Greetings. My name is Gentleman Jeb, and I’m a freelance writer, gadget maker, and avid Steampunk. As a result of my eclectic interests, I’m always in search of cool, retro-futuristic items to wear both in everyday life and as accents to my Steampunk outfits. One of the most common things that we Steampunks look for are retro glasses that have round lenses and some sort of ornamentation that sets them apart from the hideous modern plastic sunglasses that currently dominate the market.
I stumbled upon the O’Riginals Trading Co. crowd-funding page mere days after it began, and I was immediately impressed with the old-school look that includes bendable wire arms and metal side-shields. Side-shields have been around for decades, and they elevate sunglasses to a new level. Not only do they look splendiferous, but they’re actually functional as well. Side-shields block out sunlight, dust, and anything else that might hinder eyesight, and one of the side-effects is that they look damn cool!
I knew that I would eventually acquire a pair of O’Riginals, and fortuitously, the Sterling Sport 23s with amber lenses arrived just in time for the Gaslight Gathering Steampunk Convention in San Diego. They look great right out of the box, and one day during the convention I strutted around both outside and inside with them on (yes, I’m one of “those guys, but at my age, I don’t give a crap what people think”). The amber lenses were perfect for blocking out the sun outside and also for not inhibiting my vision while inside. In addition, the wire arms wrap around my ears, so I don’t have to worry about them falling off of my head, even when I’m active!
Not surprisingly, I received compliments all day long. People wanted to know where they came from, if they were vintage, and how to acquire a pair. One of my friends even came up to me and asked “are these the super-cool sunglasses I heard about?” I knew they were stylish, but I didn’t expect them to create a buzz during the convention. One of the vendors had some cheaply-made sunglasses with side-shields, but they pale in comparison to O’Riginals. I tried them on, and they were both uncomfortable and they also felt fragile, as if they could easily be broken.
I know that members of my big-wheel biking group, SoCal Penny Farthings, will want to know how to get a pair of O’Riginals the first time they see me wearing them while riding my 48-inch hi-wheel. The cool thing is, these glasses appeal to a wide group of people, from Steampunks to bikers to anyone looking for something to set them apart. Hell, I’ll probably get a second pair with dark grey lenses just to have a backup.
Congratulations go out to Sean O’Riordan for having the vision and motivation to start O’Riginals Trading Co., and also to everyone who backed his crowd-funding campaign.