As Elton John launches his line of eyewear and sunglasses, we describe the Rockstar’s impact on fashionable eyewear

Elton John, seen here with a suitcase of his signature sunglasses, is about to launch his new eyewear line in Canada. Photo: D. Morrison/Express/Getty Images

Elton John is bringing his eyewear brand to Canada, but the fashion-forward music icon hasn’t partnered with a high-end designer as one might expect for the brand.

Instead, he launched his Elton John Eyewear collection in partnership with Walmart, bringing his love of bold and often outrageous frames to one-stop shops.

“The line is designed to have something for everyone, so no matter who you are, you can always look at yourself. It’s not just about eyewear, it’s about changing the way people see themselves. », John, 74, says in a press release of the new line he helped design.

Appealing to everyday eyeglass wearers wasn’t the only thing that sweetened the deal for the “Rocketman” singer. The partnership includes an annual donation of $1 million to the Elton John AIDS Foundation from the company, not to mention the chance to cross an item off its to-do list.

“Creating a stylish and accessible eyewear collection has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember,” John said in a promotional video for the new line.

The new collection, now available at the retailer’s vision centers, features three distinct style categories: “Rocketman, a nod to his 1972 hit; “A-List”, reflecting the times when he was at the height of his career; and “Prodigy”, depicting his rise to fame as a UK piano prodigy

Elton John
A sampling of the eyewear and shades included in the Elton John Eyewear collection. Photo: Courtesy of Walmart Canada
Elton John
Elton John, in a pair of his signature Walmart sunglasses. Photo: Courtesy of Walmart Canada

Of course, nothing is more authentically Elton John than his vast collection of sunglasses and eyewear – rumored to include over 200,000 pairs – each of which almost always serves as a centerpiece, no matter the outfit. with which it is associated.

In fact, Bob Mackie, the legendary fashion designer behind John’s glam-rock stage costumes in the early ’70s, admitted he never had a say in the frames the rockstar had chosen to complete his creations.

“I have no idea how many prescription pairs, diamonds and dazzles he had, but he sure had enough to go with everything,” mackie said Billboard in a 2019 interview.

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Photos, clockwise from left: Elton John wearing asymmetrical jewel-encrusted glasses during his ‘Tour de Force’ on Nov. 12, 1986. (Fairfax Media/Getty Images); in oversized geometric hues, at an outdoor concert in May 1974 in Watford, England. (Anwar Hussein/Getty Images); wearing a pair of his most flamboyant designer glasses, Sept. 12, 1974. (D. Morrison/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images); wearing pink jigsaw-shaped sunglasses on August 18, 1986 at the Pine Knob Music Theater in Clarkston, Michigan. (Ross Marino/Getty Images); in feather-rimmed glasses, matching his fur ensemble, in the United States in 1974 (Robert Knight Archive/Redferns)

Her more theatrical frames were often what made her looks so iconic. Standouts include a feather-embellished pair for a 1974 performance, a new take on the sunglasses that featured a retractable canopy he pioneered the same year and an installation art-style frame fitted with rhinestone hoops, which he wore on stage in 1974 and again in a 1975 private jet photo shoot.

Elton John
Photos, clockwise from left: Elton John wearing a pair of fancy glasses with miniature hoods on each lens, September 12, 1974. (D. Morrison/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images ); on tour in 1976 (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images); wearing gnome-adorned 3D glasses at the UK premiere of ‘Gnomeo and Juliet’, in London on Jan. 30, 2011. (MAX NASH/AFP/Getty Images); on stage with his infamous rhinestone hoop earrings, circa 1974 (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images); attending the “Victoires de la Musique” ceremony, in his pink glasses, 1989. (Photo: David Lefranc/Kipa/Sygma/Getty Images)

And at 74, the singer may be passing the torch to the next fabulous superstar. A recent Uber Eats advert sees Elton switch up his look with rapper Lil Nas X, who dons a bedazzled pair of goggles with a version of the feather and sequin outfit he wore to perform “Crocodile Rock” on The puppet show in 1977.

Meanwhile, John is wearing a recreation of the “Old Town Road” rapper’s pink Versace cowboy outfit, which he couldn’t resist complementing with a pair of pink hues.

Of course, the rockstar’s influence on frameset doesn’t just encompass its most outlandish pieces. His more understated daytime looks — which the singer is leaning towards more these days — include a wide variety of shades, shapes and frames, a game that has had a huge impact on the eyewear industry over the course of his five decades as an artist.

David Cox, one of the last handmade eyeglass frame makers in the UK, who replicated John’s iconic frames for the Rocketman biopic in 2019, Recount Billboard that when John arrived on the scene, “the eyewear became part of the fashion statement”.

While fans won’t find feathered frames or other outlandish designs that resist mass production in the collection, John promises that each frame packs the punch needed to stand out in a crowd, something the icon rock ‘n’ roll would know a thing or two about.

“This collection is for every person who stays true to themselves in a world that constantly pushes you to be someone else,” he said in a promo.


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Sarah C. Figueiredo