SM stands, of course, for Steve MQueen who made this blue lens pair of shades instantly classic in the 1968 ONE-LINER classic movie The Thomas Crown Affair, starring Faye Dunaway and the man himself, who, as adventurous lovers often do in film, tries to pull off a heist and escape riding off into the sunset never to be seen or heard of again.  And to remain incognito, surely, and in good style, a good pair of shades will help as an indispensable accessory, because, as the script reads:

“We’re in this together.”

Steve McQueen wearing Folding P 714’s

Steve McQueen wearing Folding P 714’s

Persol (per il sole = for the sun), today owned by Luxottica, who also owns Ray Ban, and who today is the world’s numero uno maker of sunglasses, decided to bring back this sixties GEM in the form of a Limited Edition aptly called Steve McQueen geared for a contemporary audience and customized for today’s demanding global style-hungry hipster-proletariat – and also for YOU –, because admit it brother, we ALL want to look cool and handsome these days.


And please take it from BDMOTP that right now no pair of sunglasses is better equipped for contemporary fast and exclusive living than the P 714 SM LE.  The blue shade of lens is exclusive and special, and the frame comes in classic Havana both tortoise and amber as well as black, but the feature with the “wow” factor which is not only highly impressive from a standpoint of technology but also from a practical perspective, is that this pair of sunglasses is FOLDABLE. It folds! It is a folding pair of sunglasses.  Yes, you read that right, it can be folded up, and nicely be put back into the in – or outside pocket of your dress jacket in a very small case, so that no one will ever know that just one minute before you were trying to go incognito.  It’s discrete, it’s clever, it’s cool, and it is grand in its conception.

Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint trying to remain incognito in Hitchcock’s 1959 ‘North by Northwest’

Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint trying to remain incognito in Hitchcock’s 1959 ‘North by Northwest’

In fact, the 714 model is a more developed and evolved version of the famous Persol 649 S from a decade earlier in the fifties when it had originally been developed for tram drivers in Turin, Italy, protecting them from dust of sandy roads hitting their eyes.  The 714 is thus the foldable version (yes practical and handy) of the 649 and both these sets of magic sunglasses reached a larger public almost immediately since conception through the movies.

The 649 is created in 1957 and when Marcello Mastroianni wears them in Divorce Italian Style’by Pietro Germi from 1961, the name of this all-time classic accessory had already been made famous when Cary Grant desperately is trying to remain INCOGNITO on a train by wearing his sunglasses and by wearing them well and in style in Alfed Hitchcock’s North by Northwest from 1959. And so as any movie director without a stylist would know: One good pair of shades on one good actor at one right moment makes for a classic image!


And this is why perhaps the Folding P 714 Steve McQueen Limited Edition is not only brand-able by the name of an actor, but also by the name of a film itself: The Thomas Crown Affair Edition.

BDMOTP can do that exercise too!  Take very cool accessory from several decades ago and find film in which it first appears.  Come up with a new and improved customized version of same classic item. Chose well known charismatic actor who wears/wore item really well in film. Use both name of actor and name of film. For final touch, select classic one-liner or discourse by said actor in same film while wearing the item, and gently change key words.  Repeat, repeat again, then fade with image on smile of actor’s female counterpart (from The Thomas Crown Affair):

« Let’s start with the money. »

« Well I don’t have it. »

« But what would you do if you did ? »


« Let’s start with the shades. »

« Well I don’t have them. »

« But what would you do if you did ? »

Posted by Sandro Joo.

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