By Deirdre Carroll: Senior Editor
Who: Mercedes Benz drivers (the luxury brand now offers matte paint jobs on many models), fans of the Hermes So Black collection, devotees of the O.P.I., Essie, MAC and Nars makeup brands, the hosiery market, those who relate to Ann Demeulemeester’s entire fashion P.O.V., and fashion heavyweights the world over.
What: It’s already hit the leather goods, automotive and cosmetic worlds right in the kisser (literally!) and now the sweet science of eyewear design has a new champion – matte finishes. Forget high gloss, eyeglass wearers are getting punch drunk off the latest round of matte, flat, sooty zyl frames coming out of designers’ workshops this season.
Wear: (Left, top to bottom) Hot in the 50s and 60s, the Original Penguin brand had been down for the count until they came back out swinging in 2003; thanks to their license with Kenmark they are now an eyewear contender; check out The Combs in matte gray crystal with black and lime green variegated temples. A long time heavy hitter in the sun category, Spy Optics has recently thrown its hat into the optical ring with the launch of their first ophthalmic collection and they’re not pulling any punches; the Braden in flat black is the perfect frame to have in your corner. Pound for pound, Ogi produces some of the most stylish, accessible eyewear out there; here the 3100 pairs a matte blue tort front with slate blue temples. (Right, top to bottom) Forget mixed martial arts, how about mixed colors, textures and finishes? Part of the Kirk Originals Sculpture collection the Aretha’s red matte crystal cat-eye front flows into the frames shiny, pearlescent gunmetal temples proving the gloves are off for ladies in the matte game too. In less than two decades, Paul Frank Industries has shown it’s a brand that can roll with the punches by growing from a car garage into a global player with its own retail stores; the Blank Generation from Baumvision proves it too can square off with the optical big boys by combining an oversized flat black front with a bright orange and yellow interior. Put a matte finish on an olive green tort and all of a sudden you are dealing with a no holds barred, aggressive kind of acetate; clearly that’s what the Marc Ecko Cut & Sew folks were going for when they thought up the aptly named Defender from ClearVision.
Why: Few fashion gambits are a clear knock out when it comes to broad appeal these days but conservative and adventurous patients alike can go a round with the matte acetate trend. Innocuous, but fresh feeling at the same time and with an option in pretty much every collection already on your frame board, losing the high shine of most acetates in one or two styles in your mix is an easy way to land a ringside seat to sales.
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