Pharrell wears Tiffany’s gandi copy of the Mughal Diamond glasses. Here’s the Indian story they missed

American rapper Pharrell Williams dropped a fashion bombshell during Kenzo Paris Fashion Week 2022. It wasn’t his clothes that grabbed the attention, but his glasses that grabbed all the attention – positive and a lot of it negative.

If you’re wondering what kind of glasses can make jaws drop, take a look at this:


These diamond-set rims with one-size-fits-all gemstone lenses for a pair of sunglasses are awe-inspiring.

After looking at this, it’s safe to say that it would be hard to go back to the same old pair of sunglasses we all own, and even the typical luxury eyewear that costs an arm and a leg seems to be fading. .

For fashion lovers, here’s some background on the pair of glasses, who designed it, and how Pharrell is involved:

Jeweled eyewear designed by Tiffany and Co. for Pharell. Photo: Tiffany and Co.

This pair of sunglasses for Pharrell was designed by Tiffany and Co. Pharrell wore the glasses to fashion week to promote his upcoming collaboration with the American luxury jeweler.

You might want to note that Kenzo, a French fashion house founded by a Japanese designer and owned by LVMH, also owns Tiffany and Co. In fact, LVMH bought out Tiffany and Co. last year, in 2021.

WHAT IS THE CONTROVERSY?

3-647_012522111418.jpgGlasses from the Mughal era auctioned by Sotheby’s. Photo: Sotheby’s

When Pharrell posted the photo on her Instagram, it garnered a lot of admiration. But soon it was followed by smart netizens pointing out that the design is not original.

It turns out that the design of the jaw-dropping pair of shades has been around since the 17th century. And where does it come from? India! Yes, you read that right.

THE HISTORY OF GLASSES:

In October 2021, the American fine arts society Sotheby’s auctioned two pairs of rare glasses from the Mughal era – one was known as ‘Emeralds for Paradise’ and the other was known as ‘Diamonds for Light’. These two pairs of glasses have won over everyone who has seen them, and some journalists have even been able to pose with the glasses.

Sotheby’s described the two pairs of jeweled spectacles as a princely treasure from 17th-century Mughal-era India.


The Sotheby’s catalog also says emeralds in glasses could be traced to the Muzo mines in Colombia, while the diamond lenses probably came from the Golconda mines in present-day Telangana. These glasses were probably created during the reigns of Jahangir (r.1605-27), Shah Jahan (r.1628-58) or Aurangzeb (r.1658-1707) in 17th century India.

Writer and historian, William Dalrymple, described the glasses saying, “It is the work of a supreme master, both of gemstones and of optics. It’s a slice of diamond and a slice of emerald; through which you can see…they were definitely made to be worn.

These glasses were meant to do more than just keep sunlight out. They were meant to ward off evil and soothe the eyes.

Well, copying this artwork certainly doesn’t seem to ward off negative feedback from Pharrell and Tiffany and Co. And the reporters who posed with the rare piece of Mughal glasses made it a point to let contributors know.


Netizens also commented on the posts from Pharrell and Tiffany and Co. below, saying they could have at least taken credit for the inspiration.

5-647_012522111224.jpgNetizens are calling out Tiffany and Co and Pharell for copying Mughal-era eyewear design.

Pharell posted a caption with her Instagram post, “It’s about seeing things differently.”

Tiffany and Co. said, “Double take. @Pharrell attended the Kenzo de Nigo show in Paris wearing a custom-designed pair of Tiffany & Co. sunglasses in 18k gold with 61 round brilliant diamonds over 25 total carats and two emerald-cut emeralds. #TiffanyAndCo.”

None of them mentioned anything about Mughal design or history.

Is this a violation of intellectual property rights?

It seems unlikely. The original pairs of glasses were designed during a historical period and there is also a lack of clarity about its origins.

Now we have to see how Pharrell and Tiffany and Co. react to the claims. It would also be interesting to know if Pharrell and Tiffany’s next project is a fusion between history and modern hip-hop fashion.

Nonetheless, whether it’s the Mughal glasses or the “copied” version of Tiffany, both are going to be worth the millions and will be inaccessible to most but the world’s few millionaires and billionaires. Maybe, now that he’s on the track, maybe we’ll see more copies – gandi or otherwise – glasses on the market too.

Sarah C. Figueiredo