No style of glasses has more history and a bigger association with the 80s American hip hop scene than Gazelle type. The original designer, Cari Zalloni, came from Austria and created the brand called Cazal in the early 80s by combining the first letters of his first and second name (nifty, huh?). His specs became an instant hit in America, where eyewear was starting to be used for fashion rather than for a purely functional basis for the first time ever.
Cari Zalloni and His Famous Cazal Brand
Cari Zalloni declared his quest to create “minimalist eyewear”, and judging by the popularity that the Cazal style has enjoyed throughout the years, he definitely succeeded. The oversized, square shape and brash gold rims of Cazal glasses made them hugely successful with artists and followers of the rap scene. Famously, Run DMC’s Darryl McDaniels wore them and this was one of the factors that upgraded the status of Cazal’s from merely cool to iconic. In 80s anyone who wanted to call themselves a hipster needed to own a pair of these glasses.
The style worn by Darryl McDaniels is known as “east coast” Cazals and they are oversized with a squared off bottom. In the past, wearing glasses was seen as a merely a functional necessity for people who needed to correct their vision. American rap artists were wearing glasses out of choice, and not only that but making them look great as well.