We’re still dreaming about 20/20 cover star MAXWELL when he graced our March 15 cover one year ago wearing sunglasses designed in collaboration with STATE OPTICAL. The R&B soul star makes his eyewear mark once again, partnering with State for the second installment of their STATE X Maxwell collection.

Launching this month, the limited-edition style BLACK_SUMMERS’_NIGHT builds on the aesthetic of the inaugural STATE X Maxwell style Reunion, adding a titanium sunglass to the capsule collection. Special details include hand-painted accents on the frame’s side shields and State’s trademark pyramidal temple tip. Crafted in Japan, the new style is available in three colorways— BLACK, a midnight blue frame with brown gradient lenses; SUMMERS’, a rose gold frame with light pink lenses; and NIGHT, a chrome frame with light aqua lenses. Each pair features special packaging, including a custom cleaning cloth with a personal message from Maxwell. BLACK_SUMMERS’_NIGHT references Maxwell’s expansive trilogy of albums of the same name. The three time Grammy winner shares: “Partnering with State for this second collection has been an incredible and rewarding experience. Being really hands-on in the creation process from beginning to end has been very special and lends to the authenticity of the collection.” The frame’s design draws inspiration from Maxwell’s trademark modern soul sound, as well as his personal style, incorporating ’70s flair with soul vibes and subtle details.

Continuing the philanthropic aspect tied to the first collaboration, State once again is contributing a portion of STATE X Maxwell frame sales to The Vision Council’s Opening Your Eyes Scholarship (O-YES). With a goal of expanding opportunities to teens in Black and Brown communities, O-YES provides full tuition for two years, an internship and mentorship to high school seniors who aspire to become opticians. As an O-YES board member, this project holds significant meaning beyond a pair of sunglasses for Maxwell—a cause that has become close to his heart. A portion of last year’s proceeds from the sales of the STATE X Maxwell Reunion frame has already helped provide scholarships to the inaugural class of seven O-YES students who have recently completed their first semester of opticianry school. “We’re excited to see everything these students will achieve, and I feel grateful to play just a small role in helping them reach their future career,” says Maxwell. “It has truly been a joy to be on this board, especially over this past year as our scholarship honorees completed their first semester. They continue to inspire me daily.”

Maxwell can be seen strutting his eye style wearing the new sunglasses in the music video for his new single “Off” from the highly anticipated release of blacksummersNIGHT, the final chapter in his album trilogy. Look for him on stage coming to a city near you as he kicks off his Night arena tour this month. We’ll continue to keep our eyes on Maxwell as he makes music magic in his signature new shades.

–Christine Yeh

Photo: Brandon Carter