Marrakech has attracted more than its share of travellers. It offers La Palmeraie, the city’s “green lung”, strewn with thousands of palms; the mesmerising medina square, with snake charmers and tiny stalls; ornate, abandoned palaces; and rooftops that look up to the sky. Yves Saint Laurent’s Majorelle Garden is still there, home to his scattered ashes. The sensuous, blue oasis is populated with bamboo groves and bougainvilleas.
It’s little wonder, then, that Sam Stephenson turned to Marrakech for inspiration for her SS14/15 collection. The Pared Eyewear designer always pinpoints a specific era and location: for this instalment she turned clocks back to the late ’60s and ’70s. Unsurprisingly, much of the range is desert-coloured: amber yellows, gradient browns, reds and rosy pinks. Pleasingly, she’s picked up on textile and tile hues, with sweeping glitters in cinnamon and navy, plus triangular Swarovski clusters.
Collaboration is all over Stephenson’s newest work, from designs with light-hearted labels Emma Mulholland and POMS, to Ginger & Smart. The shapes are decidedly grown-up: square cat eyes, unisex aviators and circular frames with exaggerated metal casing.
The sunglass market is notoriously over-saturated; almost every high-street retailer offers a branded selection. For smaller labels such as Pared, the antidote is a focus on quality construction – glasses that will last more than a single salty summer. Pared frames are handmade using lightweight Japanese acetate. Rubber dipped screws are sourced from Germany. All metal is titanium or stainless steel.