L.A.’s Sama Eyewear Hits The Big Screen In Baywatch


Still from Baywatch

While critics didn’t fall in love with last week’s Baywatch, there was one thing nobody could deny: Dwayne Johnson and his merry (motley?) band of lifeguards looked great. L.A.’s own Sama Eyewear has something to do with it, crafting custom frames and lenses for Johnson’s Mitch Buchannon. And while it’s tough to compete with those now-iconic red shorts and bathing suits, the sunglasses became a trademark of the movie, too. Sama’s Shiela Vance explains that she crafted the custom shades for costume designer Dayna Pink with all of the Rock’s mannerisms and quirks in mind.

“The costuming and the theme was really about what costumer Dayna Pink called a ‘love letter to the beach,’  done with a modern statement about what is current and happening in beachwear — swimwear and eyewear,” Vance explains. “The sunglasses needed to be somewhat iconic — big, bold, and loud like Dwayne to match his persona.”

The frames in the film are Sama’s Syd Bay Elite with a customized lens so that the audience could see Dwayne’s expressions through the glass. That meant a lighter tint, according to Vance. She adds that the café lens — the term for a subtle lens — is fashionable at the moment, making for some sunglass serendipity in Baywatch.

“Dwayne is also so highly animated with amazing expressions, so we wanted to be able to see his eyes through the lenses,” Vance said. “But give a pop of color to compliment the beach, the costumes, the skylines, and sunsets.”

Sama Syd Elite

Sama Syd Elite

Of course, Vance and Pink had to try a few options out before landing right at the sweet spot. The two worked together to test yellow lenses as well as green and blue options to see which would compliment the bold colors of the lifeguard uniforms and the colorful backdrop of the film. Vance eventually created Bay Meadow, a green-yellow lens finished with a medium opaque mirror finish. It was perfect and practically glowed during filming against the sunsets. Pink compared the frames to something like a superhero’s shield or armor for Johnson’s character — and the rest is cinematic history.

Mitch Buchannon and Mitch Buchannon

Mitch Buchannon 2017 and Mitch Buchannon 1989-2000

And if you see Johnson out and about in those frames, it’s not a mistake. Vance says that Sama had to FedEx two additional trays of the sunnies to Savannah and Miami during filming. Apparently, Johnson kept wearing the aviators off set and losing or damaging them. Eventually, Pink asked Vance to create a few extra pairs without the custom lenses so that Johnson could have sunglasses for himself and the costume department could keep the filming frames safe.

While most beachgoers won’t be saving lives, they will be sporting shades. Vance has some advice for anyone looking to add to their collection. “Everyone should own a ‘boyfriend frame,’ she explains. “Bought by him borrowed by her.  This is the perfect ‘basic’ for weekends, with the perfect denim jeans or hitting the beach.” Aviators are a perfect choice and have that Baywatch pedigree.

And about that café lens? It’s not just for movie stars. Vance says that musicians and performers are opting for them, too, since the light color lets their eyes show through. “Go for a café or light wash of color of pastel for wearing indoors, evening, or formal,” Vance says.

For more information — and to build your own sunglass wardrobe — visit www.samaeyewearshop.com.

Images courtesy Paramount and Sama

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Author:Fashion Trends Daily Staff

Fashion Trends Daily Editors deliver the scoop on fashion, beauty, celebrity and runway trends.