Vuarnet History

Vuarnet has a story, it’s unique. It began in 1957 on Rue Boissy d’Anglas where Roger Pouilloux had his workshops. This avant-garde optician, passionate about skiing, revolutionized the sunglasses world by inventing an exceptional glass, able to both protect him on slopes and provide a clear vision of the environment even in overcast weather.

1957

THE INVENTION OF THE SKILYNX

Roger Pouilloux, an avant- garde optician & ski enthusiast, invents the revolutionary Skilynx lenses.

1960

THE VUARNET BRAND IS BORN

"One optician wanted me to test some lenses. I wore them during the downhill of the Olympic Games…They were phenomenal! Then, he proposed me a deal…I could not resist" Jean Vuarnet

 
It was a meeting between Jean Vuarnet and Roger Pouilloux with 1959 that led to the creation of the legendary brand VUARNET. During this meeting, the optician Roger Pouilloux offered to the French ski champion the 02 sunglasses model as a token of his admiration. Those sunglasses, equipped with the luminous Skilynx mineral glass lenses, enabled Jean Vuarnet to further improve his performance. They highlighted contrasts and enhanced depth perception, a major asset when competing in downhill ski racing. On the slopes of Squaw Valley, several months later, during the 1960 Winter Olympics, Jean Vuarnet took home the gold medal. 

Following this victory, the two men, who shared a common passion for performance, forged a friendship and decided to join forces in creating a brand that encompassed their vision : innovation, high-performance, and French elegance. The brand VUARNET was born.

Jean Vuarnet was a pioneer in his sport discipline, always looking for ways to improve his performance. He was the first to develop the “egg” position which racers have been using ever since and to incorporate metal components in skis, which have now become the norm.

THE 60'S

02 MODEL, THE TIMELESS ICON

Elegance on the ski slopes
Quickly adopted as a fashion item in the city, here worn by Mike Jagger

06 MODEL,
FRENCH GLAMOUR

The model gains a legendary status, protecting Alain Delon’s eyes
from the luminous Romy Schneider in the cult movie La Piscine (1969)

The 70's

GLACIER MODEL, FUNCTION & PERFORMANCE

In 1974 Vuarnet’s first Glacier model is released in a version designed for mountaineering. Jean Afanassieff, the talented French mountaineer was one of the first to adopt this model. He was lead climber of the French team that conquered Everest on October 16, 1978. Popularity of this model grew rapidly to seduce personalities such as Miles Davis, who wore them regularly on stage.

Miles Davies / Jean Afanassieff

THE CALIFORNIAN SPIRIT

Later Vuarnet and the 03 frame became famous thanks to Jeff Bridges -AKA the Dude- in The Big Lebowski from the Coen brothers’ (1998)

the 80's

THE AMERICAN DREAM

VUARNET makes its grand debut in the U.S. as an official sponsor of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles weathermen coin the now iconic phrase « It’s a Vuarnet day today » 

It’s a new era for the brand with the U.S. as an important market,driving a worldwide success

the 90'S

FROM SUNGLASSES TO A GLOBAL BRAND

Major success of sportswear in the U.S. The Vuarnet logo becomes an Icon!

In addition to sunglasses, Vuarnet starts to develop a full skiwear collection for men and women. Colorful or more classical, there is something for every taste even the most eccentric!

2015

THE REBIRTH OF THE GLACIER

Since first created in the 80s, Vuarnet’s famous glacier glasses have remained a symbol of performance and quality. Designed for the mountain peaks, these glasses were worn by the greatest mountaineers to the most famous secret agent in history, James Bond in Spectre. Vuarnet's glacier glasses became a phenomena and a style icon.

2016

VINCENT CASSEL NEW AMBASSADOR OF THE BRAND

Vincent Cassel became the new face of Vuarnet. As a French actor with a globale presence, his talent, charisma, boundless energy and love of the great outdoors made him a perfect fit. He perfectly embodies the very essence of Vuarnet: elegance and movement. Vuarnet traveled to Rio de Janeiro to meet him to capture him in his element.

2017

OPENING OF THE FIRST PARIS FLAGSHIP BOUTIQUE
28 RUE BOISSY D’ANGLAS, PARIS

For its 60th anniversary, Vuarnet went back to its roots, opening its first store at 28 rue Boissy d’Anglas, where the brand was founded in 1957.

THE EXCELLENCE OF FRENCH KNOW HOW

The French State labeled Vuarnet and its factory an Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant,
a unique mark of recognition rewarding French firms for the excellence of their traditional and industrial know-how

2018

OPENING OF A SECOND BOUTIQUE IN NEW YORK 
39 SPRING STREET IN SOHO

The 1,000 square foot space opened its doors July 14, timed to coincide with Bastille Day. The boutique offers an immersive brand experience and features the full range of Vuarnet sunglasses as well as new categories for the U.S. market including skiwear, apparel, tees and hoodies.

LAUNCH OF A NEW APPAREL AND SKIWEAR LINE

As a pioneer of the Alpine lifestyle, Vuarnet is pleased to introduce its new collection that guarantees the highest technical performance and style.

Each piece ensures the highest quality and the best protection against all extreme weather conditions such as rain, snow, strong winds, frigid temperatures and more.