The Sunglasses Market – A General Overview
As with most markets in the 21st century upstarts are felling established giants with new business models, challenging the status quo. Think Airbnb throwing the leisure industry into new beginnings or Uber changing the face of the taxi industry forever. The same is happening in eyewear, with a variety of upstarts changing the way we fend off the suns’ rays.
Eyewear or sunglasses more specifically here, has long been dominated by the same brands (Ray-ban, Persol, Oliver Peoples etc). Many of which are owned by the same parent companies, some of whom even have their own brand of stores, selling – yes, you guessed it, only their own sunglasses brands. The result is not a lack of choice as such, for these brands still exist and are abundant but the almost-monopolistic situation results in a uniformly medium to high price point.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of the aforementioned brands – but I also like choice. Choice in style and price-point, but one essential theme must remain – quality. This is where French brand Binocle Eyewear excels.
The Binocle Eyewear Differential(s)
Binocle Eyewear was founded in 2016 with The Binocle Original. A classic-wayfarer shape priced at €29 / £26 / $37 and available today in 1,500 combinations. Yes, 1,500. Not only is the price-point incredibly wallet-appeasing but the staggering amount of choice means you can afford to own multiple styles to suit your mood and or outfit.
Your next question no doubt, “what about the quality?”. I must admit that the images on the website could be improved, but don’t be fooled, for in the hand you get a real feel of craftsmanship. Binocle Eyewear sunglasses are all manufactured with quality materials (Polycarbonate, Acetate and Metal), whilst being controlled and assembled by hand in France. All models are polarised and provide industry leading UV protection.
The brand has grown since the Original in 2016 with 2017 seeing the launch of the Binocle Daytona, also fully customisable and 2018 the arrival of Binocle Française – a range of sunglasses designed and manufactured in France. 2018-2019 saw the arrival of the Binocle California, Binocle Coachella, Square, Arizona, Nevada, Indiana and Mona. That’s nine in total for those of you wanting a figure against the variety of choices.
While the brands’ website binocle.club portrays a rather lively and trendy vibe, with a focus on sport it’s important to note the Binocle is for everybody: men, women and children. In fact, most of the products are unisex.
‘Try’ Before You Buy
To backup the Binocle Eyewear experience the brands’ pièce de résistance is an incredibly slick virtual fitting application available on iOS and Android. Similar to Snapchat, you can ‘try on’ any combination off colour, frame and glass via your smartphone camera. A selfie if you will. It’s innovative and fun but genuinely gives you a great feel for how you might look in your desired pair of eyewear. If nothing else, trust me – just try it, it’s educational in that you can easily decide which frame styles suit your given face shape, and which colours.
A Limited Edition Ape x Binocle Eyewear Discount
There’s more good news. Until 11th August, 2019 – Ape readers will benefit from 30% off any purchase. Just enter GENTLEMAN30 at checkout via the link below.
This post is a paid partnership with Binocle Eyewear, however the words and opinion are Ape’s own
Original photography by Making Frames for Ape to Gentleman