Since 1959, movie-buffs and style-enthusiasts alike have been debating which exact frames Cary Grant wore as Roger Thornhill in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. Theories range from vintage Tart Arnels, to Moscot’s Lemtosh frames, to the Persols made famous by Steve McQueen—but none such have been confirmed. Perhaps even more interesting, however, is how Grant made these seemingly simple shades a topic of conversation (60 years later, still). The answer is in the styling—even allowing Grant to blatantly commit a fashion faux pas by wearing the sunnies indoors.
As his daughter, Jennifer Grant, agrees, “Dad had great taste but above all it was his innate elegance. Elegance in his movement, his thought, and the way he put himself together.”
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With these sunglasses, Grant focused on shape, color, and fit. The frames were both round and angular, but not overly-so against the actors facial features—their versatile shape making them appealing to the masses. Similarly, the tint of the frame and lens complemented the actor’s skin tone without washing it out or contrasting against it. And finally, the frames were fit to perfection—they were as wide as his face without squeezing his temples, resting on his cheeks, or being oversized.
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And now, with the help with California-based Oliver Peoples, the actor’s style is attainable in a first-ever collaboration with the Grant estate. The collection features two frame styles and six colorways, including a newly developed tortoise acetate (affectionately named "Grant Tortoise") with 18k gold-plated accents.
There are also many nods to the actor, such as a CG monogram on the temple directly replicated from his personal stationery, and a custom case inspired by the colors of his character’s suit. Available on OliverPeoples.com today, and in stores beginning April, the collection ranges from $380-$560 for the optical offering, and from $415 to $635 for sun.