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Not currently on display at the V&A

Milinaire

Sunglasses
1967 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Philip Oliver Goldsmith, a salesman for a small optical firm, founded the Oliver Goldsmith eyewear company in London in 1926. In 1935 his son Charles Goldsmith entered the firm with the aim of making glasses a fashion item. From the company’s offices in Poland Street, his sons A. Oliver and Ray Goldsmith built upon the company’s reputation for attention-grabbing designs and solicited celebrity endorsement for their products. Key clients included Lord Snowdon, the actor Diana Dors, Princess Grace of Monaco.

A. Oliver Goldsmith designed this frame, titled ‘Milinaire’, in 1967. This black and white version was in repsonse to the designs of that era by the Parisian designer André Courregès. The company also offered the style in many solid colours. At a 1967 optical industry tradeshow, held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, the Oliver Goldsmith employees created an all black and white themed stand. They wore white suits with black shirts and white ties, with these sunglasses as the final touch.

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleMilinaire (manufacturer's title)
Materials and techniques
Plastic
Brief description
Plastic sunglasses frames 'Milinaire', made by Oliver Goldsmith Eyewear, Great Britain, 1967
Physical description
Black and white plastic sunglasses with oval eye shape.
Dimensions
  • Outer cape length: 102cm
  • Inner waistcoat length: 60cm
Credit line
Given by A. Oliver Goldsmith, in memory of his father, Charles Oliver Goldsmith
Object history
Registered File number 1990/200.
These glasses form part of a design archive of the British eyewear company Oliver Goldsmith. The archive, which consists of approximately 70 glasses frames from the 1930s to the late 1980s, was donated by A. Oliver Goldsmith, grandson of the founder, and former chief designer at the firm. A. Oliver Goldsmith donated the material to the V & A in memory of his father Charles Goldsmith.
Summary
Philip Oliver Goldsmith, a salesman for a small optical firm, founded the Oliver Goldsmith eyewear company in London in 1926. In 1935 his son Charles Goldsmith entered the firm with the aim of making glasses a fashion item. From the company’s offices in Poland Street, his sons A. Oliver and Ray Goldsmith built upon the company’s reputation for attention-grabbing designs and solicited celebrity endorsement for their products. Key clients included Lord Snowdon, the actor Diana Dors, Princess Grace of Monaco.

A. Oliver Goldsmith designed this frame, titled ‘Milinaire’, in 1967. This black and white version was in repsonse to the designs of that era by the Parisian designer André Courregès. The company also offered the style in many solid colours. At a 1967 optical industry tradeshow, held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, the Oliver Goldsmith employees created an all black and white themed stand. They wore white suits with black shirts and white ties, with these sunglasses as the final touch.
Collection
Accession number
T.244E-1990

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Record createdJune 24, 2009
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