LL Cool J is an American rapper, songwriter, actor, and record producer and was one of the first hip-hop stars to achieve mainstream commercial success. He’s also the owner of a very exclusive collection of shades and is rarely photographed not wearing one of his many pairs of designer sunglasses. We round up the star’s three favorite eyewear brands below, so you can get LL Cool J glasses yourself!
LL Cool J has been frequently snapped over the years (and decades!) wearing a classic pair of Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses. The star has paired these iconic shades with an array of outfits, from urban sportswear to slick suits for the red carpet.
As one of the most enduringly well-known and well-loved types of sunglasses in the world, Aviators were originally designed by Ray-Ban in 1929 to protect pilots’ eyes while flying at high altitudes. New technology was allowing US pilots to fly at higher altitudes than had ever been achieved before, and the intense light they encountered above the clouds was causing them problems.
A US Army Air Corps pilot understood that a solution needed to be found to the issue urgently, and so headed to New York to approach eyewear company Bausch and Lomb with a view to collaborating on a new model of sunglasses that would provide the superior protection needed by the pilots. The Ray-Ban Aviators were the result of this collaboration, and the rest is history!
Luxury eyewear brand Sama is another of LL Cool J’s go-to purveyors of sunglasses; the rapper and actor has been spotted wearing several different designs from its collection. Worn with his trademark beanie and oversized jeans, these shades add a distinct element of elegant styling to the star’s everyday wear.
Sama is headed up by Sheila Vance, the legendary designer, businesswoman, and humanitarian who has been a pioneer in the eyewear world for the last twenty years, creating stunning ranges of optical glasses and prescription sunglasses. Her company was the first to introduce 100% pure titanium frames to the eyewear industry, for example.
Sama takes luxury eyewear to the next level, which is largely why the brand is so loved by LL Cool J and a host of other celebs. Precious metals, Japanese zyl acetate, semi-precious gems, and Swarovski crystals are the sort of materials used to create Sama’s collections. Every single pair of shades are hand-assembled and finished in Japan for the ultimate in workmanship and precision attention to detail.
Oversized shades aren’t just for the female contingent of the glitterati. LL Cool J has been rocking oversized sunglasses for years, typically paired with a simple T and bomber jacket or a jeans and shirt combo.
Prada is where the star turns for his collection of extra-large shades, and he’s been snapped wearing both vintage designs and styles from the house’s latest collections. This iconic brand has long been associated with luxury and cutting-edge style. The house began life as a family leatherworking business in 1913 in Milan. In 1978 Miuccia Prada joined the business and created a collection of black nylon bags that quickly became iconic.
Today, Prada defines itself as being avant-garde, innovative, creative, and experimental as a brand, and their collections of sunglasses for men usually incorporate strong lines, stand-out shapes, and unusual lens-frame color combos.
How to Choose Sunglasses
There’s an art to choosing the perfect pair of sunglasses – and it’s one that LL Cool J has long since mastered! Luckily, there are some tried-and-tested secrets to getting it right every time:
Firstly it’s important to consider frame size. Even oversized frames shouldn’t overwhelm the face or create a sense of imbalance. A good rule of thumb to remember is that frame size should roughly mirror face size. Those with smaller faces may find it more difficult to pull off larger frame styles.
The shape of your face will determine the types of sunglasses that will be most complimentary. Those with oval or round faces tend to look great in angular frames, such as square or rectangle, while those with square or diamond faces usually look best wearing round or oval-shaped frames.
Skin Tone and Frame Color
Your skin tone will affect how well the frame color of a pair of shades suits you. If you have a cool skin tone, consider frames in black, blue, plum, pink, or jade. Yellow, red, orange, and tortoiseshell frames look fabulous against warmer skin tones.
Finally, there’s lens color to consider. If you’re thinking of something a little different from the standard black, then it’s important to know that brown lenses offer increased depth perception and contrast (although they can cause color distortion), while pink lenses offer enhanced low-light image resolution.
The Final Word
As LL Cool J’s choices of distinctive eyewear demonstrate, finding the perfect pair (or pairs!) of shades can uplevel every wardrobe choice. While we may not have the budget to replicate the rapper’s luxe collection of sunglasses, we can take into careful consideration things like our face shape and skin tone to get a great pair of shades that’ll make us look every bit as slick as the star himself.
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