When July hits and you feel like you’ve already run through all of your go-to summer outfits, it can be tempting to go out and buy a completely new hot-weather wardrobe. But refrain from shopping the summer sales; instead, make a much wiser investment by picking up a pair or two of fresh sunglasses. The following three under-the-radar brands carry styles that are sure to make everything already in your closet feel like new.
Korean juggernaut Gentle Monster has been making waves in its home country since its founding in 2011, having quickly become the fastest growing eyewear brand in all of Asia. Now, the Seoul-based company is starting to make its mark stateside, garnering loyal fans with its edgy but supremely wearable unisex designs.
For days when you need the ultimate level of sun protection (or want to feel incognito), go for the brand’s Finn wayfarers ($215). The brand’s take on the classic aviator shape ($260) offers something a bit more subtle with its softly rounded lenses and burnished-gold frames.
Another Asian brand taking the U.S. by storm is Nakcymade. The artisanal brand is known for its playful and preppy eyewear, all of which is made completely by hand in Kobe, Japan by founder Naoki Nakagawa.
Although Nakagawa specializes in bespoke and custom frames, ready to order styles are available through The Armoury. Our favorites include the subversively fun clear wayfarer, complete with dinosaurs carved into the arms, and the classic round tortoiseshell style ($495 each).
For an inventive take on classic eyewear shapes, look to Blake Kuwahara, who founded his eponymous, CFDA award-winning brand in 2014. Although his signature double-layer acetate frames may be intimidating at first (we even recently sat down with the designer to discuss how pick the pair that suits you best) the styles, with their loosely defined edges fit on the face nicely, making them a breeze to wear. The rose-gold Maybeck style ($650) is an artistic take on the classic wayfarer, and ocean-blue Paxton ($615) is an easy update on your go-to notch-bridge sunglasses.