The Aviator

GLCO Guides

Words: Karena Meyer



Why Aviator Sunglasses?

Aviators are forever fly. It’s more than just a 30s throwback. General MacArthur, Maverick and Puff Daddy would agree. They give off vintage feels for the modern man or woman, and simultaneously boast clean design and a tough image.

Garrett Leight Aviator style folding Van Buren
GLCO Cordova and Van Buren sunglass
Garrett Leight Aviator Sunglass Inspiration: Tom Cruise
Garrett Leight sunglass inspiration: MacArthur Aviators

History of Aviator Sunglasses

These “pilot’s glasses” were originally developed to protect the eyes of navigators against the sun at the highest altitudes. Making the frame out of the lightest metals was vital as they were to be worn for an extended period of time while in flight. The oversized, oval G-15 glass lenses were ideal for completely covering the eyes to block out the sun and haters alike. Both major keys: all for the clarity, all for the comfort. Now also for the style.

Garrett Leight Van Buren Style Sunglass
Foldable aviator in Gold frame Green Glass lens Garrett Leight
Garrett Leight Van Buren sunglass
Palms Aviator Optical frame Garrett Leight


Aviator Sunglass Styles

Over time, the aviator frame has evolved. The Riviera and Van Buren are modern takes on the timeless look, evoking oversized confidence and class. A metal aviator style with a tailored fit, an arching top bar and a pronounced bridge with a Southwestern pattern filigree, the Riviera restores that classic feeling without sacrificing style. The Van Buren takes us to year 3050.

If you want put a twist on the classic military look, check out Canal. Canal is a larger aviator shape updated with inverse Windsor rims in matte finishes and an architecturally styled bridge.

As for the Van Buren, it's the perfect mix of past, present and future. Its zero-based lens is a nod to OG optical designs and the completely foldable frame shows how far the evolution of aviators has come. For our Spring Summer collection we’ve released three new colorways to complement our classic color pairings.

Garrett Leight Kendall Jenner Gold Butterscotch Palms Optical Frames
Garrett Leight Palms Aviator Style Sunglasses


Styling Tips

Want to know how to pull this look off? The versatility of the Linnie, which is available as an eyeglass or as a custom sunglass, makes it easy to wear with different fits, styles and materials. For those brisk NYC days, the Linnie looks bomb with a leather bomber and turtleneck to layer, gold chain optional. For warm summer evenings in LA, Linnie looks equally good with a pair of breezy wide-leg pants and a curve-hugging bodysuit.

For the Van Burens, throw on a pair with a camel overcoat, your favorite pair of denim and vintage tee for a look that will always command attention. Or go full Sarah Connor and throw an army jacket over a black tank and skinny jeans, and finish it off with some Doc Martens or combat boots. Whether kicking back at brunch, lampin’ in the Hamptons or heading to LAX via JFK – GLCO’s got you covered with a timeless look. Aviators are forever fly.

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