Sunglasses are a fashion statement and some glasses get a special status because they are worn by a famous person, for example. The same goes for the Don Johnson sunglasses from Miami Vice. Miami Vice was a popular 1980s television show starring Don Johnson. The show was set in Miami and featured a lot of fashion, music and drugs. It was also one of the first shows to star African Americans and Latinos. The most famous Don Johnson sunglasses are aviator sunglasses with mirrored lenses.
What sunglasses did Sonny Crockett wear in Miami Vice?
Sonny Crockett wore three different sunglasses frames at Miami Vice including black Carrera sunglasses 5512s, tortoiseshell Ray-Ban RB2140 Wayfarers and black Persol Ratti 69218s. These were the most prominent sunglasses frames Sonny wore during the 5 years of Miami Vice from 1984 to 1989.
The top three Sonny Crockett sunglasses frames
In the first episode of Miami Vice, undercover detective Sonny Crockett wears oversized Carrera 5512 sports sunglasses. The Aviator frame is made of matte black acetate and has contrasting thin, silver-colored metal temples with the Carrera logo on the outside. Crockett’s frame features large brown-tinted solar lenses. The production team modified the frame to hide the Carrera logos for this first episode which aired on September 16, 1984; titled ‘Brother’s Keeper’. It was the first and last time Crockett wore these sunglasses in the Miami Vice series. In subsequent episodes, it was Crockett’s undercover partner Rico Tubbs who wore the Carrera goggles.
Originally made in Austria, Carrera 5512 sunglasses are no longer in production. However, second-hand models are still available online through vintage frame dealers. After extensive research on these iconic Miami Vice sunglasses, it appears that the most common models are completely black, both on the temples and on the front of the frame, with gray lenses with color gradient.
Miami Vice, Season 1, 2, 4 and 5 – Tortoise Ray-Ban Wayfarer
After episode 1 of Miami Vice, Sonny Crockett switched from the Carrera 5512 sunglasses to his most consistent and iconic tortoise acetate RB5022 Ray-Ban Wayfarers fitted with green tinted G-15 solar lenses. Smaller than the previous Aviator sport sunglasses, he wore the stylish Wayfarer frame for the remainder of the first and second seasons of Miami Vice.
Along with Miami Vice, the Ray-Ban Wayfarer received a resurgence in popularity thanks to popular films such as 1980’s “Blues Brothers” and 1983’s “Risky Business” starring Tom Cruise. In both films, the protagonists wore these iconic sunglasses, giving new impetus to sales in the youth culture of the 1980s.
Unlike Tom Cruise, Don Johnson’s sunglasses were tortoiseshell acetate instead of black. To date, tortoiseshell acetate remains one of the most popular acetate patterns due to its subtle and warming colors of brown, amber and black.
In the third season of Miami Vice, detective Sonny Crockett wears Persol 69218 sunglasses.
Deviating from the Ray-Ban Wayfarer, Sonny Crockett wore black Italian-made Persol Ratti 69218 sunglasses during Season 3. In the episode ‘When Irish Eyes are Crying’ there is a clear difference between this frame and the Wayfarer. It has a polygonal front with straight lines and the temples (arms) are also much thicker.
Destijds was Persol Ratti de oorspronkelijke bedrijfsnaam volgens de achternaam van oprichter Giuseppe Ratti. Dit is waarom alle Persol Ratti-monturen als vintage worden beschouwd, omdat ze in 1995, toen het bedrijf werd overgenomen, zijn veranderd in Persol. Als we de 69218 zonnebril beter bekijken, zien we dat de zonnebril een karakteristiek dubbel scharnierpunt op de slapen heeft. Dit was eigenlijk een van ‘s werelds eerste veerscharnier mechanismen die vandaag de dag op grote schaal worden geïmiteerd en gebruikt bij de productie van brillen. Het “Meflecto”-systeem, dat in de jaren 1930 door Persol werd gepatenteerd, maakte het mogelijk de veren lichtjes te buigen en zich aan te passen aan het hoofd van de drager voor een comfortabelere pasvorm. Een subtiel maar effectief detail dat gemakkelijk onopgemerkt zou kunnen blijven in de snelle actiescènes van Miami Vice.
Are you looking for Don Johnson sunglasses? Then take a look at our Carrera collection and in particular the 1034/S as it most closely resembles the 80s model from Miami Vice as modern new glasses.