when. They earned style cred when Mick Jagger rocked the shades on the streets of London, but Vuarnet never sold out the 02's Olympic heritage: The Skilynx lenses first developed by Parisian Dr. Roger Pouilloux in 1957. The mineral glass lenses create glare-free clarity to accentuate contrast on ice and snow. They're excellent for spring skiing and a must for spring après-skiing on the patio at Sun Valley's Apple's Bar and Grill.
James Bond gave a nod to Vuarnet in his latest film, “Spectre," breaking out performance Glacier sunglasses in an awesome Alpine shootout. We're keen on these aviator-style glasses developed in the 80s to the specifications of top French mountaineers complete with leather shield blocking out light and wind and removable cord to keep them stable. Wear them to bomb steeps or scale towering peaks—or remove the shields and pair them with Danner's Bond Boot to keep your apres-ski style on point.
When Vuarnet launched the “03” in 1962, it was a hit with American Air Force pilots for its straight lines and XL square shape. Fast forward some 30 years and The Dude tied his enlightened style together with the shades, creating an iconic character transcending time and place.
Back in the 90s El Duderino made the 03 work in a Los Angeles bowling alley, but in 2016 Mr. Luxury Ski prefers these shades for apres high on the mountain that made Vuarnet famous: Squaw Valley, where cocktails are served at 8,200 feet at High Camp pool and hot tub.
Whether you're chilling or climbing, Vuarnet's glasses are built to last. The company still manufactures its mineral glass lenses in a factory in Meaux, France, and it still takes one week’s work to craft a single lens from selection of raw materials to a seventeen-step shaping process. That all-natural mineral glass affords 100 percent UV protection and they absorb up to 98 percent of infrared rays. They're also scratch and shock proof, making them ideal for mountain adventures year round.
Available at Vuarnet.