Jean Vuarnet

« 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

A meeting between Roger Pouilloux and Jean Vuarnet in 1959 led to the creation of the legendary brand VUARNET.

During this meeting, the optician Roger Pouilloux offered the French ski champion the 02 sunglass model as a token of his admiration. The 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 huge benefit in downhill racing. Jean Vuarnet won gold several months later at the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics wearing the glasses.

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 embodied their vision: innovation, high-performance, and French elegance. The brand VUARNET was born.

Jean Vuarnet was born on January 18, 1933. He lived all his life in Morzine, a ski resort located in French Alps. Vuarnet started to practice alpine skiing during his university years in Grenoble, France. He won his first major success on the Rochebrune downhill in Megève in 1956. He grew to be an outstanding athlete.

In 1960 Jean Vuarnet won the downhill gold medal in the Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, California. He was a seven-time French ski champion. Vuarnet was a pioneer in his sport discipline, always looking for ways to improve his performance. He developed the "egg" or "tuck" position, which has been used in ski racing ever since. He was also the first to use metal-edged skis in competition, which have now become the norm.

Vuarnet worked in the development of Avoriaz, the first French resort without cars, with an avant-garde
vision of eco-responsibility.

Jean Vuarnet passed away on January 2, 2017, at the age of 83, in Sallanches. He gave his name to the brand 60 years ago and it is in his honor that we remember his historic milestones.