Posing for unposed birthday photos on September 7 somewhere in Europe, Beyonce wore a pink broderie anglaise midriff top and skirt, cartwheel straw hat and budget ‘Last Lolita’ Le Specs sunglasses.
Even as the singer blew out her 37 candles, the post – liked by more than 4.9 million of her followers – was the latest icing on the cake for the Australian brand, which has become an international success.
Founded in 1979 “on the shores of Bondi Beach”, according to its website, Le Specs has long been associated with hard-up playboy uncles with body waves and the bad French accent in its early ads.
They were the sunnies you might buy in an emergency if you lost your real European ones, with the selling point that they were ‘Le tough’. You could tread on them with your Dunlop Volleys and they would survive.
But since last summer Le Specs has been le chic, thanks mostly to the $119 cat eye model worn by Beyonce.
Rihanna is a fan, as are Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, who wore a pair of ‘The Fugitive’ glasses to open her world tour in Montreal last October.
And it’s not just celebrities and professional fashionistas who love the cobalt blue, bright pink and banana yellow looks, which start at $59. The hundreds of stockists include Cronulla surf shops, optometrists, country chemists and Tasmanian menswear outlets.
At David Jones’ flagship city store in Sydney, “It’s not summer yet, and we’ve sold out of so many styles already,” Eleni Pollos from the sunglasses department told The New Daily.
“The drawers are almost empty, and they’re the first ones to go. We have a lot of people coming back asking for styles we had last year.”
Who’s buying them?
“A lot of young people,” Ms Pollos said.
“The metal frames are really in now with all the festivals that are happening.”
Last year, Melbourne stylist Suzy Eskander bought two pairs, a red and a black, and has her eye on a white.
“They look really cool,” Ms Eskander told The New Daily.
“They go with a lot of different face shapes – a narrow, long face or a round face – and they’re just different to the oversized sunnies we’ve seen for the last five years or so.
“They’re fresh and young and really wearable, come in a whole range of colours and are just really modern.”
The New Daily contacted Le Specs for comment.