Radford Motors Collaboration
Radford Motor Company is a coachbuilder that has been a leader in producing bespoke supercars for decades. We've partnered with Radford to design a sunglass that explores the intersections of automotive and eyewear heritage. Full of retro details and inspired by world-class F1 Engineering, the RS-500 and RS-600 are a celebration of sunglasses in racing.
We wanted to explore the intersections of automotive, pop-culture, and eyewear heritage. We looked at key moments in both racing and pop culture where iconic eyewear played a role. For example, paul newman racing le mans in ’79 wearing a classic teardrop aviator, or steve mcqueen customizing his personal pair of 714’s.
We referenced vintage Italian driving frames. Tempered glass was not yet developed so windshields had to be folded down or removed, but that still left drivers vulnerable to debris at high speeds. Originally, goggles were the defense method of choice, however, around 1917 an Italian eyewear maker developed the first “Protector” eyeglass. These teardrop sunglasses were designed to provide state of the art comfort, vision, and protection in both aviation and sport driving, thus quickly becoming a staple of motorcycle and automobile racing communities around the world.
We wanted to take what worked throughout the history of automotive eyewear, but evolve it to be manufactured with the best materials we have today. Japanese aerospace grade titanium provides a stunning strength to weight ratio, giving even bold frames a featherweight feel. Our titanium is hypoallergenic and is engineered to maintain perfect optics. Proprietary titanium thickness transitions and bevel placement provide stability where needed most, securing the lens properly in the frame. This means that any stress on the frame is not transferred to the lens, greatly improving optics when driving.
When we consider the overall performance of the driver, sight is the one sense above all that needs to be optimized. SALT.’s proprietary lens offering utilizes the most advanced coatings, filters, and optics to create an optimized viewing field. Incorporating a depth of knowledge of how the human brain interprets visual information taken in by the eye, SALT. has engineered lenses that deliver the perfect balance of color, contrast, and light transmission.
We wanted the DNA of both Radford and racing heritage to be infused into the frames. The titanium side shields and grill lend an automotive bent and nod to racing eyewear heritage while allowing for maximum airflow, and the cloisonne plating is custom matched to both the Gold Leaf and JPS colorways. Our goal is to create luxury eyewear pieces that excel in on-road performance to provide the ultimate bespoke driving experience.
Check out the entire collection here.