Car design has long been one of Ralph Lauren’s key inspirations, and the RL Aluminum Driving Glass—a highlight of the new Automotive Eyewear collection—takes that tradition to new levels of elegance and style, drawing upon Mr. Lauren’s love of vintage automobiles’ design and construction.
The leather details that accentuate the tips evoke the rich interior of a vintage car, as well as the supple leather gloves one might wear while behind the wheel. In fact, those accents are crafted using a process similar to the one used to create our driving gloves. What’s more, each frame front is manufactured from a single block of aluminum, providing both durability and a seemingly weightless feel thanks to the lack of connecting pieces. To take the frames from a natural aluminum tone to a rich hue, the metal is anodized—a process used in making everything from high-end cookware to satellites—which helps ensure the color and polish endure long into the future. Then, each pair is packaged in a solid aluminum case for an elegant finishing touch.
During the design and construction phases, no detail is too small to consider. The tiny screws that attach the front to the temples are miniature versions of those frequently used to bind car bodywork, and their design was inspired by the hardware on some of Mr. Lauren’s vintage cars, particularly his renowned 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing coupe. Before each pair is assembled, every piece of aluminum is polished by hand, and the “Ralph Lauren” logo is laser-engraved at the temples, adding the perfect finishing touch.