No style has been rocked for so long and at such vertical and experiential extremes as leather-side-shield glacier glasses, pioneered and perfected by the French alpine shades maker Julbo. Company founder and namesake Jules Beaud (say it: “zhool bo”) made his first specs in 1888, for those who risked life and eyesight scouring for crystals in the searingly bright heights of the Alps above Chamonix, France. Those gem hunters later became guides and mountaineers, like the immortal Lionel Terray. He wore an earlier version of Julbo’s Vermont Classic seen here on the first successful ascent and descent of an 8,000-meter peak (Annapurna, 1950) and the first ski descent of Mont Blanc in 1952.
The Vermont Classic sports snazzy, look-at-me mirroring, with a lens tint better suited to everyday brightness than eye-killing ice and snow. Word of caution: the view is gorgeous through Julbo’s superfine synthetic lenses, but—due to the leather blinders—it’s strictly straight ahead. Tunnel vision never looked so good. ($150)