The Red Hot Sunglasses Guide to the Carrera Brand

Carrera has been up and running for nearly 60 years and it has changed radically from where it began. Carrera originally started as a manufacturer of goggles for winter and motorsports before moving into sunglasses production in the 1970s. Carrera was famous for its Optyl material, which it patented. Optyl was a hardened plastic that was 20% lighter than acetate and had permanent elasticity. This material allowed Carrera to produce some of the lightest, most hardwearing sunglasses around. Specialising in vintage oversized frames, Carrera’s glasses and sunglasses were initially very popular until they fell out of fashion in the 80s due to the re-emergence and all-round popularity of Ray-Ban’s Wayfarers and Clubmasters. 

With such a strong aesthetic and heritage in Carrera, and so much lost potential, the brand was re-launched in 1996 by Safilo and has been a huge success. Since then, Carrera sunglasses have stormed back onto the market with a vengeance, winning best designer eyewear brand for the past 5 years! Regularly seen in Ibiza and UK festivals, Carrera have cornered the market with their bright pilot style frames matched with a great price point and are now one of the best-selling eyewear brands on the market. Carrera have teamed this with innovative marketing campaigns over the years, such as the ‘Drive your Story’ campaign. The campaign focuses on bold individuals who have been daring enough to carve their own path in life and become a success. 

More than any other style, Carrera has embraced the pilot design. Although this design originally hails from America, there is something undeniably European about Carrera’s approach. Often the pilot shape has been stretched or made taller or innovated in some way that creates something altogether more stylish and inherently European. Carrera’s Austrian roots and current Italian backing is all clearly apparent in its diverse range of eyewear designs.

Carrera is one of the few designer labels that specialises in eyewear; many other brands simply have eyewear as part of their overall collection. Carrera remains loyal to their original designs, fusing flamboyant style and detailing with practicality and the latest technological advancements. Originally named after a famous road race, Carrera sunglasses also maintain a distinct ‘on the road’ look and feel. This on-the-road aesthetic is striking and ensures that Carrera sunglasses are always easily distinguished from other designer eyewear!

Although there is a slight preference towards eyewear styles that are a little more masculine, Carrera has a very wide range of styles, with plenty to offer women as well. It’s this extreme range of designs that you can often only expect from a brand that puts all of its effort into eyewear and nothing else! Despite the focus on pilots, there are countless other designs available in our Carrera collection. And although there are so many different sunglasses styles to choose from, there is a genuine aesthetic identity that binds all of Carrera’s eyewear designs together. It’s this range of choices combined with a unity of vision that often characterises the best designer eyewear brands!

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