During the long hot Summers of the 1950’s and early 60’s, the haut monde of Manhattan flocked to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to relax along the Piscataqua River and escape the big city heat. Being very fashion conscious, these wealthy New Yorkers were struck by smoke patterned golden amber frames worn by the local town folk, and they quickly became the “must have” vacation fashion accessory, especially as sunglasses. Of course these frames found their way back to New York where writers, artists and night club musicians soon noticed and adopted them. Though their popularity exploded in New York City, we call our version Hampshires, to honor their New England origins.
The warm umbers and gold amber of these curved rectangular rimmed frames swirl and mix in a vaporous pattern that creates a soft, undulating glow in sunlight. These translucent hues of Hampshires are especially complementary to brown or tanned skin tones, but look wonderful on all faces, as sunglasses or with prescription lenses. Today, these traditional, classic frames have made a major comeback in both inner city colleges as well as Ivy League universities and are seen on the famous faces of entertainers and musicians.