Persol is an Italian fashion brand specialized in luxury eyewear for men and women. The brand name is derived from the phrase ‘per il sole,’ meaning ‘for the sun.’ Persol has a number of unique patents in its impressive portfolio, including the gorgeous Meflecto system and the Victor Flex nose bridge. You can read more about Persol’s history, remarkable innovations, and the different Persol collections below.
Persol: the collection
The assortment of Persol sunglasses is arranged by a number of beautiful collections: Classics, Design, and Suprema. The Collezione Classics is a collection of the most iconic Persol models available. The Collezione Design consists of innovative models, primarily with lightweight metal frames. The Collezione Suprema is the heritage collection, and consists of stunning redesigns and new releases of the most legendary Persol sunglasses.
The history of Persol: the Protector
Persol was founded in 1917 by Guiseppe Ratti in the Via Caboto in Turin. Ratti was a photographer and the owner of Berry Opticians. Ratti initially directed his efforts into designing a pair of sports sunglasses for pilots and (motor) racing drivers. He called this model the Protector. The Protector was a pair of goggles with dark lenses and an elastic headband. These first Persol goggles quickly became a favourite among Italian flying aces and racing drivers. In addition, the Protector was also used by pilots of the Italian Air Force. A little while later, in 1927, the Protector became part of the standard equipment for the Swiss armed forces.
The history of Persol: Meflecto
After the success of the Protector, Persol also began manufacturing casual sunglasses. By the end of the 1930s, Persol patented the unique Meflecto system. This series of flexible hinges became such a successful design feature that nowadays Meflecto is a standard component of Persol frames. The Meflecto system consists of a series of cylinders made of nylon or metal intersecting the frame at a cross angle. A beautifully designed and flexible strip of stainless steel runs through the core of the temple. This flexible blade intersects the cylinders, connecting them to one another. This allows the temples to gently bend outward, providing a supremely comfortable and secure fit.
When you look at Persol models with opaque frames, only two or three Meflecto cylinders are visible as a subtle reminder of the carefully crafted system hidden within. The more transparent acetate frames allow you to fully appreciate the clean-cut look of the metal Meflecto blade, the hinges, and the cylinders, showcasing this spectacular sample of Italian craftsmanship.
The history of Persol: Victor Flex
Around this time, the Victor Flex nose bridge was also introduced. Victor Flex is a grooved bridge with an arrow-shaped stainless steel flex strip at the core of the acetate. Examples of the Victor Flex nose bridge are the classic Persol 649 and the modernized Persol 9649 models. The foldable Persol 714 and the 3028S models are also examples of a beautiful variation on the classic Victor Flex bridge design.
The history of Persol: Hollywood
Persol’s casual sunglasses also gained popularity in Hollywood at a swift pace. Steve McQueen wore the Persol 714 as the slick millionaire Thomas Crown, who commits the perfect robbery in the original 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair. Style icon Greta Garbo was also often spotted wearing Persol’s gorgeous cat-eye designs.
Persol: extreme conditions
In the 80s and 90s, Persol began to seek out the most extreme circumstances to test various aspects of their lenses under the stress of a variety of highly demanding conditions. During an expedition to Svalbard, for instance, and mountaineering to the top of the Himalayan summits. Condition such as the Paris-Dakar race, and the Pharaoh’s Rally. And Persol wasn’t just seeking out the most extreme conditions on earth. Persol’s polarized lenses were also tested by Russian astronauts conduction trainings above Siberia. Persol had, of course, already been supplying the American astronauts and researchers of NASA with the remarkable “four-lens” Persol 0009 model since 1962.
Persol: Italian craftsmanship
Today, the brand name Persol remains a guarantee of excellent taste and high quality. This goes for the craftsmanship that is needed to assemble the beautiful Meflecto frames, as well as the superb UV protection and visual clarity afforded by Persol’s lenses. Persol sunglasses are more than just a luxury fashion item. When you treat yourself to a pair of Persol sunglasses, you’re treating yourself to a beautifully crafted piece of eyewear technology of the highest quality, and to a fulfilling slice of Italian history.