Just when you thought it had died forever, certain styles have a way of resurrecting. Sometimes, it’s a regrettable mistake, like when bell-bottoms had a brief comeback around my middle school years. Other times, it’s a stroke of genius, or at least nostalgia, like the contemporary sunglasses with the same oversized lenses and skinny frames my dad has been wearing for decades.
To embrace their upcoming 50th anniversary, Smith Optics dug out old frames from 1988, 1991, and 1993 and put those models back into production. The Smith Optics Archive Collection throwbacks come with the quality lenses we’ve come to expect from the company. The five throwback styles—Cheetah, Mt. Shasta, Marvine, Delano, and Cornice—are exact replicas, down to the color ways, of the original Smith frames sold in decades past. So while my parents’ generation had a more original sense of style, we can at least embrace the advancements in lens technology; the sunglasses are offered in polarized and non-polarized options.
The Archive Collection also includes goggles, which makes sense considering Bob Smith got his break in 1965 when he created the first goggle with a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam. The goggles’ lens system comes in the newer I/O design, but the straps are inspired by the styles of the 1990s. The pair that caught my eye rocks highlighter pinks and yellows. Look for the Archive Collection goggles this coming fall.