Meeow!

The first pair of sunglasses I’ve ever owned were the Wayfarers by Ray Ban. I bought them in the mid-Eighties, when they were so trendy, and I wore them all the time. The Wayfarers were incredibly cool, but I didn’t feel completely at ease wearing them, maybe because they were unisex and I was looking for a more feminine shape. When I was 18, I started wearing glasses because of short-sight: my first glasses were cat’s eye-shaped, an old-fashioned model which I immediately fell in love with. At 18 (that is, 18 years ago) I first realized cat’s eye glasses were my thing.

For many years I didn’t buy sunglasses, but my obsession for cat’s eye shapes was suddenly rekindled in 2007, when Nicole Richie was spotted wearing an amazing pair of sunglasses.

It was love at first sight: this style looked (and still looks) absolutely flawless and – you know how obsessions work – had to be mine as soon as possible. I must admit I wasn’t surprised when it came out that Tom Ford was the mind behind these.


The Anouk is not the most successful style of his hugely successful sunglasses collections, but are for sure among the most fascinating models [1]. The glossy black version is flawless, also because it has no logos, all substance and no showing off the brand.


The name of the style obviously comes from Anouk Aimee, the iconic French actress who wore a similar pair of sunglasses in Federico Fellini’s masterpiece, La Dolce Vita (1960).

You can appreciate Nicole Richie’s style or not, but the fact that she’s a trend setter cannot be denied. Shortly after being spotted on Nicole, the Anouk were seen on other celebrities, including Kate Moss and Cate Blanchett [2], who looked stunning and regal in them,

Nicole is the celebrity who probably owns the most impressive collection of sunglasses, most of which is made of vintage or hand-made frames. Last year, the fashion world went crazy when she was seen wearing another cat’s eye model.

This time I couldn’t follow her steps and buy a pair of Thierry Lasry Velvety sunglasses, because they’re very very expensive. The shape of these is sublime, isn’t it?

My craving for more cat’s eye sunglasses resurfaced when I saw somewhere (on a magazine, maybe, or in some website I don’t remember) another to-die-for style. I’ve never owned Persol sunglasses, but they are said to be among the best in terms of design and quality, and I totally agree with this. These 2873 sunglasses are extremely chic and refined, maybe TOO chic for my liking.

They have a sleek cat’s eye shape and the iconic metal arrows on the sides. They’re not very big, and this is the reason why I haven’t fallen for them the first time I put them on. This style has slowly grown on me, and now I simply adore it.

After the purchase, I saw some pics of Julia Roberts on the set of To Pray, Eat, Love, wearing the exact same style. She looks so beautiful and refined!

Before closing this short post, here are some celebrities who have constantly forstered my love for cat’s eye sunnies.

Grace Kelly is a timeless style icon: one of Hermès most beautiful bags are named after her, and the same can be said for the cat’s eye sunglasses she was wearing in a photo taken in the Sixties, a model especially made for her by Oliver Goldsmith.

Marilyn Monroe played the role of the adorable short-sighted Pola Debevoise in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) by Jean Negulesco. She wore beautiful cat’s eye glasses, which added a slightly nerdy touch to her bombshell image.

Grease (1978) by Randal Kleiser is one of my favourite movies ever and is a constant source of inspiration. The character I love most is Frenchy, but Marty Maraschino (played by Dinah Manoff) is my second best. I love her pin-up outfits and her flirtatious, yet clumsy, attitude. In one of the first scenes, she is wearing glittering cat’s eye sunglasses, which – she hopes – give her an intellectual mood.

The ultimate cat’s eye accessory is actually a mask, designed by Linda Farrow for Luella spring/summer 2008 collection. I think the primary source of inspiration was the Catwoman mask seen on Enid (played by Thora Birch) in Ghost World (2oo1) by Terry Zwigoff. The thick-rimmed glasses seen on the models in the same runway are another reference to the movie starring Birch and Scarlett Johansson.

What do you think of cat’s eye sunglasses? Do you like them or do they look too “old lady”? Do you have a favourite pair of sunglasses?

[1] My favourite sunglasses ever are another creation by Tom Ford, the Bianca. I bought them some time before giving birth to my daughter, whose name is Bianca. Ford named them after Bianca Jagger, I decided to name my daughter after her, too, so I think it was written in the stars that I should own them.

[2] She has recently worn another pair of flawless cat’s eye sunglasses. If you can id them, please drop me a line!

Source, source and source.

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13 comments

  1. Oh I adore eye’s cat-shaped sunglasses too! Last february I found a pair in a vintage shop, just like the same sported by Grace Kelly in the picture you have posted. I looked for them for a long time, I think they are so chic and feminine, and, over all, this model fits me perfectly : )

    1. I think this shape is very feminine, maybe a little too old-fashioned, but I think it’s part of its charm. You have been lucky to find a lovely vintage pair.

  2. cat-eyed glasses are the best. my favorite ones are Ray Ban’s Cats1000 for sunglasses and Lafont for prescription glasses…

    1. Ray Ban Cats1000 are lovely! This is the first time I heard of Lafont glasses. Is that a French brand, isn’t it? Is it sold in Italian optician shops as well?

  3. yup, that’s a french brand! I’ve spotted them in an optician shop here in Milan but I doubt they’re easy to find in Italy. It’s too bad, because their cateye models are really flattering IMO.
    I especially dig the model “Karima” that have been sported by the gorgeous Megan Fox…

    1. Ooohhh, I perfectly remember those eyeglasses on Megan Fox, they’re really pretty. I actually prefer old-fashioned styles (like the ones seen on Marilyn Monroe), but that one is so nice.

  4. Ho visto qualche cosa di molto simile (non sono sicurissima che siano identici) a quelli indossati di Cate Blanchett su Scarlett Johansson ed erano i Nikita di Tom Ford…

  5. Hi, thank you for posting the wonderful close-up of Grace Kelly. I collect every picture of her I possibly can and was excited to find this in the Bing Live search engine. I did want to correct you on the time that this photo was taken, though. I have seen other pictures from this particular appearance and it was actually late 1964 or early ’65 because she was VERY pregnant with her daughter, Stephanie, and Princess Caroline and Prince Albert were small children. I cannot recall seeing any photos of her wearing these frames at any time in the 50’s, at least not publicly. I really think these were acquired after she became Princess of Monaco… Just nitpicking… Thanks for the great photo and the info about Oliver Goldsmith! I never knew she had glasses specially made for her, though it doesn’t surprise me. (She was very near-sighted, as well, so these were probably prescription lenses. ;])

    1. Hi! Thanks for the details about the picture of Grace Kelly (I’ve corrected the post with the correct decade in which it was taken). I am sure the sunglasses were made for her after she became Princess of Monaco. She was such a great example of grace and elegance, no wonder so many designed pieces especially for her (think of the Gucci Flora silk scarf, designed by the Italian artist Accornero).

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