Curlicue Malabar ebony temples and massive black walnut frames are featured in Prada’s new sunglasses. If you think about wearing them, they may seem outlandish, even heavy. Yet these Prada Raw glasses would be impossibly garish if made of plastic. The wood somehow mitigates the excessive design.

It’s a testament to the strength of wood’s appeal that the material itself puts the glasses in a different class. “These kooky chic glasses pack in enough stylish liberation for a whole new look,” notes Meenal Mistry, a fashion commentator. Prada calls them “minimal baroque” and has developed two lines - round, and square.

For its part, Prada says the eyewear collection is "the fruit of an unprecedented combination of contemporary design and brand new materials: black walnut and Malabar ebony, two precious types of wood." True enough, I suppose. "The natural irregularity of the wood’s veining turns each pair of glasses into a unique creation, the utmost expression of masterly craftsmanship." Also true.

Underscoring the specialness, the glasses are available only in four Prada stores: Milan Galleria, Paris Faubourg St. Honoré, London Old Bond Street and New York Fifth Avenue.

For the launch of the new collection, the stores will feature a customized window display – created by Martino Gamper in collaboration with Prada, nicely emphasizing the wood origins of glasses. 

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