Dior Sunglasses, Pioneer of Luxury Eyewear

Dior Sunglasses, Pioneer of Luxury Eyewear

Designed in Paris and made in Italy, the eyewear line of Dior exceeds expectations in every aspect — not many would disagree with that statement. On top of being one of the biggest luxury brands in the world to this day, this fashion house also played a major role in eyewear history, pioneering the transition to luxury glasses and sunglasses. With decades of history and evolution, Dior’s eyewear line consistently comes out on top in terms of craftsmanship, innovation, and design.

Take a look at the fashion house’s history, intricate craftsmanship, top designs, and iconic collaborations.

Brand History

Founder of the Dior fashion house Christian Dior was born in 1905 in a seaside town on the coast of Normandy, France, but moved to Paris when he was five with his family. He would sell fashion sketches outside his house for about 10 cents each (which is equivalent to about $2 now). In 1928, Dior’s father funded his opening of a small art gallery where he sold art by the likes of Pablo Picasso. The gallery closed down three years later following the deaths of Dior’s mother and brother, as well as the financial crisis during the Great Depression. 

Dior started selling fashion sketches again as a source of income, which got him discovered by fashion designer Robert Piguet. From 1937, Dior worked under Piguet, and had the opportunity to design for three of Piguet’s collections. Dior later said that Piguet “taught me the virtues of simplicity through which true elegance must come.”


During his time a Piguet, Dior worked alongside (now-famous designer) Pierre Balmain, and was succeeded as house designer by Marc Bohan, who later on became head of design for Christian Dior Paris in 1960. Dior left Piguet in 1942 when he was called up for military service. After leaving the army, he joined the fashion house Lucien Lelong (with Pierre Balmain).

When Dior was invited by entrepreneur Marc Boussac to design for Philippe et Gaston in 1946, Dior refused as he would rather start fresh under his own name rather than revive an old brand. With Boussac’s backing, he founded the Dior fashion house the same year. 

Dior’s first haute couture collection — named ‘Corolle’, which translates to ‘circlet of flower petals’ — revolutionised women’s fashion, and the phrase “New Look” was coined by the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar at the time. Due to the war, styles were more boxy and fabric-conserving, but Dior’s designs, drawing inspiration from styles of the Edwardian era, were more voluptuous. Since the very beginning, Dior exudes femininity, sophistication, and quiet elegance with every new collection.

Dior Eyewear Licence Agreements

As an innovative entrepreneur, Dior licensed his accessories and perfumes to third-party companies. 

In 1958, a New York company called Tura landed the Christian Dior licence for Dior’s eyewear line. The New York company was founded out of an optical shop called House of Levoy. The founder, Monroe Levoy, was an early advocate of eyewear-as-fashion. As Tura specialised in cast metal frames, the company produced a great number of original designs in metal for Dior. The intricacy in design and detail would make their pieces of jewellery in their sensibility — some designs even had matching bracelets. Below is one of the most iconic Dior sunglasses produced by Tura: 

Dior Tura

Dior Tura

In 1966, Wilhelm Anger, took over the Dior licence from Tura. Anger invented Optyl, which is an innovative lightweight thermo-hardening plastic. As Optyl wasn’t ready for commercial production at the time, the earliest Austrian-made Dior sunglasses were made of acetate. Compared to Tura’s flashy designs, Dior sunglasses under Anger were more modern. The first Dior frame made from Optyl, however, did reminisce that of Tura’s style. 

Dior Optyl

Dior Optyl

In 1996, Safilo started manufacturing eyeglasses and sunglasses for Dior. The Italian eyewear group continued to hold on to the licence agreement until 2021. CEO of Safilo Luisa Delgado stated: “Dior eyewear has established itself as the leading trendsetter in sunglasses. This is the result of a remarkable combination of sophisticated capabilities, merging visionary product design, industry-leading technical expertise, and innovation, along with authentic manufacturing craftsmanship and consistent qualitative worldwide distribution.”

In 2019, international luxury giant LVMH founded Thélios to enter the eyewear sector, and Dior announced Thélios will take over the eyewear production for Dior once the licence deal with Safilo expired. Thélios has since been manufacturing Dior optical glasses and sunglasses. 


Dior is one of the pioneering fashion houses to put its name under licence for an eyewear brand. The fashion house has decades of eyewear designing and production experience under its belt, and many look to Dior’s eyewear line for its original designs made from high-quality materials, produced by the best craftsmen in Italy. 

Dior Sunglasses


One of the main reasons behind the continuous success of Dior’s eyewear line is the materials used. From the very beginning, every frame is guaranteed to be made of materials that are durable and high quality. 

When Dior’s eyewear licence agreement was with Optyl, the company’s products were made out of the revolutionary material. Optyl is a thermo-hardening plastic that is 20% lighter than acetate, giving great comfort to the wearer. Because of these factors, along with its hypoallergenic, durable, colour-resistant and heat-resistant properties, this material is still extremely popular to this day. While many frames today are made of this material, Dior was one of the first few brands to have its eyewear line made out of Optyl.

Dior Sunglasses

With this partnership, Dior transformed luxury sunglasses into more accessible everyday accessories. Even though the licence for the production of Dior’s eyewear line with Optyl ended in 1996, the fashion house is continuously using highly innovative materials to create extravagant and high-quality eyewear. 


Design is the most significant factor in any of Dior’s products, and the eyewear line is no exception. Every single frame is designed in the Dior studios in Paris, first sketched as meticulous drawings. During the early years when Tura manufactured the fashion houses’ eyewear line, Dior designs took inspiration from jewellery designs, changing the perception of eyewear being only a functional object. 

Dior Sunglasses

The use of Optyl material for Dior frames was a significant moment in the company’s eyewear history, as it opened up endless opportunities for design and colours that didn’t exist during the time. Anger even created the slogan “Dress your face”. Dior explored unique and groundbreaking eyewear designs that dominated the optical industry as early as the mid-70s. Previously unknown hues and delicate degradé of translucent, brown, and green colours remained as a defining aspect of Dior’s eyewear aesthetic. 

Dior Sunglasses

Another prominent design aspect of Dior eyewear is that the styles will always reflect the current fashion and trends, while still retaining its signature elegance and sophistication. All of Dior’s glasses also have a special “D” logo, signifying its brand characteristics.

Made in Italy

Blueprints of the eyewear designs from the Paris studios would be brought to the workshops of Thélios, Dior’s current manufacturer of eyewear, in Italy. Thélios combines cutting-edge technology with traditional, meticulous Italian craftsmanship, done by highly skilled artisans and talented professionals. 

Dior Sunglasses

As its parent company is LVMH, a world leader in luxury, there is the guarantee that every frame is produced to the highest standards and made to perfection. 

Top Dior Glasses Designs for Women

In the past few decades, Dior has come up with some of the most revolutionary eyewear styles. A few of them have even been the talk of the town at different points in time, making headlines and red carpets. Here are some of the top Dior optical glasses and sunglasses designs for women. 

Dior So Real collection

Dior So Real

The Dior So Real become a street-style sensation when it first launched. This style is still a trend to this day, and it all started with Rihanna back in the fall of 2014. Rihanna arrived at the Dior presentation in Paris in a slip dress paired with stockings and a red fur coat, but the cherry on top was the pair of Dior So Real mirrored sunglasses perched on her visage.

Rihanna in Dior So Real

This frame features a bridgeless design and reflective lens and became an overnight sensation. Now, retailers worldwide have this style stocked in a variety of colours. It’s safe to say this is one of Dior’s most popular designs of all time.  

Split 1 Aviator 

Dior Split 1 Aviator

Another top design that has been spotted on countless celebrities is the Split 1 Aviator. This style is part of Dior’s summer 2016 collection and is considered as a classic hit for the brand. This aviator-style design features a horizontal, UV-blocking lens, covered with a metal, mirrored rim. The simplicity of the Split 1 Aviator makes it the perfect pair for any occasion, from casual day-to-day to red carpet events. 

One of the most popular colours is the rose-gold and gray-rose combination, but there are four other shades to choose from, including a palladium and blue colour combo.



Dior TECHNOLOGIC Sunglasses

Another classic aviator-shaped design is the Dior TECHNOLOGIC sunglasses. This is a great style for those who are looking for a more stylistic pair of aviator-style sunglasses and a level up from the Split 1 Aviator. The Dior TECHNOLOGIC Sunglasses features an open-worked frame with a flat mirrored lens. Its metallic rim adds a modern and electric touch to the design. It has 100% UVA/UVB protection and adjustable nose pads. The best part about this design is that it is unisex, and works well with most face shapes.

Abstract Sunglasses

 Dior Abstract Sunglasses

A more vibrant and dramatic design, while still keeping a classic shape, is the Abstract Sunglasses. Made for both men and women, this design features 100% UV-protected mirrored lenses in a variety of colours including violet, green, and orange. The vibrant lens makes a great contrast to the tortoiseshell rim, giving a retro vibe. Many opt for the Abstract Sunglasses for a brighter, lively look, perfect for summer days and festivals.


 Dior Montaigne Sunglasses

Big frames are in, and the Montaigne line fits the bill. The Montaigne SU frame is a popular one due to it being the perfect pair for the big, dramatic sunglasses trend. This design features an oversized, square-rimmed frame with a matte pink acetate construction. This distinctive silhouette of sharp, angular lines has a great contrast to a face’s natural curves. This frame is part of the 2021 spring/summer collection, one of the first collections produced by Thélios. While it is classified as a trendy style, the Montaigne’s angular shape keeps it classy enough to be timeless. 

Top Dior Glasses Designs for Men 

While some of the top Dior glasses designs for women also apply to men, other styles are more popular for men. This is due to the different preferences and style of the Dior Men’s and Women’s lines. With women’s sunglasses for Dior, they are often more dramatic and flamboyant. When it comes to the sunglasses designs for men, they are more classic yet modern. 

Dior 0224S

 Dior 0224S

One of the most popular Dior sunglasses for men is the Dior 0224S. Its aviator-style design maintains its classic aesthetic while standing out from the rest with its thick black frame. Many find this design to be extremely timeless as well as versatile, and can be worn for many occasions — this is due to its classic shape and colours.

Dior Aviator

 Dior Aviator Sunglasses Men

A classic pair of Dior glasses is the Dior Aviator, offering a modern rendition of the classic aviator design. This is similar to the previous design as they both have aviator-shaped frames, but the frames are different in thickness. This one is more lightweight and has a slightly widened bridge in comparison. The Dior Aviator is a little bit more fancy in style as a result of the thin metal temples, leaning it more towards an occasion accessory.

 Dior Men’s Homme Master

 Dior Homme Master Sunglasses

Most of Dior’s eyewear products are on the more expensive end — Dior is a luxury brand, after all. On the more affordable side of Dior’s eyewear line is the Dior Men’s Homme Master, which is one of the most popular designs in the middle price range. Its frame is made of acetate and features a non-polarised silver material mirror lens. A unique design aspect of this style is that the frames are thicker than the temples.

Dior Black Tie

 Dior Black Tie Sunglasses

A classic and sleek design is the Dior Black Tie. The simplicity with eccentric detailing is the main reason for its popularity. They are perfect for both formal and casual events, featuring a fashionable square temple, metal lines that ring down the hinges and temples, and a 100% UV-protected lens. The widened bridge offers a snug fit and a sleek design. 

Diorextrem MU

 Dior XU

The Diorextrem MU frame is part of the spring/summer collection for 2021, one of the first collections produced by Thélios. This frame is reminiscent of sports frames and features a large mirrored full-face lens. A rubber Christian Dior logo is attached to a Velcro adjustable hand, and there are also two studs with the initials “CD” on the lens. One great feature of this frame is the interchangeable lens, which adds a customisation function. Customers can switch out for a non-mirrored gray lens. 

Dior’s Collaboration with Rihanna

 Dior x Rihanna Sunglasses

There is no shortage of celebrities wearing Dior sunglasses, but there is only one design collaboration: Dior’s collaboration with Rihanna in 2016 as part of her brand ambassadorship.  The collection was simply named “Rihanna”. This is Rihanna’s first design project with Dior, a privilege that was never granted before to any other house ambassadors. 

The collection is inspired by La Forge from Star Trek, and Rihanna stated: “I've always been obsessed with his eyewear, and when I got to Dior and saw all the materials I could play with, it all just came together.”

 Dior x Rihanna Sunglasses

She also commented on the design process: “The process was pretty seamless. I spent a day at Dior with their eyewear design team. I started by looking through all the archives to see what they’ve done in the past, then got acquainted with all the new materials. I literally sat there and drew and drew until I was happy with the design, and the team illustrated it for me right then and there. We picked materials and colors that same day, and after that, it was a matter of weeks before I saw the first prototype.”

Mathieu Jamin, Dior’s eyewear designer, was impressed with the level of involvement Rihanna had, stating that “she chose all the materials. We had a lot of different samples with different effects of metals. She chose all the lenses and took time to match all the colors together to see if it was right on her face. It was really important to her… (The resulting frames are) really strong and something we don’t have in the collection, so it’s unique.”

 Dior x Rihanna Sunglasses

There were six different colour variations at $840 each, with a luxe 24-karat gold-plated style priced at $1,950. 

Celebrities Wearing Dior Optical Glasses and Sunglasses

The list of celebrities that have been seen wearing Dior optical glasses and sunglasses might as well be endless — there’s a lot of them. Below are some of the top stars that have been seen wearing some of the most popular designs of Dior eyewear:

Bella Hadid in So Real

 Bella Hadid in Dior So Real

Rihanna in Split

 Rihanna in Dior Split Sunglasses

Rihanna in So Real

 Rihanna in Dior So Real Sunglasses

Olivia Wilde in Split

 Olivia Wilde in Dior Split Sunglasses

Olivia Palermo in So Real

 Olivia Palermo in Dior So Real Sunglasses

Charlotte Groeneveld in So Real

 Charlotte in Dior So Real Sunglasses

Chiara Ferragni in So Real

 Chiara in Dior So Real Sunglasses

Aimee Song in So Real

 Aimee Song in Dior So Real Sunglasses

Sofia Valkiers in Abstract

 Sofia Valkiers in Dior Abstract Sunglasses

Kendall Jenner in Split

 Kendall Jenner in Dior Split Sunglasses

Lupita Nyong’o in So Real

 Lupita in Dior Sunglasses

Rihanna in So Real

 Rihanna in Dior So Real Sunglasses

Kylie Jenner in So Real 

Kylie Jenner in Dior So Real Sunglasses 


Alicia Keys in So Real

 Alicia Keys in Dior So Real Sunglasses

Olivia Palermo in So Real

 Olivia Palermo in Dior So Real Sunglasses

Majorie Harvey in So Real

 Majorie in Dior Sunglasses

Draya Michele in Technologic

 Draya in Dior Sunglasses

Priyanka Chopra in Technologic

 Priyanka in Dior Sunglasses 


There’s no doubt that Dior has made a place for itself in the eyewear industry, with almost every retailer worldwide stocking its most recent and popular designs. The fashion house continues to evolve and improve in every possible way it can, from inventing groundbreaking designs to incorporating cutting-edge technology. One thing’s for sure: the elegant and sophisticated essence of Dior remains in every piece of product the fashion house makes.

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