The Gangster. The Detective. The Reporter. The Femme Fatale. These are characters typically portrayed in crime films from the “film noir” era, a cinematic genre prevalent in the ’50s. They are also the inspiration for the new eyewear styles in Persol’s Film Noir Edition, a capsule collection from Luxottica celebrating the brand’s style heritage.

Characterized by crime dramas with intricate plots, cynical and brooding characters, and dark shadows and lighting, film noir (French for “dark film”) remains a celebrated genre, influencing contemporary filmmaking, as well as fashion and style. The aesthetics of film noir define the new collection from Persol, who journeyed back in time to explore the brand’s archives with a mission to reinterpret the ’50s. Extensive research into the brand’s history revealed that its trademark Arrow had at one time encompassed a wide range of designs. Among the most prominent of these designs is the Phoenix Arrow, which has been brought back to life with a modern twist in the Film Noir Edition.

Inspired by the Phoenix, a mythical creature that rises up from its ashes symbolizing eternal rebirth, the Phoenix Arrow was chosen by Persol as the main design element in the reinterpretation of its style heritage. With its characteristic stripe design, the Phoenix Arrow is redesigned with a modern touch, giving frame temples that signature look iconic to all Persol eyewear. Infused with the classic film noir elements of mystery and intrigue, the Film Noir capsule collection is born with two sunglass and two optical styles, all drawing from the aforementioned character archetypes symbolic of that era but with a contemporary twist and crafted with the workmanship for which Persol is known.

To celebrate the launch of Film Noir, Persol recently feted an exclusive event at the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan. Guests including Valentina Lodovini, Diane Fleri and Vinicio Marchioni were entertained by exclusive readings performed by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Luca Marinelli.

Cue the dramatic background music. The plot thickens and the mystery unravels... and it’s anything but dark. Persol channels film noir but its new collection steps out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

—Christine Yeh