However you might feel about Tom Brady from a sports fan point of view, two facts remain undeniable:
He’s pretty remarkable for carrying a pro athlete career (in football, no less) into his 40s.
He’s one stylish fellow.
Both points are, we suspect, operative factors in his new collaboration with Danish eyewear designer Christopher Cloos. Every male A-lister needs a vocation at the ready for the day when his career starts its decline. We must tip our hat to Mr. Brady for foregoing the cliché path of the alcohol brand and opting for fashion as his second act. It would have been a real shame to waste that bone structure.
We got an early look at the new, and are pleased to present our review below. Short version: we dig.
Packaged in a heavy black slipper box with a faintly velvety texture, almost like a watch or jewelry box, with the brand embossed in white gold serif caps. Very powerful branding. Pull the black ribbon tab and you’ve got black on black on black. Everything is sleek, smooth and soft, like Tom Brady’s jaw must feel after his morning skincare ritual. (You’re not going to convince me that he just wakes up with that ageless face.)
On top is a black and branded cleaning cloth, wrapped in a protective envelope. (There’s a special message on the cloth from Tom Brady to his fans, and I’d never spoil the surprise.) Underneath the cloth is the actual glasses case, a rounded off rectangle, nested cozily in the box. Open the case and inside, against a sand-tone velvet interior embossed with six rings (because, you know, Super Bowl), are the glasses.
The Cloos x Brady collection is crafted from 100% biodegradable acetate, a plastic substitute pioneered in 2011 by Italian company Mazzucchelli that uses natural resins (from wood and cotton) as a base material and decomposes in just 115 days. Along with its sustainability cred, M49 (as it’s known) boasts a strength and yield point superior to traditional plastic, and also retains hardness without increased impact resistance. It was born to be turned into sunglasses. (No word on when they’ll be building phones out of it.)
While the frames have a heavy profile, they feel lighter than I expected, but still offer a satisfying snap from the spring-hinged temples. They sit comfortably on the bridge of the nose. The color, sunglasses than in front — my friend couldn’t see the color when I modeled them. A nod to the Patriots’ signature color, perhaps?, is a nice matte black, the kind of black that swallows up club lights and reveals the subtlest sheen only under direct sunlight or a paparazzi flash. The shape is both minimalistic and assertive, with subtle horn rims and lenses squared off at the base. The lenses have a smoke-blue tint that is more noticeable from behind the
On to the blue-light glasses, which we received in Grey Tonic, a nice translucent brown-grey. The yellow tint of the blue light glasses is barely discernible — which, it must be said, means less actual protection, but it makes for a better aesthetic in public and really we expect no less from such a public figure. Image is everything, to borrow from a brand he’d almost certainly have nothing to do with.
Value in sunglasses is always a hard thing to judge until you’ve put them through the paces of a full, active summer. Only after getting left in a hot car, tossing around in a beach bag or back pocket, and surviving repeated plunges into salt- or chlorinated water do a pair of sunnies show their real mettle.
That being said, I have a good feeling about the longevity of these sturdily built frames. And their sartorial longevity is a given — the timeless, season-less style and colorways are an easy way to elevate everything from a V-neck tee to a three-piece suit. Add in the sustainability factor and the value goes up another several points. After all, if these frames break, I have the reassurance that they’ll return to the earth from whence they came, and in 2020, you really can’t put a price on that kind of moral assurance.
In short, if you’re looking for a new standby pair of sunglasses, or a stylish layer of protection against your screens, the new Cloos x Brady collection seems well worth the $189 price tag.
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