May 13, 2009
I received an e-mail today from one of the designers of Zanzan Eyewear, Gareth Townshend, introducing me to his sunglass line and suggesting that I feature it on The Dandy Project. Frankly, I’m immensely flattered that anyone would think this blog would be worth featuring any products on, but he asked nicely and the goods are great so I say ask and you shall receive.
Handmade in France using Carl Zeiss lenses and designed in England, each style is strictly limited to a hundred pairs.
The Zanzan Black Rio
The strong square shape of the Black Rio model really caught my eye, a sharp contrast to the ultra-round styles that have been fascinating me recently but are already rapidly becoming pedestrian despite me not even getting a pair yet. In ebony-colored frames with tortoiseshell arms, they provide just the right balance of modernity and retro charm.
The Zanzan Rubirosa
A close runner-up would be the Rubirosa, their own take on the Wayfarer, albeit a little more square. Again, in speckled tortoise, the shades become that much more sumptuous.
Things that inspire designers Gareth Townshend and Megan Trimble are the sub-cultural style elites of the 60s and early 70s – the Dolce Vita style of the Italian Beatniks, the cinematic élan of the French New Wave, psychedelic samba collectives in the Rio de Janeiro foothills and the ‘beautiful and damned’ in Yves Saint Laurent’s Paris—quite a sexy mood board, I imagine, but I do think the products clearly and beautifully exude the spirit of their inspiration.