Colin Leslie has built a cult following among celebrities including Emeli Sande and Tinchy Stryder, as well as eco-conscious cool hunters, with his polished sunglasses which encompass simplicity, sustainability and street style.
Hand crafted with sustainable bamboo, which originates from purpose built plantations in China and Hong Kong specifically for production, Colin Leslie Eyewear also utilises materials made from recycled acetate and plastic products, making for not only a chic pair of sunnies but one that respects the environment too.
I was fortunate enough to get my paws and peeps on a pair from Colin Leslie’s SS14 collection. This retro and vintage inspired collection of shades are rather aptly named after London boroughs. The Camden with its tortoise shell arched tops joined with a silver coloured metal nose bridge and rims to the lenses, finished off beautifully with smooth bamboo temple arms were tempting. But born and raised an Islington gyal, I could not do the dirty on my hometown, so settled for the shades of a London borough closer to my heart, The Islington.
Similar frames to The Camden, Colin Leslie’s The Islington are vintage half frame sunglasses which feature white arched tops made from recycled plastic, silver rims surrounding black polarised lenses, and slim temple arms made from bamboo.
The Islington are lightweight frames that are elegant and suit most face shapes. A small frame, these shades were a perfect fit for my oval face that are usually drowned by oversized plastic framed glasses.
The first thing I noticed with the Colin Leslie frames were how perfectly the bamboo arms fit around my ears. Often with plastic framed sunglasses, I have to adjust the arms to fit around the ear. But aside from the fact that you can’t really bend bamboo arms, The Islington have been crafted in such a way that they fit without feeling loose.
Bamboo sunglasses are significantly lighter in weight than their plastic counterparts. For this reason, I was inclined to treat the Colin Leslie shades more delicately than other sunglasses, even though they are just as sturdy. The white frames can be dressed up for any look or occasion – be it a festival, a trip to the park or a summer wedding – which for me confirmed that I had made the right decision choosing The Islington over the tortoise shell arched Camden.
The Colin Leslie Islington shades have done the rounds with me in a short space of time, but have been as good to me as the area they are named after. And what’s more, The Islington are unisex sunglasses so can be shared with your other half, if he dares to remove them from that unwavering perch on your nose. The Islington shades by Colin Leslie, RRP £95.
Colin Leslie Eyewear is available to buy online