Tortoiseshell Mania

Author: Giorgia Cantarini

March 07, 2019

\\ Chiara Ferragni 

Like all the classic trends in sunglasses or opticals, tortoiseshell or tortoise ‘touches’ never go out of style. Year after year, the typical tortoiseshell butterfly shapes have found a re-birth in the trends of today. Until 1973, some frames were made from the shell of real turtles.  But the turtles soon became an endangered species and the trade in their use was banned. Since then frames are made from synthetic materials, such as acetate. 

Today’s tortoisshell frames have retained the beauty and strength of the authentic material and have become more stylish than ever before. So what’s new? Not only available in full tortoise, the shapes are adorned with little details. Inserts to just cover the edge of your glasses silhouette, on the arms, on the bridge, or mixed with other colours and materials. You can play with lenses too, colourful, mirrored, dark, shiny, or classic brown - and indulge in big round shapes, aviators, rectangles or extra squared designs. 
“No man will ever make you feel as protected and safe as a cashmere coat or a pair of sunglasses,” said Coco Chanel, but it is not always easy to match your outfit with the perfect accessory in line with the new fashion trends. Pair a pair of tortoise sunnies with a printed coat like the socialite Olivia Palermo, try a 70’s look like the influencer Chiara Ferragni or a sexy outfit like Bella Hadid. 


\\ STYLE: CATEYES 2 (JP 3063) 

A tortoise insert on top of beautiful purple lenses, this fresh and feminine sunglasses model is perfect to define your face thanks to a subtle bridge and shiny metallic temples. Seductive and funny.



An alluring and seductive frame that oozes elegance.
A handcrafted acetate frame is fused with nickel hinges and rubber tipped screws. Lenses offer 100% UV protection, and it comes with a cruelty-free vegan leather pouch.
The inspiration is Damis, a student and lifelong companion of Apollonius of Tyana, the famous Neopythagorean philosopher and teacher who lived in the 1st to the early 2nd century AD.



With a name evoking the best of the Italian Renaissance, the brand aims high, and it doesn’t disappoint. Each frame is handmade with top-quality materials. Oversize rounded shapes come in a mix of black, white - and tortoise of course. The iconic Iris Apfel would wear it well….



This stocky little rectangular design is crafted from high-quality acetate and features soft tinted UV protection lenses. The directional look – and the recollection of the 1990s – ensure that this design will bring new meaning to your style and street cred.



Julia (maybe Julia Roberts is the inspiration?) exhibits the downtown vibe of a New Orleans’ Arts District gallery, with an oversized shape that exudes effortless glamour and cream white descreet arms and matte Champagne lenses.



Hand-polished Mazzucchelli acetate in treacle tortoiseshell inspired by the extraordinary life of Tina Modotti: actress, model, muse, photographer, revolutionary and spy. Every inch the risk taker, she was a natural choice for this directional oversized flat top frame with yellow Carl Zeiss lenses.

\\ From left: Olivia Palermo wearing Salvatore Ferragamo sunglasses; Bella Hadid; Alain Mikli x Alexandre Vauthier - Christy Turlington photo by Inez & Vinoodh


\\ STYLE: LW40018

A bold squared shape in tortoiseshell. The sophisticated structure is supported by khaki lens  and a spoiler effect on the top of the front. The nostalgic feeling of retro cool that screams modern all the way. The colour palette is like toffee.



A modern twist on an old classic, the statement Alina sunglasses in a tortoise finish from KOMONO are sure to make life look brighter from every angle. Oval lenses are in.


\\ STYLE: NAVIGATOR 558387 J0740 223 

Enhanced by the Double G detail, the Guilloché enamelled oval on top of the bridge is reminiscent of the round cigarette-holder from vintage aviators.
Dark tortoiseshell acetate is brought together with a gold metal frame and temples.

A strong 70’s vibe, and one that Hugh Hefner would have liked for himself and his playmates.



Alain Mikli has announced the second collaboration with French designer Alexandre Vauthier. The fusion of Alain Mikli’s distinctive approach to design and Alexandre Vauthier’s vision of a powerful woman creates a ‘80s femme fatale that is undeniably fierce. The evolution of last season’s standout style Ketti, is a rimless combination design with an ultra-shallow lens. Bold acetate with a smaller lens for a unique wrapped design and a lavish futuristic look.

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