In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Morgenthal Frederics has created a gimmick that may send its followers, such as Alber Elbaz and Carolina Herrera, clamoring. In September, the house will release four new sunglass styles, and produce only 25 pairs of each. The designs, which are set to retail from $1,695 to $1,895, are meant to evoke the fashion of a certain era: The Rhapsody, a reissue from 1988, has a Twenties vibe; the Flange, from 1991, looks dramatic and glamorous; the Mimi is reminiscent of the Seventies, while the Chet is inspired by trumpeter Chet Baker and channels a jazzy, retro feel. The frames were made by applying thin layers of water buffalo horn on top of each other, binding them together only by weight — not adhesives. A tedious process indeed, and one that creative director Jeff Press admitted “made me a not-so-popular guy at our factory.”

This story first appeared in the May 2, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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