As the excitement for the upcoming 35th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Thriller builds, luxury eyewear brand Illesteva, a favorite of Rihanna and Beyoncé, has released a limited edition pair of sunglasses inspired by the pop star’s love of shades. The frameless gold mirrored shades were crafted from a single sheet lens and feature a tiny engraving of Jackson’s signature in the corner.
The launch is a collaboration between Illesteva and the Michael Jackson estate, overseen by Ziffren Brittenham LLP partner John Branca and music executive John McClain, which has successfully gotten out of the red through a series of smart moves that included selling Jackson’s 50% stake in the music publishing venture Sony/ATV for $750 million this year and recently extending a deal with them on the Mijac Music catalog, which has the rights to all of Jackson’s music as well as hits from Sly Stone and others, as wells as re-upping a deal for the Michael Jackson King of Pop slot machines from Bally Technologies that have been hugely lucrative.
“We were really honored to have been approached by the Jackson Estate to create a new model for the anniversary of Thriller,” says CEO Daniel Silberman. “The Estate was a pleasure to work with and we couldn’t be happier with how the frames turned out.” (The estate declined to comment.)
Though Illesteva didn’t work with a particular inspiration image of Jackson to design the glasses, they looked to his well-documented love of aviators, which he most famously wore at the 1984 Grammys (where he won an unprecedented eight trophies) and the historic 1993 Super Bowl halftime show. “We reworked the shield style aviator that Michael was most known for out of our Leonard Mask technology. The frame is made out of a base 2, 2.55 mm lens with lightweight steel temples,” Silberman explains. Only 200 numbered pairs will be sold, priced at $240. “Michael is one of the most iconic performers of our time, whose outfits never failed to impress. We wanted the frames to be true to his style and something that he would wear on stage today,” he says.
The birthday of the iconic world best-selling album, which was responsible for taking music videos into the mainstream, is being marked with a premiere of the never seen before 3D version of the Thriller video and a screening of the documentary Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, which has never been seen before in theaters, at the upcoming Venice Film Festival.