The Adrenaline-Driven Story of Carrera Sunglasses

The Adrenaline-Driven Story of Carrera Sunglasses

One of the most prestigious eyewear brands known for its design and technical innovation, Carrera represents a dynamic lifestyle. This eyewear brand is one of the most respected in the industry due to its revolutionary contributions. Founded by the inventor of the groundbreaking material Optyl and loved by hundreds of athletes and artists, Carrera paved the path for functional, stylish eyewear that can be worn for both sports and leisure. 

Discover the brand’s revolutionary history, iconic collaborations, and intricate craftsmanship. 

Brand History

Founded in 1956 by Wilhelm Anger in Austria, the company was originally named ‘Wilhelm Anger Werker’ and was primarily a sports goggles company. The new name ‘Carrera’ was inspired by the famous Carrera Panamericana sports car race, which was an open road racing event that ran in Mexico in the early 1950s, and was considered to be one of the most dangerous car races in the world. Anger was inspired by the characteristics of the race: adrenaline rush, great passion for racing, and desire to push the boundaries. These are still some of the distinctive traits of the brand till today. 

Anger had previously worked in a small plastics company in 1946, where the company only started to produce eyewear made from the material — at the time, this wasn’t the norm. In 1964, Anger invented a type of plastic and patented Optyl, a new form of resin that was hypoallergenic, extremely durable, lighter than other plastics by 20%, and has dimensional stability which improved fit through the ‘memory effect’ that allowed the frame to adapt to the wearer’s face. Till today, 90% of high-end sunglasses are manufactured with this Optyl material.

As the company was located close to the Alps, it started producing innovative ski goggles and helmets. These became highly sought after by athletes worldwide and became an immediately recognisable icon. With its growing success, the company expanded into the licensing business in 1966 and started manufacturing for fashion brands, including Christian Dior, Hugo Boss, and Movado, and Boeing.

In 1974, the company established a headquarter in Traun, Austria, and was renamed Carrera International. One of the most significant chapters of the company’s career is in 1977, when the company began its collaboration with automobile designer Ferdinand Porsche for the sunglass collection under Carrera Porsche Design.

A huge design turning point in Carrera’s history is the creation of the iconic Carrera ‘C’ logo in 1979. The logo was featured in the middle of the front of the frame for the first time in history, revolutionising the eyewear world forever. Up until then, the golden rules for eyewear were to keep front designs clean-cut and understated. In addition to the ‘C’ logo, there was also a striped pattern that signifies the brand’s sports heritage. This logo, till today, is a symbol of the brand that seamlessly blended the world of racing and the world of fashion.

Throughout the 1980s, Carrera sponsored multiple sporting events including the 1988 Winter Olympics, Formula 1 racing, and America’s Cup. Since 1996, Carrera has been part of Safilo Group and now operates from Padova, Italy. The company has also established its assembly plant in Henan, China. 


Carrera has decades of history under its belt, successfully optimising the latest technology and coming up with fashionable designs. Production of its glasses and sunglasses happens in-house, predominantly at the company’s headquarters in Italy — others are assembled at its assembly plant in China. Every step of production, from cutting to assembly, is monitored closely by the in-house team, with quality-control checkpoints that ensure every pair is made to perfection.

The finest materials

One of the main reasons behind Carrera’s success all these years is the materials used for its products. As the company’s founder was the inventor of Optyl, a material still widely used for eyewear frames till today, it’s already guaranteed that Carrera offers the most premium-made glasses and sunglasses. On top of the durable and lightweight properties, the Optyl material that Carrera sunglasses are made of has dimensional stability, improving fit through the ‘memory effect’ that allowed the frame to adapt to the wearer’s face.

Functional and trendy designs

Other than the materials used, Carrera also succeeds in blending vintage styles with sporty and contemporary ones. Thanks to Optyl, the brand’s designers were able to create some of the most innovative designs that didn’t exist before, putting Carrera in one of the top spots as a leading sunglasses company.

Carrera’s design team takes inspiration from the demands and needs of athletes, and combined them with trendy styles, reinventing sports eyewear as more than just a functional product. Its innovations attracted the attention of Ferdinand Alexander, who collaborated on the Carrera Porsche Design collection.

Carrera’s iconic ‘C’ logo that is featured in the middle of the front of its frames revolutionised the industry forever, as prior to this, eyewear designs were kept simple. The ‘C’ logo, as well as the accompanying striped pattern, are now symbols of the brand — any fan can instantly recognise a pair of Carrera’s just by looking at it.

Top Carrera Eyewear Designs

While athletes are the sources of inspiration for the brand, they are not the only target audience. Many are fans of Carrera because of the brand’s undisputed reputation. Customers can rely on the brand to produce stylish and durable designs that can withstand various types of settings, from leisure to sports. 

Here are some of the best Carrera sunglasses and glasses designs.

Carrera Champion

One of the most iconic Carrera models is the Carrera Champion, invented in 1987. This design is arguably the most popular style of the brand, and features a full-frame aviator profile with bold volumes and distinctive details. The signature ‘C’ logo is positioned at the front central part of the frame. This design became an 80s icon, and while there have been multiple updated editions since, they are always true to the original design.

The Carrera Champion65 is one such example. This design marked the brand’s 65th anniversary, made out of the lightweight and durable Optyl. It comes in 8 various colour ways.

Hyperfit 19/S

The Hyperfit 19/S sunglasses is a round-shaped stylish design from the Active Collation. It is made of injection-folded polyamide that delivers an anatomically contoured fit thanks to the HyperFit hinges — this is an innovative mechanism that offers the upmost flexibility while still being able to securely wrap the glasses around the neck when not in use. This design is perfect for those always on the move. 

Glory II

An extremely popular design is the Carrera Glory II Sunglasses, expressing the Carrera aesthetic boldly. Made from a lightweight metal for the frame and nylon lens with an anti-reflex coating, this style features a large aviator shape with an added layer of construction for added depth. The iconic Flag stripe, a trademark motif of the brand that was inspired by Carrera’s ski-jumping ‘Bullet’ helmet, is hand-painted with red enamel along the top bar and on the temples. It comes in five colour ways: yellow gold, matte black, gold copper, gold shaded, gold black

Changer 65

The Changer65 model is another one that celebrates the brand’s 65th anniversary, featuring a full-rim aviator profile and a bold silhouette with distinctive finishing touches like the graphic, three-dimensional ‘C’ at the front, and the logo lettering on the temples. There are two lens options for this style, easily swapped by removing the C logo plaque on the front through magnets. Colourways of this model include black/burgundy with brown-shaded lenses, black with grey-shaded lenses, and Havana with brown-shaded lenses.

Epica II

Designed for maximum comfort and total UV protection, the Epica II sunglasses feature an oversized, shield-style frame. The details of this design are well-thought-through, including the sleek acetate-tipped metal temples, logo lettering on the left lens and temples, and the leather trim with the engraved ‘C’ on the nose bridge. Users can swap the lens to a different colour by pressing the metal button in the center of the frame to replace it.

FlagLab 12

The FlagLab collection is expressive, adventurous, and playful. Out of the designs from the collection, the FlagLab 12 sunglasses is one of the best designs, having a “subversive spirit” that combines the sporty and fashionable aesthetic. It is inspired by the iconic Carrera Sport 5414, pushing the boundaries of traditional designs. The lens of this rimless mask has a colour gradient, and has anatomic nose pads that offer the best comfort.


One of the most famous designs of the brand of all time is the Carrera 5512. This model has been in multiple movies and TV shows, worn by big stars like Don Johnson in Miami Vice and Al Pacino in Scarface. While this specific design is now a vintage piece, many current styles have been based on 5512 due to its extreme popularity. 


Even though Carrera is best known for its sunglasses, the optical frame line is also worth paying attention to. One of the most popular optical frames is the Carrera 269. This style features a chunky, square frame made of acetate, with four colour options. 269 is vintage-inspired and is strengthened with a metal wire core visible along the inner arms, providing with extreme durability. There is also the Carrera trademark logo plaque on the temples, adding a little bit of classy detail to the frame.

The Iconic Porsche Design Collaboration

One of the most successful milestones for Carrera is its collaboration with Porsche Design. The two brands share a passion for a performance-driven approach and the ability to combine style with technology. Founders Wilhelm Anger and Ferdinand Porsche started their collaboration in 1976, and Porsche Design entered the eyewear industry with a collection by Carrera. The most iconic style is the Carrera Porsche Design 5620, which featured a futuristic shield design and was an instant hit. This model was donned by the greatest rockstars of all time and became a symbol of boldness and elegance.


The next breakthrough product by this iconic collaboration was the Carrera Porsche Design 5621/23, which is one of the first-ever interchangeable lens sunglasses where one can swap lens colours in a snap. This feature has been integrated into many of Carrera’s sunglasses outside of the collaboration as well. 

Carrera x Supreme Collaboration

Another iconic collaboration Carrera has done that’s more recent is the Carrera x Supreme collaboration. Supreme is an American clothing and skateboarding lifestyle brand with an appeal to streetwear culture. It is one of the most popular streetwear brands there is today, and its red box logo with the “Supreme” in white logo can be spotted by just about anyone. 

The New York brand is not new to collaborations — for its limited edition FW21 collection, Supreme came together with Carrera to design a ski goggle inspired by a vintage Carrera model from the early 80s, reinterpreted in a modern key. While it was not officially mentioned which exact model it took inspiration from, there is speculation that it could be inspired by the Porsche Design Carrera 5600 ski goggles. 

The Carrera x Supreme goggles were designed for a range of uses, including skiing and other outdoor activities. The lenses are 100% UVA and UVB protected, and is also durable with high surface hardness. The product launched on Supreme websites as well as in Supreme stores and Dover Street Market locations. 

On the official Carrera website, it is said that the model sold out in just a few hours of its release. 

Celebrities Wearing Carrera Sunglasses

Carrera sunglasses have been featured in dozens of films and television shows including Spring Breakers, Casino, and Rush. Top celebrities like Britney Spears, Brad Pitt, and Gwen Stefani are known to own a pair or two of their own. Here are some celebrities wearing Carrera sunglasses: 

Don Johnson in Carrera 5512


Shakira in Carrera 1054/S


Luke Bracey in Carrera 125/S


Vince Vaughn in Carrera 125/S


Bella Hadid in Carrera 124/S


Kendall Jenner in Carrera 124/S


Lady Gaga in Carrera Champion (Bad Romance MV)


Christina Aguilera in Carrera Vintage Collection (Not Myself Tonight MV)


Rihanna in Carrera Vintage Collection (Rude Boy MV)


Usher in Carrera Endurance (Hey Daddy MV)


Alicia Keys in Carreraa Panamerika 1 (Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart MC)


Chris Hemsworth in Carrera Speedway


Chris Hemsworth in Carrera 44 (Rush movie)

Daniel Brühl in Carrera 80 (Rush movie)


Owen Wilson in Carrera Safari (Masterminds movie)


Jonah Hill in Carrera Safari (War Dogs movie)


Dave Bautista in Carrera CA1005-S (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery movie)


Luke Hemsworth in Carrera 5405 (Ocean Boy movie)



Carrera surpasses expectations with each new collection, showcasing new ways of seamlessly combining sporty functions with contemporary styles. The brand has proven to the world that it is one of the leaders of the eyewear industry, with many looking to Carrera to present new innovations and inventions in the future to come. 

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