The Tale of the Versace 'Medusa Biggie' Sunglasses

The Tale of the Versace 'Medusa Biggie' Sunglasses

Easily distinguishable and recognisable by its lavish cuts and medallions, Versace’s sunglasses are mini representatives of the essence of its founder’s legacy, who was a true visionary. The Versace fashion house proudly upholds its name as one of the most revolutionary brands in the business, by consistently one-upping itself in design, technology, and craftsmanship.

Let’s take a look at the history of Versace’s eyewear line, along with its most prominent designs and a list of its celebrity clientele. 

Brand History

Versace was founded by Giovanni Maria “Gianni” Versace, an Italian fashion designer, socialite, and businessman, born in 1946. In his birthplace, the city of Reggio Calabria, there was a strong influence of ancient Greek history and historical landscape, which inspired Gianni to study Latin and ancient Greek in school. 


From a young age, Gianni started his apprenticeship at his mother’s sewing business, and at the age of 26, he moved to Milan to work in fashion design. After a few years of fashion design experience at other companies, Gianni presented his first own signature collection at the Palazzo Della Permanent Art Museum of Milan, and in that same year, he had his first fashion show. In 1978, he opened his first boutique and employed his sister, Donatella, as vice president and his brother, Santo, as president of the company. 

The Versace House rose to popularity rapidly after the opening of its first boutique. The sexy cuts, bold prints, and vivid colours were a breath of fresh air compared to the prevailing simple and muted styles — there was as much criticism as they were praised. One of the most famous innovations of Versace was in 1982 when Gianni invented a type of super-light chainmail called ‘Oroton’, which later became a signature material in many of Versace’s products. There was a saying that referenced Versace’s rivalry with designer Giorgio Armani: “Armani dresses the wife, Versace dresses the mistress.”


Gianni drew inspiration from his southern Italian heritage, and as a native of Calabria (in the ancient Greater Greece region), elements of Greek mythology are prominent in his designs. One such example is the brand’s logo which features the Medusa Head. This logo can be seen on numerous of Versace’s designs to this day.

After the sudden death of Gianni in 1997, Donatella took over as creative director and Santo became CEO. The Versace fashion house has since split into two segments of the industry — one high-end and the other targeting a younger demographic.  

Versace’s eyewear line is part of the Versace Collection, which fall under the second segment.  The company licences its branding and name for its eyewear line to Luxottica Group, an Italian eyewear conglomerate. The latest renewal of the licence was in 2020, when Luxottica Group secured an early ten-year renewal for its exclusive licence agreement with Versace. The two companies have been collaborating since 2003. 


As one of the world’s biggest luxury fashion houses, craftsmanship is one of the top priorities for all of Versace’s products. The brand’s eyewear line is produced by one of the best Italian eyewear manufacturers in the world, ensuring the best quality of frames featuring the latest in lens technology. 

Versace sunglasses and glasses are mostly made of lightweight acetate that offers comfort to the wearer. Metal frames are made of the finest materials that ensure durability and longevity. Most designs offer polarised lenses, which block the wavelengths of light that cause glare and haze, and UV protection. All of Versace’s lenses are made of scratch-resistant materials, enhancing the durability of the product.


One of the reasons behind the success of Versace sunglasses is their design. Some say that the Versace eyewear line is a mini statement of founder Gianni’s artistic style. Just like the fashion house’s clothes, Versace sunglasses and glasses feature cutting-edge, luxurious, and bold Greek influences.

Versace sunglasses are popular for their oversized designs that feature a standard lens size curve so it fits the face shape better. Another popular aspect of Versace sunglasses is the colour gradation of its lenses where the top of the lens is in a darker shade and gradually gets lighter at the bottom. This feature is ideal for conditions when the sun is directly overhead. 

A key design detail of Versace eyewear is the iconic brand symbol on the side of the temples. Without fail, Versace sunglasses and glasses feature an imprint of a Greek key, Medusa Head, a vertical strip, or an embossed horizontal name of the brand. 

Top Versace Sunglasses Designs for Women

The designs of Versace’s eyewear line are undoubtedly unique and bold — these are features of the brand’s sunglasses that have won the hearts of many all over the world. Among the hundreds of models over the years, some designs have proven to be more successful than others. Below are some of the best Versace sunglasses designs for women.

90s Vintage Logo Cat-Eye Sunglasses


One of the most popular Versace sunglasses for women is the 90s Vintage Logo Cat-Eye Sunglasses. This design features a bold cat-eye shape, made out of high-quality acetate. The temples of the sunglasses are made of gold-tone metal with an open-work, vintage-inspired ‘90s Versace logo. There are three colourways of this design: black, white, and red frames with gold-toned temples and dark grey UV-protected lenses.

Greca Sunglasses


The next popular sunglasses design for women is the Greca Sunglasses. This frame is an oversized, rectangular shape, made famous by its appearances on top fashion runways. The Greca Sunglasses play a part in making big, oversized sunglasses trendy again. This design features wide temples enriched with geometric Greca hardware with a glossy, golden finish. Made of acetate, this design comes in black and red, both with golden logo embellishment on the temples and UV-protected dark grey lenses. 

Medusa Icon Shield Sunglasses


The Medusa Icon Shield Sunglasses is another dramatic, oversized nylon frame made popular thanks to the large sunglasses trend. This design, which has also made its fair share of appearances on top fashion runways, features a wrapped semi-rim shield style with wide and hollow tapered temples. The temple showcases the signature Medusa emblem, an iconic Versace logo. There is also a gold-tone logo on the frame. One of the best aspects of this design is that it comes with three sets of lenses: a classic grey tone, transparent, and a gradient orange to purple scale. The frame of the Medusa Icon Shield Sunglasses comes in black and white.

Medusa Glam Sunglasses


Those not into dramatic sunglasses opt for Medusa Glam Sunglasses. This design is one of the most popular styles as it is more subtle in every aspect, from the shape to the detailing. Made of nylon, this design features a rectangular shape with thin metal gold frames, uniquely detailed with a double nose bridge and Medusa hardware on gradient UV-protected lenses. The Medusa Glam Sunglasses is a great pair to have for any occasion.

Top Versace Sunglasses Designs for Men 

Most of Versace’s eyewear lines are designed to suit both men and women. Oftentimes, the only difference between the men’s and women’s sunglasses of the same design is the fit and sizing. Regardless, some Versace sunglasses designs are more popular for men than women. Here are some of the best Versace sunglasses designs for men. 

Baroque Sunglasses


The top of this list has to be the Baroque Sunglasses. This is an iconic pair of Versace sunglasses that have been worn by countless of celebrities and featured on red carpets. Some might say that it truly defines the Versace style. The Baroque Sunglasses features a pilot-shaped frame with a thin gold metal rim. The nose bridge features a leather strap with a Gold Medusa detail, which is also detailed on the acetate-made temples. 

Medusa Pilot Sunglasses


In a similar shape is the Medusa Pilot Sunglasses. This is also another popular Versace sunglasses design for men that’s a little less dramatic than the Baroque Sunglasses. Featuring a pilot-shaped frame, this design is made with a thin, gold-tone frame with grey UV-protected lenses.  The Medusa logo details the nose bridge and the temples. This design also comes in silver. The Medusa Pilot Sunglasses is great for those who prefer subtlety detailing and classy design, great for both casual and event settings.

Medusa Shield Sunglasses


The Medusa Shield Sunglasses is an extremely popular men's design for those who seek to make a statement — it’s like the equivalent of the Medusa Icon Shield Sunglasses for women. This wraparound-style frame, made of acetate and metal, offers a futuristic look that’s mixed with iconic Versace elements like gold-tone thin metal framing on the grey-wrapped square lens. If Versace’s style could be summed up in a pair of sunglasses, the Medusa Shield Sunglasses would be at the top of that list.

Medusa Retro Charm Sunglasses


A more toned-down and classy design for men is the Medusa Retro Charm Sunglasses. Its simplicity with touches of gold detailing is the reason behind its popularity. This design is retro-inspired, yet very contemporary. It features a pilot-shaped frame enriched with gold-tone hardware. Details on the design include Medusa studs and the logo on the temple and hinges. This design comes in two colourways: black and brown. 

The Medusa Biggie Sunglasses by Versace

One of the most iconic designs of the Versace eyewear line is the Medusa Biggie Sunglasses, which has had a few re-releases over the years. Its enormous popularity has a history to it. As we have come to be familiar with, come of the elements of the Versace brand include Greek ornaments, rhinestones, the Medusa logo, and branded prints. The lavish, baroque-style prints back in the heyday of the brand represented a flashy lifestyle. 


The Versace 424 silhouette, which was released in the 80s, became one of the first products to be a huge hit in the hip-hop industry. Among them was the rapper The Notorious B.I.G., known to be a loyal fan of the brand Gianni Versace. B.I.G. wore this pair of sunglasses in the video “One More Chance”, and as a result, the popularity of this design blew out of proportion. This was also where the unofficial nickname of the design “Biggie glasses from Versace” came from. 


In 2018, Versace rereleased the design of this frame with a little modern polishing: the Medusa Biggie VE4361. The majority of the original design remained the same, including the narrow lenses, wide temples, and the voluminous golden metal medallions on the temples. However, the newer collection not only had traditional colours of black, white, red, and tortoiseshell, but it also included a neon palette of pink, orange, yellow, and green.


Two other renditions of the Medusa Biggie model were released as part of the Fall/Winter 2021 collection. On top of the signature Medusa embellishments, they both feature transparent temples and frames that revealed the signature metal detail. The VE2234 features a cat-eye shape while the VE2235 is a unisex design that kept the original Medusa Biggie shape for the frame but with an added brow bar and a laser-engraved logo on the back of the temple. 


The most recent release of Medusa Biggie sunglasses is part of the Spring/Summer 2022 collection. This collection features the design in bright neon colours and oversized silhouettes. The VE4425U, renamed as Maxi Medusa Biggie Squared Sunglasses, is a scaled-up version of the original Medusa Biggie sunglasses, complete with the Media Biggie medallion on the temple, designed for both men and women.


The other one, the VE4426BU, also features an oversized frame, but caters more to women. Named Medusa Biggie Oval Sunglasses, the frame has a sleek oval shape, and a crystal-encrusted medallion details the temples. 

Celebrities Wearing Versace Sunglasses

The Versace fashion house was one of the first to embrace celebrity endorsement. It paid off well — now, some of the biggest and most popular celebrities all over the globe are known to own a pair or two of Versace sunglasses. Here are some of them who have been seen wearing Versace eyewear:

Kim Kardashian in Versace VE2180 Shield Sunglasses


De’arra Taylor in Versace VE4393


Jack Harlow in Versace VE4361


Emily Ratajkowski in Versace Maxi Medusa Biggie


Maluma in Versace VE 2249 


Jennifer Lopez in Medusa Icon Shield Sunglasses


Jennifer Coolidge in Versace 4413 (The White Lotus HBO series)


Snoop Dogg in Versace VE4289 (The Beach Bum)


Snoop Dog in Versace VE2150Q (The Beach Bum)


Jamie Foxx in Versace 4179 (Horrible Bosses 2 movie)


Val Kilmer in Versace 2040 (MacGruber movie)


Brad Pitt in Versace 4153 


Eva Green in Versace 4061 (Casino Royale movie)

Nicki Minaj in Versace Lunettes Tribute Vogue


Nicki Minaj in Versace Medusa Icon Shield Sunglasses (Expensive MV)


January Jones in January J Collection


Emma Roberts in VE2177 (American Horror Story series)


Anne Hathaway in Versace Lunettes de soleil VERSACE vintage (The Devil Wears Prada movie)


Anne Hathaway in 90s Vintage Logo Cat-eye Sunglasses



Versace’s sunglasses represent the brand as a whole perfectly, proudly showcasing the southern Italian brand’s heritage through its medallions and embellishments. Its eyewear line boasts a range of designs, from its true-to-self bold cuts to a more refined and sleek style. This versatility, while still holding a unique aesthetic, is what keeps Versace fans loyal. 

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