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January 17, 2022

18 Photographs of Peggy Guggenheim Wearing Her Iconic “Butterfly” Sunglasses in Venice in the 1950s and 1960s

A woman wearing extravagant sunglasses. She sits on a gondola in a Venetian canal. She’s surrounded by dogs. She looks straight at the camera. It’s Marguerite “Peggy” Guggenheim, of course. A character immediately recognizable for fashion and art lovers alike.

Peggy Guggenheim (1898–1979) was a American art collector and friend to the surrealists who chose to wear her butterfly sunglasses like a badge of honor. Designed by Edward Melcarth, her butterfly style glasses were a work of art–a vision of power; inspiring, shocking, and leaving others in complete awe.

In 1994 Safilo paid homage to this iconic design by producing a remake of these imaginative frames on sale at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. Twenty years later, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the brand, the model was proposed again with bright blue acetate lenses and caramel profiles. Today you can find a new version of this collector's item: the structure is cream-colored, in perfect harmony with the havana profiles.


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