Summer has finally set in! Which is why it’s the perfect time to discuss sunglasses, specifically CAZAL sunglasses. If you’re a fan of Run DMC then you might recognize the shades below from the CAZAL 600 Series. The hip hop artists frequently flossed with CAZALs, turning the brand — created by Cari Zalloni — into a sought-after commodity.
But it’s not the hip hop aspect that attracts me to CAZAL, rather it’s the brand’s incorporation of art deco elements and true craftsmanship that peaks my interest. CAZAL’s are a collector’s item, a vintage pair will run you hundreds of dollars. My favorite models are the metal-rimmed shades. They’re a true testament to the craftsmanship. Each pair undergoes multiple processes to get to its retail-ready state, including being triple plated in 24 kt gold, which is applied over Monel (a highly durable alloy metal frequently used in underwater machinary and piping and also for electric bass strings — notably The WHO and Sting used Monel strings).
When it comes to the fresh colorings instantly recognizable as CAZAL’s signature colors, the company uses a variety of application techniques. Depending on the frame, colorings are often handpainted or employ the use of syringes to inject the color into the mold. Another more high-tech application involves foil color decoration, in which the color (in foil form) is literally printed or stamped on the metal frame using a heat transfer process. Finally, before CAZALs land in the customer’s hands, they’re given a white-glove polishing, ensuring perfection.
Whether you love them or hate them, CAZALs are classic eyewear, not in the Ray-Ban Wayfarer sense of the word but more as an ahead-of-the-curve classic. The CAZAL wearer is a tastemaker, a trendsetter, someone who paves the way for the masses. And deep down that tastemaker is in for more than just the look. They understand what goes into making every single pair of CAZAL shades, and now, so do you.