AUDREY HEPBURN & OLIVER GOLDSMITH – EYEWEAR HISTORY
Oliver Goldsmith was established in 1926. The brands reputation gained momentum during the 1940’s, but it was throughout the mid 1950’s and 1960’s that it was considered one of the most popular eyewear brands in the world. This success was largely thanks to global superstars such as Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Michael Caine and Peter Sellers who wore the brand in aplomb in their (now) cult movies such as The Ipcress File, Charade and Two For the Road.
Audrey Hepburn and Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses shared a particular spectacular journey; with the doe-eyed beauty sporting Goldsmith in almost all of her most celebrated films such as How to Steal a Million, Charade and most famously as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. As one of the most famous and beautiful women of the era, Hepburn was continuously photographed wearing her Oliver Goldsmith sunglasses, whether on or off set. Fashion forward yet always elegant and classic – to this day, she remains a style icon. She was even inducted to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.
In How to Steal A Million (1966) Hepburn sported a pair of distinctive white sunglasses by Oliver Goldsmith. The frames were famously worn with a bonnet, skirt suit and a perfect silk scarf tied around her neck, all in crisp white, which made for a truly iconic look. In Charade, Hepburn wears the ‘HEP’, a bold black frame with subtle sculpting and shaping that complimented her face beautifully. Hepburn was also photographed wearing ‘OOPS’ on many occasions, a frame that is still a firm favourite in the OG Icons collection today.
In the film ‘Two For the Road’, Hepburn wore a true OG classic, the YUHU. This frame even went on to be worn by another icon; Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones, but it was Audrey Hepburn wearing the white frame (and more subtly the black one) throughout the film and on the official movie poster which rocketed this pair of sunglasses to its super-status, and saw it featured in a whole host of fashion magazines of the time.
Sunglasses and Audrey Hepburn really were a match in fashion heaven. Her ability to peer over the rim of her sunglasses with such affect; Those eyes, those eyebrows, she knew how to wear them and how to work them, and she did it so well. Hepburn’s most famous look was wearing an identical frame to the Oliver Goldsmith ‘Manhattan’, in her role as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Is there a more iconic movie still, than that of Audrey standing outside Tiffany’s, croissant in hand, peering over her sunglasses? It’s been the subject of a thousand copies, and a million fancy dress costumes – but if you want the original, you know where to come.
On meeting Audrey Hepburn for the first time, Oliver Goldsmith said ‘They say she’s going to be a big star’ – and indeed she was. The photographs and moving images of Hepburn and other stars of that generation went on to influence and change the public’s perception of eyewear, transforming it from a humble medical requirement to a true fashion necessity, and we will forever be grateful and proud to have dressed the faces of these global icons.