Cazal eyewear has long been engrained in modern popular culture, often seen as a status symbol for the rich and famous. It’s particularly associated with hip-hop music and fashion, with many of the world’s biggest rap stars sporting Cazal sunglasses in their videos and public appearances. In the very early days of Cazal, however, things were a little different. Here’s a quick history of one of the world’s most iconic and desirable eyewear brands.
First created in 1979 by Austrian Cari Zalloni, who saw his frames distributed first in Germany. Despite his early designs being very stylish and boasting high quality materials, they remained a long way from the global mainstream.
Things started to change in the early 80’s however, as the iconic 607s were picked up by more and more distributors across Europe and further afield. Once Darryl McDaniels of Run D.M.C was seen rocking a pair of 607s, the US market began to clamour for them, and popularity soared all over America. As more and more famous names (particularly within the hip-hop community) were seen wearing them, they began to sell out at numerous stores despite the price tag going over the $500 mark.
While the celebrity endorsements help push the brand into the public eye, it was the innovation that has always been at the heart of Cazal that made them so popular. This was particularly true with the 821 sunglasses, which came with mismatched lenses. Although you might think this was an odd design choice, it set Cazals apart from their competitors and the 821s were wildly popular in the US. By the time they released the 951s and 955s that are so often seen with celebrity owners, Cazal had become famous worldwide for their overstated style and continued focus on quality and innovation.
Fast forward to 2018, and the brand continues to be a fashion statement that the rich and famous simply can’t resist. From Beyonce and Jay-Z to Kanye West, superstars the world over are still regularly seen sporting Cazal sunglasses. Their focus on quality hasn’t changed either, with every pair going through 35 different processes and every hinge undergoing 50,000 different motions to ensure quality and durability.