The Art of Craft: How RIMOWA Used Historic Aviation Design to Shape Its New Line of Sunglasses

The three styles pay homage to the design, craftsmanship, and manufacturing process of the world’s first all-metal aircraft.

RIMOWA Eyewear's Bridge Pilot sunglasses in Crystal Red Mirror. Photo courtesy RIMOWA.

The German luxury luggage manufacturer RIMOWA has added a new product to its line of offerings, marking its first foray into the fashion world with a capsule collection of sunglasses. 

Available in three different styles, RIMOWA Eyewear was inspired by the shapes historically favored by pilots the world over, and shares the lightweight but durable nature of RIMOWA’s signature suitcases.

Photo courtesy RIMOWA.

Photo courtesy RIMOWA.

“The entire collection takes its design cues from early aviation and pilot essentials, much like RIMOWA’s iconic luggage, which drew its inspiration from the grooved design typical of early aircraft fuselages,” says Emelie de Vitis, an executive officer at the brand. “As a new product category, it was important that the eyewear echo the trademark engineering details that have marked the brand for over 120 years. To do this, we incorporated subtle design details such as a nod to the grooves on the temples, and the brand’s emblematic rivets and monogram into the entire collection.”

The new collection, available in select stories and online, includes the Bridge and Rim, two unisex lines, and the Air, an everyday optical range. 

Photo courtesy RIMOWA.

Photo courtesy RIMOWA.

The Bridge style is crafted from two pieces of mask overlaid and constructed with pins made to resemble the brand’s industrial rivets and seal. The reflective frames, modeled after classic styles like the aviator, square, and pantos designs, come with traditional black or colored lenses and recall the effects of RIMOWA’s indestructible, corrugated aluminum grooves, which were themselves inspired by the world’s first all-metal aircraft—a groundbreaking advancement in aviary technology at the time—in 1950. 

The minimal Rim series is made from acetate, a plant-based hypoallergenic material, carefully constructed by hand featuring tortoiseshell or block color frames, with metal temples in a silvery finish. And living up to its name, the Air glasses, meanwhile, offer optical styles crafted from metal and nylon that are designed for comfort and ease. 

Photo courtesy RIMOWA.

Photo courtesy RIMOWA.

All three styles, color-matched to RIMOWA’S latest line of suitcases and priced between $350 and $400, were designed to withstand the rigors of travel and come with a protective pouch or case. 

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