October 05, 2010
Persol celebrates its legendary model worn by Steve McQueen™ with a revered and exclusive special edition

A brand that has always been synonymous with class and style, Persol re-launches one of its iconic models in the famous version worn by Steve McQueen™.


It was 1968 when an already famous and charming Steve McQueen™ appeared on a motion picture set wearing for the first time the Persol PO 714 model. The film was The Thomas Crown Affair (directed by Norman Jewison) and elevated both Steve McQueen™, anti-hero by nature, and his sunglasses, inseparable allies in on-set adventures, to legendary status. McQueen™, a fan of the brand and the PO 714 model, owned a personal collection, and in 2006, one of his pieces was auctioned for approximately $70,000. Wearing Persol PO 714 off screen played a role in making them a legendary style icon. The indomitable and passionate, free spirited and offbeat actor said: "I don't believe in that phony hero stuff" remaining true only to himself and his Persols.


Persol celebrates the actor by re-launching his favorite model in a limited edition of just 10,000 handmade pieces, to be sold worldwide.
New PO 714 differs from the original version for a series of small but important details: - the return of the blue lens - the favorite of Steve McQueen™ ; - a folding closure at the back end of the temple arm - no longer top to bottom, but now from outside to inside; - the Supreme Arrow, Persol's distinctive mark, is the functional element enclosing the hinges. Here, it is mounted both on the temple arm and front of the frame - as in the classic model - as well as on the folding hinge and middle of the temple arm, with a total of four arrows. This design choice clearly accentuates the identity of a model that is already iconic; - the Steve McQueen™ signature emblazons the inside of the temple arm as well as the elegant leather case.


Five shots by photographer William Claxton - a friend of the actor's who portrayed him in all his different impersonations, from daring biker to Hollywood star, from stud to family man, helping to give a realistic image of the man and the performer - show the Hollywood legend at different times of his life. These moments also pinpoint the history of Persol, its retro yet incredibly modern style, its timeless elegance, by highlighting a model that continues to honor one of the best-loved celebrities of the last 50 years, in the world of movies and beyond. In particular, three of these shots - taken in 1962 - will be used as the subjects of Persol's 2011 advertising campaign. The first one features the actor driving a Jaguar XKSS along Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles, CA; in the second he poses in front of his greatest passion: motors. The last one shows him during a moment of leisure. In all three photos the actor is wearing his inseparable PO 714 sunglasses. The restyled version of the model will be officially announced during an event to be held at Sunglass Hut, the company's flagship store, on New York's 5th Avenue.


The long and painstaking production of the special edition PO 714 SM must go through ten additional phases compared to the original model. The folding frame begins as a single piece of acetate, an then is broken at three points, on both sides and at the bridge. Housings are created in the upper and lower parts to accommodate the hinges, while all folding areas are filed till smooth. After fitting the core, the hinges are attached and the frames go through a finishing process to produce a seamless silhouette for maximum comfort. To top it off, each blue-tinted crystal lens is hand fit into a classic PO 714. The color palette includes 3 versions, all in acetate with neutral glass lenses made from very pure silica: the model worn by Steve McQueen™ in light Havana with blue lenses (PO 714SM 96/56); Havana with honey lenses (PO 714SM 24/33), and black with grey smoke polarized lenses (PO 714SM 95/58). Craftsmanship is on equal footing with technology in this model that offers a version with polarized lenses, a Persol exclusive that incorporates a polarizing filter into glass lenses, providing clear and well defined vision while blocking out reflected light. An icon is reborn in this limited edition, designed for those who appreciate its quintessential quality: true aficionados and collectors. Available exclusively at select optometrists in America starting September 20, 2010 and from October 20, 2010, in Italy and France as well.

Copyright Steve McQueen™ Licensed by Chadwick McQueen and The Terry McQueen Testamentary Trust, Represented by GreenLight.

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