When I was being interviewed for my position here with the Vintage Frames Company, I didn’t front with Corey - I’m no sunglasses connoisseur. I’m a fashion girl to the death of me, but there’s something superfluous I found about high end sunglasses. They’ve always fallen under the “nice to have” category over the “necessities” in my wardrobe. To add to my reasoning, I’ve never had much luck with accessories, period. I’m an infamous klutz; always losing an earring, misplacing a bracelet and best known for popping lenses out of my sunglasses. With all the Forever 21’s and Aldo’s that exist in the world where you can cop a pair at $6.90 and replace your shades as easily as you can lose them, I never found a need to drop some serious cash and invest in a major pair of frames. Interestingly enough, I end up interning at the dopest company this side of the Northern Hemisphere, that specializes in collecting and selling some of the most coveted pieces in the history of eyewear.
Now if there is one brand I was in awe of though before working with VFC, it was Cazal. I first discovered the brand in ’08, through a female singer/emcee named Verbz. On her song “Swaggerific” she proudly proclaims “On ya birthday you get flowers, my boyfriend gets me Cazals.” Curious, I looked up the brand and saw she was referring to the extravagant frames that the artist was rocking. The shape was avant garde by any standard, combining deep fuchsias and bold turquoises on a transparent frame, creating this futuristic look that was definitely one of the founding parameters for the term “swag.” Sadly, being a broke 17 year old high school student at the time, I knew Cazals were something a whole year’s allowance could not buy me and settled for admiring the luxe eyewear brand from afar.
Fast forward to present day and my current position as a VFC intern. When I first got here I was given the ceremonious introductory course to the world of Vintage Frames with the Frame Gawd himself, Jiggy Hux. While he is an encyclopedia of knowledge and knows anything and everything there is to know about anything sunglass related, I saw this as my chance to finally learn about the Cazals, a brand I had respected for so long. I learned that that their value goes more than skin deep, with the hardware not only being intriciate but also usually constructed of 18k gold with precious stones for detailing. Also Cazal frames, as pretty as they are, not only excel in fashion but function; the frames are made of highly durable acetate that is near impossible to break. These facts only solidified my love for the brand, now satisfying my need for rationale when it comes to purchasing any type of luxury item.
I would love to say that I worked hard and busted my ass to gain my Cazals but like many great things, the fates were in my favour and the Fashion Gods felt my yearning and offered me a blessing. I was kicking it here in the lab on a regular day when my boy Jiggy had received a his own pair of Cazal 616s and happened to receive a free pair as a gift from the sender. He yelled out the office “Who wants a free pair of Cazals?” and luckily, I was the only one in the room. Now i don’t know if it’s the asian in me that loves a deal and more so free shit, but I literally jumped out of my seat with excitement. At that moment, Hux graciously gifted me with my first pair of Cazals: a pair of 619 deadstock frames, an oversized style in matte black and delicate, subtle gold hardware. Now they aren’t the typical stunner shades that the brand is known for but they were a blank canvas without a lens. I decided that this was where I was going to personalize them and pick out a special lens that would make these first Cazals, my most memorable pair of frames to own.
I asked for the most respected suggestion of the Frame Gawd when it came to picking out my lenses, who showed me the slew of amazing tints and gradients we have here in the lab. Hux advised it’s best to base your tint of your frame on what colors exist most in your wardrobe and on what shades best suit your features like your eyes, skin and hair colour. Hux suggested a honey brown to grey tint, which I respectfully agreed to...But then i saw it. A hot pink to clear gradient lens peeking from its home on the lens shelf. I pictured it against my simple black frames, imagining it adding a girly but fun edge to my predominantly black wardrobe. I expressed my change of heart to the Frame Gawd as he prepared to cut my lenses, and he had me hold it up to my eye in the mirror to see if it was what my heart wanted. I obliged, and it was love at first sight. Hux then proceeded the intricate process of cutting the lens, reshaping the frame and inserting the cut lens into my new frames. To be honest, watching the process from start to finish made this gifted pair of Cazals all the more special to me.
They say marijuana is gate way drug and i could never really agree until with that principle until I was graced with my Cazal 619s. I sense that a new addiction to eyewear has been evoked now that I’ve been taken on this journey of appreciation. By pure luck they found themselves in my possession, but they are treasured no less than if I had saved up all my baby sitting money the year I discovered Cazals as a teen. They are the quintessential girly color way: hot pink and black; but in such a classic shape that I can’t help but channel Jackie O when I have them on. Whether it be wearing them as I leave the lab but still catch that last little bit of sunshine on these beautiful spring evenings or rocking them as I recuperate over brunch at Tiffany’s on a Sunday Morning; my 619s are perfect for me. My first pair of Vintage Frames are proof that good things come to those who wait.