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The Great Optical Brands: Vuarnet

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Vuarnet, an iconic French brand born from a shared passion for skiing and optics, has for more than six decades embodies the perfect alliance between performance, innovation and elegance. Founded in 1960, Vuarnet has distinguished itself through high quality products and unique know-how. Discover how a chance meeting and shared vision gave birth to a timeless brand that continues to appeal to athletes and celebrities around the world.

The Origins of Vuarnet: the meeting of two enthusiasts

In 1957, Roger Pouilloux, visionary optician and ski enthusiast, revolutionized the world of optics with the invention of the Skilynx lens . This solar lens, designed to offer optimal protection against reflections and improve vision in bright conditions, marks the start of an adventure that will transform the landscape of optics and sport.

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The year 1959 was decisive for the brand. Pouilloux offers French ski champion Jean Vuarnet a pair of glasses with Skilynx lenses. During the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics in 1960, Jean Vuarnet won the gold medal in downhill, driven by the innovation of these glasses. Impressed by the performance of these glasses, Vuarnet joined forces with Pouilloux to create a brand in their image: innovative, efficient and elegant. The Vuarnet house was thus born in 1960, sealing an alliance between cutting-edge technology and sporting passion.


The ascent: from ski slopes to fashion summits

The 1960s marked the rapid expansion of the brand. The 02 model, the brand's first flagship product, quickly became a symbol of elegance and performance. Adopted both on the slopes and in everyday life by celebrities like Mick Jagger and Romy Schneider, the 02 model established itself as a timeless icon.

The following decade, in 1974, Vuarnet launches the Glacier model, designed especially for mountaineers. Jean Afanassieff, famous French mountaineer, was one of the first to adopt it, notably during the first French ascent of Everest in 1978. The Glacier model quickly became a worldwide success, attracting personalities like Miles Davis who regularly wore them on scene. This foray into the world of mountaineering and celebrities helps to strengthen the brand's notoriety.


The 1980s saw Vuarnet conquer the United States, notably by becoming the official sponsor of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. It was such a success that American weather forecasts used the expression “It's A Vuarnet Day” to announce a sunny day. This period marks Vuarnet's entry into a new era, where the United States becomes the brand's main market.

Heritage meets modernity: a timeless brand

In the 90s, the brand diversified its offering with a collection of sportswear and ski clothing. In 1998, the 03 model enjoyed worldwide success thanks to Jeff Bridges, aka The Dude, in the Coen Brothers' film "The Big Lebowski". This period confirms Vuarnet's lasting influence in the world of fashion and sport.

In 2015, Vuarnet reinvented its iconic Glacier model, marking the start of a new era. The modern design and high technicality of this model even appealed to James Bond in the film "Spectre". In 2017, to celebrate its 60th anniversary, Vuarnet opened its first boutique in Paris, followed by a second in New York in 2018. These boutiques offer total immersion in the Vuarnet universe, presenting a complete range of eyewear, textile collections and limited editions.


The year 2021 sees the launch of a new Glacier collection, the result of three years of research and development. This collection represents the pinnacle of Vuarnet's innovation, confirming its status as an icon of the mountains and style.

Vuarnet, labeled Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant by the French State , continues to represent the excellence of French know-how. Celebrities like Alain Delon, Zendaya, and Jake Gyllenhaal have all worn Vuarnet styles, testament to the brand's timelessness and universality.

From its beginnings in 1957 to today, Vuarnet has been able to evolve while remaining faithful to its values of innovation, performance and elegance. A brand which, beyond the mountains, continues to shine on the world stage.