In 1926, Philip Oliver Goldsmith, a salesman for a small optical firm in England, founded Oliver Goldsmith with the vision of transforming eyeglasses into a fashion accessory. In 1935, Charles Goldsmith entered the family firm with the idea of specifically creating sunglasses. In 2005, 20 years after Oliver Goldsmith ceased production, Claire Goldsmith, great-granddaughter of the founder, relaunched this iconic brand internationally. Targeted to style-conscious, classic-but-irreverent consumers of all ages who will not compromise on quality and design, the 2008 Classic Oliver Goldsmith collection consists of 26 sunglasses, all re-issues from the 1950s to the 1970s. Using modern technology to enhance durability and fit, the frames are handmade from acetate in Japan to the original specification of the vintage designs and are equipped with Carl Zeiss CR-39 lenses with an anti-scratch coating. Frame colors range from tortoise and black laminates to translucent shades and several brights for deeper skin tones.
Photographed by Annie Gallagher/Black box studio
PHILOSOPHY: “We have been hand-making the highest quality spectacle and sunglass frames for more than 70 years and we have no plans to move away from our core values of quality craftsmanship and innovative design,” says Claire Goldsmith, managing director of Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses.
MARKETING: A countertop display with multiple, changeable images is available. Each sunglass comes with a hard case, lens cloth/pouch and brand book packaged in a box.
PRICE POINT: $$$$$. For additional information, contact Gary Scott Optics, (718) 777-0200; web site:
InSight With such aficionados as Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Princess Margaret and Sophia Loren, Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses have been described by the Victoria and Albert Museum as the “originator of fashion eyewear” and “to eyewear design what Vidal Sassoon is to
hair and Mary Quant to clothes.”
Over the past 20 years, I’ve seen some pretty interesting things during clinic time. I recently had the amazing experience of meeting a young man with albinism. In the United States and Europe, there are only one in 18,000 to 20,000 people who have some type of albinism. He was only the second patient I have had the opportunity to work with, and the first Caucasian male. I decided to research the condition.
There’s an internet eyewear retailer whose advertising claims to dispel the “myths” of internet eyewear purchases. Here’s one. “Myth: Online glasses compromise on quality. While there are certain online retailers that sell less-than-quality products, there are plenty of low quality products at retailers that sell at brick and mortar locations. All you need to do is make sure you do your research.” Was that supposed to be reassuring?