The first time I realized I might be a little too obsessed with the “Last Lolita” sunglasses from the Adam Selman x Le Specs collab was last September, when, midinterview with Hari Nef, I blurted out, “OMG, I love your sunglasses!”
Nef, bless her, didn’t seem put-off by my (for the record, very out-of-character) interruption, instead indulging me with, “Thanks! They’re the Adam Selman x Le Specs.” As if I didn’t already know.
I’d been eyeing the sunglasses since 2015, when the collaboration between the American designer best known for dressing Rihanna in 230,000 Swarovski crystals and the Australian eyewear brand first debuted. Named for the Stanley Kubrick film that inspired them, the Last Lolita sunglasses were an instant hit.
On a personal level, the cat-eye shades stood out, thanks to their compact size — I’ve always found smaller frames to be more flattering than the chunky, oversize and usually bedazzled diva glasses that Paris Hilton glamorized in my youth. But it wasn’t just me that fell for the vintage style. Almost immediately, the specs sold out. And then they were restocked! And then … they sold out again. This went on for two years — an eternity in the context of fashion trends, and even longer in the fickle land of Instagram.
Yet, here we are in 2018, and though there have been a thousand knockoffs by high-end and fast-fashion retailers alike, the style continues to dominate my Instagram feed in a way that no fashion accessory — even the ubiquitous Gucci fur slides — has before. In recent weeks, everyone from Alexa Chung (reigning queen of quirky-girl fashion) to Gigi Hadid (reigning queen of cool-girl fashion) and even Yoko Ono (reigning queen of just everything) have all been spotted wearing the Last Lolitas. And, mind you, these are women who have the entire fashion world at their disposal. If they didn’t want to be wearing the 3-year-old frames, they wouldn’t be.
“That one style is by far our highest-selling style across the board,” Le Specs creative director Hamish Tame told BoF last year, adding that the collab with Selman increased the company’s sales by 10 percent. “It feels like they are a pair of Yeezys or something from the Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration.”
To stress the point, here (in no particular order) are just a few more of the famous fans of the shades that have been blowing up my feed.
Man Repeller founder Leandra Medine:
A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on
Maybe it’s because of the Last Lolita’s relatively accessible price point ($119) and their immediately recognizable, on-trend shape, but the lasting popularity of these Adam Selman x Le Specs sunnies is truly a feat to behold.
All that being said, there are a few more styles that have been slowly but surely gaining cult status on the ‘gram at a rate that suggests that perhaps the Last Lolita Effect is not a fluke occurrence, but rather a predictable pattern applicable to any trendy sunglasses.
Roberi & Fraud’s Doris (worn by Rita Ora, Millie Bobby Brown and Demi Lovato; $195) and Poppy Lissiman’s Le Skinny (a favorite of Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski; $98) are also infiltrating the fashion world — and thus drowning my Instagram feed in photos of famouses wearing itty-bitty specs.
Here’s Rita Ora in the Doris:
Also on the rise, though not quite at the Le Spec level (yet), are the Le Matin shades by Alain Mikli, which have been popping up ever since some lady wore them to the Grammys last Sunday. (Gigi Hadid’s uber-cool photographer friend Alana O’Herlihy is also a fan.)
Moral of the story: Sunglasses just might be the most profitable fashion commodity being hocked on Instagram right now, thanks to their (mostly) universally flattering shapes, accessible price point and versatility.
That, and Kanye West was right all along — “tiny little” sunglasses are so hot right now.