With summer firmly behind us (depending on where you’re reading this from), the glorious Autumn has arrived and with it, low winter sun. To counteract this, and as consideration for next summer’s sunglasses purchase we thought a review of iconic Italian sunglasses brand Persol would be well received.

Via Cabot in Turin, Italy during 1917 is where the Persol story starts when photographer and owner of Berry Opticians; Giuseppe Ratti began to make technically advanced glasses. Mr Ratti designed his wares to satisfy the demands of military pilots and racing drivers who required comfort, protection and optimum vision.

The first significant development for the company was the release of the Protector model- with two main attributes; quality and ease of wearing. This model in fact, led to the registration of the Persol trademark (Persol from “per il sole” meaning “for the sun”).

Function and a dedication to one expertise over purely style has, throughout history produced the best brands with longevity and Persol is one such brand. Typified by the introduction of Model 649 in 1957, designed specifically for Turin tram drivers to protect their eyes from air and dust.

Over the next few decades the Persol brand continued to progress with word of mouth spreading, a marketeers favourite tool. Persol however did not chase the money- but continued to innovate, testing its lenses at high altitudes and in the desert, to ensure their products performed in extreme conditions. This translated, your Persol’s will survive a trip to the beach and or ski trip to the French Alps.

-Steve McQueen

Persol’s reputation for quality was evident, and for those in the know their eye for style too. However, actor Steve McQueen further cemented the brands’ reputation by almost constantly wearing the iconic Persol 714 folding sunglasses.  Choosing your weapon of choice is a tough call, the folding 714 have and always will be popular, we also like the more traditional non-folding 649 pairs. Either way, you can be sure of two things; Persol stands for tough and stylish eyewear.