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Located in beautiful Wicker Park is Coyote DeGroot's fresh digs formally known as Labrabbit Optics. This is where he lures creatives and individuals from far and wide to buy his amazing array of vintage, deadstock and contemporary eyewear. Being in the squinty set ourselves, and always on the prowl to find the new and next, we asked Coyote, the expert for what is happening currently in the sunglass space. We want his favorites, we want it local and we want summer trends.
CURRENTLY: Randolph Engineering is one of the more popular current brands, due mainly to the timeless style and sturdy construction of their frames. They're the sole supplier of sunwear to the US military, and their shades make a fine (I would say superior) alternative to the Ray-Ban Aviator.
LOCAL: For those looking for a locally-crafted product, Drift makes exceptional sunwear that incorporates reclaimed and sustainably-sourced hardwoods. They re-imagine classic eyewear shapes and combine them with forward-thinking design and manufacturing techniques; they're dropping some new models this summer that are going to blow minds.
FAVES: In terms of vintage sunglasses, my current favorites are Dunhill and Christian Dior. The Dunhills are pretty masculine, consisting mainly of oversized aviator and navigator shapes in gold and silver metal. The Diors are a little more diverse: translucent plastics, geometric shapes, and gradient lenses can be seen throughout.
TREND: This summer is all about ditching flashy logos and outspoken super-sized sunglasses; there's a lot to be said for understated, simpler pieces that allow the wearer's personality to shine, rather than eclipsing it completely. The Wayfarer is definitely played out, as is pretty much anything else from Ray-Ban. Round shapes and matte finishes have been quite popular, as have metal frames of every shape and size. Regardless of style, it's essential to invest in an iconic, treasured pair of shades.
· Labrabbit Optics [Official Site]