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SINCE 1926

Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses (est.1926) has one of the most influential design histories of any eyewear company still in production, with iconic glasses wearing advocates ranging from Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly to John Lennon and Michael Caine.


In 1919 Philip Oliver Goldsmith was a commercial salesman for a well known London optical firm, Raphael’s Ltd.

His thoughts about the glasses he sold were that they were very much a medical device with little thought or consideration for aesthetic attractiveness.


  • - 1926

    Philip Oliver Goldsmith opened his first mobile showroom selling handmade spectacles.  They were made from either metal or real tortoiseshell, but his aim was to bring a new level of design to the humble spectacle.
  • - 1935

    A local button factory provided sheets of plastic to Philip, that were used to create the first ever plastic spectacles.  It was a revolutionary new material that not only could be manipulated and shaped, but most importantly offered colour.
  • - 1939-1945

    World War 2 – The war put an end to innovation and creativity.  Spectacles once again became medical necessities.
  • - 1946

    Charles Oliver Goldsmith took over from his father, charged with inventiveness, imagination and energy to start again.
  • - 1949

    Charles created ‘sunspecs’ – potentially the first prototypes of sunglasses that were ever designed in England.  He fitted slightly larger and more avant garde spectacles with coloured glass lenses – they were an instant success.
  • - 1954

    Oliver Goldsmith were the first eyewear company to appear in Vogue magazine.  This cemented the company not only as a desirable fashion brand, but defined eyewear as a coveted and popular accessory.
  • - 1958

    ‘A woman wouldn’t dream of wearing the same shoes for tramping around all day as she would for a party, yet she will put on the same old glasses, I’d like to change that’ – Charles Goldsmith.
  • - 1960

    Moving out of the restraints of the 1950’s, fashion, music and celebrity took on a new wave of extravagance and freedom.  Music and movie megastars such as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Audrey Hepburn, and Michael Caine actively endorsed the Oliver Goldsmith brand taking the brand and their designs to heady new heights.
  • - 1961

    Oliver Goldsmith worked alongside fashion houses such as Givenchy and Christian Dior to create one-off pieces for their catwalk shows.
  • - 1963

    Oliver Goldsmith’s popularity presided over the pages of fashion magazines such as Vogue and Queen. Journalists featured the brands latest styles, guiding and influencing readers on how to dress and style themselves.
  • - Mid 1960’s

    The third generation.  Brothers Ray and Andrew Goldsmith joined their father in the business, dressing the faces of British Royalty and the stars of the silver screen.
  • - 1965

    ‘I don’t believe in those theories about certain styles suiting certain shaped faces. Life is too short, if you find a shape you like, have it and never mind what anyone thinks’ – Charles Goldsmith.
  • - 1966

    Oliver Goldsmith were the first eyewear brand to be worn by men in Vogue, an important moment for men’s fashion.
  • - 1968

    By the late 60’s, Oliver Goldsmith had pioneered a whole new concept, eyewear. From bamboo frames to butterflies, tennis rackets to TV Screens, their ingenuity and flare for creating the weird and wonderful cemented the brand as one of the most popular eyewear brands in the world.
  • - 1970’s

    Oliver Goldsmith continued to design beautiful and original spectacles and sunglasses.  Influenced by fashion, music, art and film, OG continued to revolutionise the industry.
  • - 1989

    Charles Goldsmith passes away.
  • - 2005

    Great-granddaughter, and fourth generation Goldsmith, Claire Goldsmith takes over the reins of the business.  She delves into the company archives, bringing back some of the most popular designs such as the Koko, Lord and Oops, retaining the integrity and craftmanship of her heritage.
  • - 2012

    Claire Goldsmith launches her inaugural spectacle collection.  Beautiful, handmade, original designs inspired by her legacy.
  • - 2016

    The Oliver Goldsmith brand celebrates 90 years of trading.  ‘Decades’ is launched, a collection that celebrates the brands epic journey of eyewear design and innovation.  Nine original sunglasses, each one honouring a decade in time.
  • - 2020

    Oliver Goldsmith continues to delve into the depths of their archive, rediscovering styles and bringing them back to life alongside new and unique designs.
  • 1926
  • 1935
  • 1939-1945
  • 1946
  • 1949
  • 1954
  • 1958
  • 1960
  • 1961
  • 1963
  • Mid-1960's
  • 1965
  • 1966
  • 1968
  • 1970's
  • 1989
  • 2005
  • 2012
  • 2016
  • 2020