Style and fashion can transform seemingly random associations into fabulous, previously unseen connections. Take for example, counter-culture icon slash musician slash record producer Ray Manzarek of the Doors and tennis legend Martina Navratilova.
While their worlds seem pretty different on the surface — he’s a tweedy intellectual with a predilection for jazzy vamps and she’s a nails tough competitor known for dominating opponents with a mega aggressive serve and volley attack pattern — they both share a love of slightly quirky geometric frames. And when you learn a little bit more about their backstories, it all kinda makes sense.
While rockers wearing glasses has always been a thing (think: Buddy Holly, John Lennon, Janis Joplin) Manzerek’s look was a bit more business-like. He favored elegantly tailored suits — likely a nod to his jazz heroes Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk — and wore his glasses less as a statement piece and more as an understated accent to his natty neo-professorial look.
Manzarek would often joke that strangers would assume he was the group’s manager and not one of its principal members and one gets the sense that he liked that just fine. Looking “respectable” was his Trojan Horse way of drawing wider audiences to his controversial band’s more far out ideas. I suppose when you are in a band with the Lizard King himself, rock sexpot Mr. Jim Morrison, you need to know your lane and own it. His instincts were correct. Over 50+ years later, Ray’s trademark geometric frames still look cool as hell.
As for Navratilova, her path to wearing glasses on the court was not an aesthetic choice, but rather a medically inspired one. After winning a series of professional singles titles starting in 1974, she noticed her vision began to fail in the early ’80s. She ignored the problem for as long as she could, fearing that glasses would hinder her performances. In reality, the glasses never negatively affected her game (she won a record 9 consecutive Wimbledon singles titles between 1982 and 1990) and in fact made her one of the most recognizable players of all time thanks to her signature semi-funky frames.
Our Woodlawn frame pays homage to Ray and Martina with a unique Windsor-style silhouette and crisp geometric details. While it might seem a little intimidating at first pass, we can assure you that the Woodlawn is in fact very wearable, especially if you have a round, oval, or square-shaped face. The frames themselves are very lightweight and feature adjustable nose pads to ensure that everything lines up perfectly. If you are looking to experiment with adding some understated wow-factor to your look, give the Woodlawn a try. You will be in good company!