Zanzan | Luxury English Sunglasses
In 1960s London, Maltese gangsters walked with a swagger, looked sharp and turned heads. They had a name for the exhilarating feeling of wearing something stylish for the first time - they called it Zanzan.
Zanzan sunglasses are limited editions; handmade in the Jura Valley, France by third generation artisans using a combination of the most advanced production techniques available and traditional methods dating back over sixty years. English design, French craft; they are built to last by people who take pride in their work. They are made from the highest quality hand polished Italian acetate and fitted with Sola lenses by Carl Zeiss Vision Sunlens. They are sold with a beautiful gold-embossed leather and suede-lined case, handmade in England.
The designers behind Zanzan, Gareth Townshend and Megan Trimble, drew their inspiration from the sub-cultural style elites of the 60s and early 70s - the Dolce Vita style of the Italian Beatniks, the cinematic élan of the French New Wave, psychedelic samba collectives in the Rio de Janeiro foothills and the 'beautiful and damned' in Yves Saint Laurent's Paris. A devotion to this spirit of eclecticism and elegance is at the heart of Zanzan.
The 2009 collection introduces four new designs - Rubirosa, Black Rio, Zazou and Le Sept. Each model is available in a choice of colour combinations. RRP £220
Rubirosa recalls an age when impossibly exotic Latin American playboys seduced the beautiful, the glamorous and the wealthy wherever they could be found. In the 1940s and 50s, impeccably attired lotharios danced, raced and romanced with style and passion in Havana, Hollywood and the French Riviera.
In early 70s Brazil, Soul met Samba and a tide of thermonuclear funk and black civil rights washed in from USA. Parties exploded under the stars and young hipsters with afros, ivory necklaces and platform shoes danced all night in the humid foothills of Rio de Janeiro. A whole a new tropical subculture had arrived: Black Rio.
The Zazou were the swinging kids in war-torn Paris who put the chic into greaseball. United by a distaste for their repressive Nazi/Vichy rulers, their dandyism, their hedonism and a love of the wild new jazz sounds blowing in from America, they were an authentic subcultural style elite: resistant, nonconformist and hip.
Le Sept was the favourite nightspot of the fast fashion pack in early 70s Paris. Chic starlets danced with Yves Saint-Laurent, Rudolf Nureyev, Francis Bacon, Bianca Jagger, Karl Lagerfeld, Kenzo and Andy Warhol. Rothschilds rubbed shoulders with students in a cauldron of intrigue where beauty was the only passport.