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The Best Sunglasses Brands To Know In 2024, From Linda Farrow To Cutler & Gross

best sunglasses brands
The Sunglasses Brands Worth Knowing AboutElle Gallery

It's about time we created an edit of the best sunglasses brands. Much like handbags and shoes, eyewear isn’t simply divided into ‘high street’ and ‘high luxury’ anymore – there are so many shades (sorry) in between.

We’re pretty happy about this development. Designer sunglasses are entry-level, yes, but they’re still hella expensive – and not always the best quality, thanks to historical licensing deals with big fashion houses. And while a decade ago there were some dedicated sunglasses brands, pickings were slim. So when the likes of Cubbits, Ace & Tate and Taylor Morris came along to democratise and revolutionise the eyewear scene with handcrafted sunglasses and accessible price points they couldn’t have been more welcome.

Now luxe high street brands are following suit by creating eyewear departments: Jigsaw and AllSaints just dropped their first ever eyewear collections for last summer, while Missoma X Le Specs is in its second season. We’ve tried all three lines and can attest to the quality and attention to detail. These sunglasses are not an afterthought, they’re the main characters.

How to shop for sunglasses online:

We know what you’re thinking: how can I possibly purchase sunnies without trying them on? Luckily, labels like Cubitts and Ray-Ban have virtual try-on technology that works via your webcam or phone camera. It’s as good as the real deal and saves you a trip to the store itself.

The best sunglasses for face shapes:

But without this technology, or the time to browse, there are some rough guidelines that’ll help with your decision making. It doesn’t pay to be too prescriptive, since true style is defined by a conviction in your own taste. However if these well-known tips save you from ordering and returning a load of sunglasses (bad for your carbon footprint), they're worth consideration:

1) Always look for sunglasses that contrasts your face shape – for instance, angular sunglasses balance a rounder face, while round frames can soften a square jaw. 2) It's worth noting that oval or long face shapes look best with an oversized lens. 3) If you're in a possession of a heart-shaped face, go wild – they tend to suit pretty much any sunglasses.

Shop ELLE’s edit of the best sunglasses brands out there:

Linda Farrow

Founded in 1970, Linda Farrow was one of the first luxury sunglasses brands out there. After a long hiatus, it was revived by Farrow's son Simon Jablon in 2003 – who quickly secured myriad global stockists, racked up the celebrity fans, and saw the brand immortalised culturally in two Lady Gaga and Beyonce music videos.

Fast forward twenty years, and the brand has an undeniable old-world Seventies glamour and Nineties 'supermodel' vibes at its core, but never misses the chance to experiment and keep things feeling fresh in the form of collaborations. So far we've seen Linda Farrow team up with Dries Van Noten, Raf Simmons, Moschino, The Attico, Magda Butrym, Alessandra Rich, and even COS. And there are plenty more where that came from.

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Linda Farrow

Cutler and Gross

Before any of the independent sunglasses brands we now know and love popped up, there was always Cutler and Gross. Founded by opticians Mr Cutler and Mr Gross in 1969, the first C&G store opened in Knightsbridge two years later, and remains to this day. While Luxotica was ruling the designer licensing sphere, this British eyewear label carved a new path, marching to the beat of its own drum with those signature heavy-set frames that transcend trends (Google Colin Firth and Jeff Goldblum if you need a reminder). This season the brand is switching things up while staying true to its roots with a lineup of retro, tinted aviators, angular '50s-inspired frames and exaggerated cat eye styles.

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Cutler and Gross

Missoma X Le Specs

We first heard about this huge collaboration when we sat down for a chat with Missoma's founder Marisa Hordern last year. Now the Missoma X Le Specs is back for a second season, with a bejewelled lineup of tinted oversized shades, 1970s inspired aviators and playful cat-eye styles, too. Our favourite is the pearl-adorned tort Serpens style, which looks even better paired with the brand's gold sunglasses chain.

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Missoma

Le Specs

Le Specs has actually been around since 1979, but it relaunched in 2007 to huge success. The super affordable price points mean this sunglasses brand is one of the most accessible out there, but it's a huge hit with celebrities. Rihanna, Adwoa Aboah, Zoë Kravitz and Bella Hadid loved the sell-out Last Lolita design, and Meghan Markle has been spotted in the brand's £60 Airheart style. If these cat eye shapes aren't your vibe, you'll appreciate the brand's pivot towards Noughties visor shades this season.

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Kimeze

British-Ugandan sisters Clare and Christina Kimeze founded their namesake brand in 2021 after realising there was a gap in the inclusive eyewear market. Before now, sunglasses had been made with Caucasian and, since the 1980s, Asian noses in mind; which alienated many consumers and communities in the process.

They were determined to create high quality frames (Kimeze sunnies are produced in small batches in Italy) that fit all faces. Within two years, their business took off: they count Net-a-Porter as a stockist and celebs like Lewis Hamilton as fans. Our favourite amongst the Unisex collection is the Havana – the coolest, most angular take on the cat-eye we've seen.

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Kimeze

Ray-Ban

Ray-Ban needs no introduction. Kicking around since 1937 and the OG founder of the famous Wayfarer – worn by everyone from Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe to The Princess of Wales and Kate Moss – this sunglasses brand is world-famous. The Italian-American business was bought by eyewear conglomerate Luxotica back in 1999, but it's stayed true to its retro roots: you can still find all the key styles such as the Clubmaster, the Eagle Eye, the Aviator and the Round metal frames on the brand's site.

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Jigsaw

Jigsaw has gone from strength to strength in recent years, rising above the high street's penchant for fast fashion to bring us elegant, quality staples in long-lasting natural fabrics. Now, the British brand is bringing sunglasses into the mix: with a lineup of five core styles made from hand-polished bio-acetate. If we had to pick one, it'd be the Maldon for its #oldceline vibes.

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Jigsaw

Joseph

Luxury British designer brand Joseph first launched eyewear back in 2018, to accompany its growing accessories department. We like how the line has stayed true to its core aesthetic ever since: think retro, 1970s-inspired shades with tint lenses and oversized frames. The perfect accompaniment to the brand's impeccably-cut trouser suits and summery knitwear. We're wishlisting the square amber tint-aviators and the cool clear cat-eye style.

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joseph

AllSaints

Yes, you heard right, AllSaints does sunglasses now. As per, the British label is a dark horse in the accessories game – first it brought quality footwear, then handbags, now shades, of the highest quality (these shades are seriously weighty) at affordable price points. Our favourites from the debut collection are the tort cat-eye style and the gradient D-frame Joy.

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AllSaints

Cubitts

Cubitts is the London-based brand that totally revolutionised eyewear when it launched in 2012. Before then, opticals and sunglasses were on a scale of 'regulation' to 'luxury' with not much in between. There was no such thing as affordable and on-trend, let alone affordable and high quality. Then came Cubitts with its handcrafted, high quality, acetate frames with set prices (now £125 per pair) and unisex designs (ahead of its time).

Head into one of the brand's 15 UK stores to browse the full range and have your chosen pair perfectly fitted for free. Or, work with the team to create a bespoke pair of glasses from £350.

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Cubitts

Taylor Morris

Taylor Morris celebrated its 10 year anniversary last year. After a decade of eyewear, we like how the sunglasses brand has stayed true to its staple aesthetic and bowed out of the constant trend cycle – because, let's face it, once you find sunnies that fit, you will want to keep re-buying the same shape. Expect to find aviator, horn-rimmed styles and classic wayfarer shapes named after London postcodes and Notting Hill streets (the brand's store just so happens to be on Golborne Road, should you want to try anything on IRL).

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Taylor Morris

Ace & Tate

Amsterdam-based brand Ace & Tate was founded in 2013 and is a market-leader in what we'd call 'demi-fine' eyewear. The label's prices start from just £110 for really high quality sunglasses with a real directional vibe – think amber lenses, and 1990-inspired super square and oval shapes. The label recently set up shop across the road from Cubitts on the Golborne Road in Notting Hill – nothing like a bit of healthy competition, are we right? If you can't find the time to browse in-store though, you can shop online instead.

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Ace & Tate

Christianah Jones

Nigerian-born Christianah Jones kicked off her career on Depop selling vintage clothing and unique sunglasses she'd found on her travels as a side hustle. Soon, London-based designer's teeny-weeny shades were spotted perched (and we mean perched) on the noses of Beyonce, Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber and Lizzo; and within three years of launching her namesake brand she'd landed a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. If you're looking for some Y2k sunniest to flex in for summer festivals, this is it right here.

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