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Lou Reed: Rock legend and sunglasses designer

Posted by James on 22nd Sep 2014

When Lou Reed passed away in October 2013, he'd already secured his place in rock music history. Two of his solo albums (Transformer and Berlin) are listed in Rolling Stone Magazine's top 500 albums of all time. He's also mentioned as an influence by many of the best known artists of the past 5 decades.

The reason I have the pleasure of writing about Lou Reed on our sunglasses blog, is that sunglasses played a pretty important part in his life. Something Reed was known for, even in his early days as front man for The Velvet Underground, was that he often wore sunglasses when he performed indoors.

A music journalist once asked Reed, "Why do you wear sunglasses when you're performing?" 

Legend has it that Reed replied, "I wear them so I don't have to see the audience!" 

However, Reed's connection with sunglasses was more than that.

Lou's Views Sunglasses

Though Reed allegedly didn't use sunglasses to protect him from the sun, sunglasses became a key part of his image. His passion for them led him to ask Italian designer, Davide de Blasio, to design a pair for him. These were nick-names Lou's Views and had lenses, which could be flipped up. Reed said this was so he could leave them on when reading, such was his attachment to wearing sunglasses. 

The design went into production in 2003.

Illesteva Sunglasses

Shortly before he died, Reed collaborated with Illesteva Sunglasses. 

The end result was 2 designs, including the aviators pictured above. An artist in every sense of the word, it's no surprise that the team at Illesteva said Lou Reed was a dream to work with.

And finally

I hope you enjoyed this look at Lou Reed's passion for sunglasses.

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