Junya Watanabe loves America. Given his fascination with work clothes, it’s no surprise how much he likes to dress western in general (remember the fall/winter 2021 rock dad t-shirts?), but even as her Spring/Summer 2022 collection heads East, Watanabe serves up a strong American flair.
As I just mentioned, Watanabe’s SS22 menswear collection is steeped in Eastern influence, drawing a laid-back style from traditional Bhutanese inspiration. But, because it’s Watanabe, it’s a cultural mix, as tunics and harem pants are styled with New Balance sneakers and aviator sunglasses.
These aren’t simple Ray-Bans, though: Similar to how Watanabe dug deep to shape his partnership with niche German shoemaker Heinrich Dinkelacker, he tracked down the still family-owned OG Randolph eyewear company and operated out of its Randolph, Massachusetts HQ five decades after it was founded.
It all comes down to Watanabe’s adoration of heritage brands, from The North Face to Carhartt to Supreme (which is quite young in comparison but shares a similar appreciation for tradition), combined with his love of Americana.
Most often, this manifests in blue-collared chore coats and denim jeans, but why wouldn’t Watanabe’s sunglasses fill the same niche?
Available in early February at IF New York, SSENSE, Dover Street Markets and COMME des GARÇONS stores worldwide, Junya Watanabe MAN’s collaborative Randolph sunglasses come in four shapes, all inspired by eyewear favorites of fighter pilots, aviators and other aerial adventurers. — one pair is named after Amelia Earhart, for example.
Again, it bears repeating that these shades are not just any accessory. Watanabe appreciates Randolph’s attention to detail and local presence, of course, but he also came to the business in awe of its “jewellery-grade” craftsmanship.
For example, two of its four sunglasses models feature 22-karat and 23-karat gold frames and several incorporate Randolph’s proprietary SkyTec and SkyForce lenses, elevating them further beyond your typical daily drivers.
They also come with an exclusive laser-branded metal carrying case that doubles as a mirror – to see you better, my dear.