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Supermarket specials, knockoffs or designer shades, your eyewear is likely replaceable. And with that comes convenience but also the apparent lack of originality, cost of insurance and loss of focal protection.

In the genes of diligence and exclusivity, Chilli Beans has been producing haute eyewear from the heart of San Paolo culture for over thirty years, maintaining one of the industry’s highest standards of quality hand-crafted originality in the lens department: Sunglasses you won’t want to lose. With only eight copies of a single model while refreshing their production with 10 new designs per week, the Brazilian boutique upholds the epitome of customization and creativity as replicas are hard to come by and designs never repeated. From aviators, to prescriptions, casual and costume wear, the eyewear haus pushes visual limits fusing the work of Isabela Capito, Herchcovitch, Ronaldo Fraga and Carlinhos Brown with Brazil’s tropical pallet and native vibrance. Shapes, colors and prints cycle through marquees like an independent theatre. Either you caught the show or you hope someone else caught it for you. That is how these peppers roll and with the intimacy of a custom written song, their methodically crafted aesthetics and innate flame for fashion culture emerge in the accessorizing of an accessory.

As though every Chlli Beans outlet were the capital of its environment, each location hosts eyewear tailored to culture-specific designs. An etched graphic of the infamous Venice Beach Ferris Wheel is reserved for the Los Angeles collection and available only in Los Angeles, followed by a Chilli Beans di-cut logo, marking this L.A.-only collection. In other cities, location-specific collections vary between creative elements and trademarks accentuating the uniqueness and diversity of urban culture while highlighting a restriction to availability as if to retain the exclusivity of each model. A broader scope of products lies within the company’s recent launch of Vista, a collection which overhauls the prescription eyewear vocabulary in its daring approaching to allure via lens, reviving the prescription look alongside prescriptions themselves, “Our investment is in the clients who like new things, regardless of needing prescription lenses”- President, Caito Maia. “Celebrities, opinion formers and connected people in general have already noticed the trend of using prescription eyeglasses to compose the outfit. More recently, even those who do not have any sight problems are investing in these products as fashion accessories.” Elaborately colored frames strike a chord with fashionistas who toy with their inner nerd and a stylish practicality. With five new models for this collection each month, the Vista collection further extends the brand into intelligent fashion.


The curbside fashion booth started in San Paolo in the summer of ’98 under the command of Caito Maia. With the aid of local persuasion, aka fashion icons and “Tipping Point” individuals, the brand carried itself to cultural iconicity serving Brazil as the largest network specializing in sunglasses. Having since branched out to over 400 outlets throughout South American, Europe, Africa, and the United States, the company continues it surge with Hotel Chili Beans at, filtering through designers within the momentum of artisan work for another 200 outlets by the end of 2012. Their recent partnership with Blue Man boosts their identity for strict designs featured during Rio’s recent catwalk. Carol Makimoto, the designer behind the Blue Man edition, the technology of glasses her focal point, “On the other hand, gain from the exchange of ideas and inspirations.” If none of the above bumps Ray Ban off the radar, a visit to Chilli Beans will inevitably do the job. See for yourselves.

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Written by Angela Gleason

Angela Gleason, graduated in Advertising from San Francisco's Academy of Art University, she rocks the international world on creative fronts as a dedicated slash girl: visual designer / soundsavant / writer / glam lush, for the story beyond the surface. Angela looks after the Catwalk Yourself blog.

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