The sunglass brands Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Alexa Chung are wearing

The sunglass brands Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Alexa Chung are wearing

Eye spy

Text: Raia Gomez

In both the real and reel world, no other accessory speaks effortless style and mystery like a pair of shades. Get to know the eyewear brands that celebrities are hiding behind the lenses of

The label: Illesteva was born out of founder Daniel Silberman's desire to find sunglasses that he liked as much as his first pair that was a gift from his grandfather. Together with Justin Salguero (aka DJ Jus Ske), they launched the brand in 2009 in New York. Illesteva is handmade by the world's leading luxury eyewear manufacturers in France, Italy and Germany.

Inspired by both the founders' backgrounds in design, music, film, fashion and photography, as well as their downtown New York surroundings, Illesteva designs merge classic, old school cool with contemporary flair. Both vintage styles and fresh shapes are made with materials such as acetate, bamboo, wood, titanium and natural buffalo horn.


What's to love: Illesteva has become known for it's exciting and exclusive collaborations with a range of personalities from the worlds of art, fashion and music including designer Zac Posen, model Jourdan Dunn, jewellery designer Jennifer Fisher and most notably, Velvet Underground's, Lou Reed, that was later to become one of the singer's last projects.

Most popular: The Milan and Leonard Mask styles in a variety of frame materials and coloured lenses are among Illesteva's most in demand styles.
Spotted on: Who hasn't been seen in Illesteva? Everyone from Gigi and Bella Hadid, Beyoncé, Julia Roberts, Lady Gaga, Rita Ora, Kylie Jenner, Sienna Miller, Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Craig have all been spotted in their shades.


The label: It was on a beach in Formentera, Spain that the idea for Taylor Morris was born. Lifelong friends Hugo Taylor, Charlie Morris and Nicholas Dellaportas thought to create a luxury eyewear brand that's truly representative of their own lifestyles. A mere two and a half years since its 2013 launch, the brand has become distinct for infusing British sartorial elegance along with timeless Hollywood glamour into each of its designs.

As the creative forces behind Taylor Morris, Hugo and Charlie draw inspiration from fashion and cultural icons including James Dean, Audrey Hepburn, JFK and Steve McQueen. The duo takes the alluring styles of past eras and reinvents them for the contemporary age using fine craftsmanship, modern technology and luxury materials. More than an eyewear collection, Taylor Morris sets to create a lifestyle brand that takes its customers along the journey of a lifelong friendship that is at the heart of its designs. 

What's to love: The fusion of glamour and luxury along with durability and practicality completely embodied by Taylor Morris styles. The recently launched limited-edition Gold Ivory RollRight is made with ivory acetate and 18K gold lenses while the Sniper RollRight features matte-finished lenses adapted from military technology that prohibits light to bounce off the lenses.

Most popular: The unisex rock and roll inspired RollRight frames and the round, flat-framed Zero style are favourites among customers and celebrities alike.
Spotted on: A model off-duty wardrobe staple, Taylor Morris is the eyewear choice for models Cara and Poppy Delevingne, Eva Herzigová, Joan Smalls, Suki Waterhouse and David Gandy. Major fashion influencers also seen wearing the brand include Olivia Palermo, Kourtney Kardashian, Harry Styles and Niall Horan.

The label: Garrett Leight, whose father founded the well-known luxury eyewear brand Oliver Peoples, has stepped out of his parent's shadow and right out into the sun with his own namesake brand, Garrett Leight California Optical (GLCO). Established in 2010 in Venice, California, Garrett Leight offers a fresh perspective on eyewear with a distinctly California point of view.

Though never intending to work in the eyewear industry, it was while working for his father as his first job straight out of college that Garrett fell in love with the environment. Garrett Leight California Optical is committed to crafting the highest quality contemporary and classic frames inspired by the evolving fashion and eyewear industries that Garrett has been surrounded by since his childhood. Vintage styles blended with original design details and subtle reinventions have made Garrett Leight successful in transforming what was once old as new and what is new as a classic. 

What's to love: Sunglass clips, sun shields, flashy filigree and enamel inlays are just a few of the stylish accents that make Garrett Leight eyewear popular. If you want to add your own personal touch, the brand offers a personal eyewear experience, the Modshop, where you can design your own pair that Garrett Leight will create and have in your hands within eight days.

Most popular: The Hampton style that was launched with the brand's very first collection and the Wilson, available with a striking sun shield design detail, are definite must-haves.
Spotted on: Not only have modern fashion mavens like Kendall Jenner, Emma Roberts and model Emily Ratajkowski been wearing Garrett Leight's stylish specs, Leonardo DiCaprio is also a huge fan, having reportedly shopped at the GLCO store multiple times to purchase the same pair of frames.

The label: The Heidi London label was launched in 2011. Years growing up in Hong Kong immersed in the world of eyewear and subsequently working as a womenswear designer for a number of top fashion labels in London paved the way for the designer to create her own eponymous eyewear brand. Heidi's philosophy is to create fun, feminine and unique styles to effortlessly enhance her customer's innate beauty.

Heidi London is an independent brand that doesn't follow and isn't restricted by fashion seasons. Heidi takes this freedom as a creative space that allows her to take an artistic approach in meticulously developing new materials and styles that fuse form with functionality. Each style of eyewear is produced in specific quantities, maintaining the exclusivity of each design. 

What's to love: Innovative materials and one of a kind design details that are distinct to the brand. Heidi London's latest floral collection features real hand-picked flower petals embedded in the handmade acetate frames that make each pair singular in its design.

Most popular: Among the brand's most sought after styles are the floral square frame sunglasses, the mirror décor style and the classic cat eye frames.
Spotted on: Combining form, functionality and stylish femininity, it's no wonder that Amal Clooney is among the women rarely seen without a pair of Heidi London sunglasses on.


The label: Zanzan is a Maltese word that was often heard in the 1960's from gangsters in London describing the exciting rush one feels when wearing something amazing for the first time. Zanzan is certainly the perfect word to describe the feeling of donning a pair of Zanzan sunglasses. Founders Megan Trimble and Gareth Townshend started creating the bold, retro-inspired eyewear in 2010, introducing fashionable styles that were largely unseen among current offerings.

Zanzan has become known for its bright colours, striking combinations and uncommon patterns that are inspired by everything from popular culture and history, to films, books and music. Custom made materials and hand-carved arms by artisans in the Prosecco hills of Northern Italy ensure that you won't see anyone else in the same sunglasses, whether along busy city streets or sunny beaches. The brand has recently named style savant Laura Bailey as director and creative partner, injecting her own fashion flair into the collection. 

What's to love: A literal feast for the eyes, Zanzan's bright, bold, and eclectic mix of hand-made shapes, rare materials and colour palettes make for eye-catching spectacles. Pink metallic, oversized heptagonal frames and iridescent marble-looking acetate are a few favourite elements that make Zanzan sunglasses the choice standout styles to hide behind. 

Most popular: The glitzy Ortolan and the more classic Sunetra silhouette are among the brand's popular styles that fit both understated and avant-garde fashion sensibilities.
Spotted on: It comes as no surprise that Laura Bailey has often been spotted in a pair of Zanzan sunglasses even before joining the brand, having been a fan of it since its launch. Other fashion forward muses who favour Zanzan are Alexa Chung, Kate Bosworth and Keira Knightley.