Over the years, Oakley has celebrated anniversaries with special releases. These have ranged from logos revivals to entire unique models. I wasn't collecting in 2000, so I missed the 25th anniversary, but for the 30 year in 2005, there were many new additions. Primarily, the classic thermonuclear logo made a return, giving us apparel items such as the History T, and puffy snow pants. Neon made a return, giving us a brief hope that those vibrant hues would revive the early 90's, but that soon faded away once the celebrations passed. The main offering of 2005 was the stretchline collection, offered exclusively to ski and surf shops, releasing entirely new models and a variant of the stretch logo on the stems. We will take a deeper look into those later
That said, in 2010 for the 35th anniversary, the offerings were not as grand of a scale. There was a very limited run of 2010 edition grips, which were based off the B1-B's and were labeled as such, but with a few small alterations. Aside from that, we did get a special line of modifications to certain cutting edge glasses, merged with reimaginings of iconic models from Oakley's long history. To bring these designs to life, Oakley worked with New York based Jeff Staple of Staple Design to provide color and print alterations to the new line. Jeff Staple, commonly abbreviated 'STPL', was majoring in journalism at NYU, but dropped out when he found a passion for design as an intern and instead enrolled at a School of Design. Much like Jim Jannard's early endeavors, Jeff initially started off creating hand-made items, which were noticed and picked up by local shops. This slowly evolved into a full business while collaborating with many high profile brands.
A total of 6 models were the result of this collaboration and two were initially released on July 13, 2010. The STPL kickoff event was held at Staple's own Reed Space location in New York City. The first two models were available at that time, with the rest on display. Two more were released on the first of August, and another two on the first of September. The poster proudly announced 1975 as a 'fine year', displaying a grip that never was produced, and the Eyeshade which didn't come out until almost a decade later. There was another nice logo, which foreshadowed the retro re-release to come, as well as the sport specific designs that would provide the inspiration for the line.
While initially they were available off the Staple site, many made their way to OPD's and the Oakley website. Recent glasses such as the Holbrook, Collectors Frogskins, and Jawbone were initial entries. These opted for light based lenses and SPTL's logo in the inside of the ear stem or on the lens, and each was based on a different sport. The boxes containing these models returned to the late 80's and early 90's and used the clear plastic design with a riser to display the item while still packaged. The Frogskins came in a Dove Grey frame, Pink Iridium lens, a Pink Classic Logo, and were based off Staple's iconic Dove imagery, complete with a Pigeon dropping 'splat' nestled neatly near the logo. This was the only pair to not be inspired by a sport, since they are a lifestyle pair.
The Jawbone came in a Matte White with Grey lens and striping on the lower orbital and icon area. The design was found in cycling due to the Jawbone's association with Lance Armstrong's use of it in the Tour de France. The Holbrook was the least flashy with Polished White, Chrome Iridium lenses and red bolts near the hinges. A slight halftone pattern faded into clear towards the tip of the earstems while combined with the STPL logo, a cue based on snowboarding and fresh powder, inspired by Shaun White's hand in designing this frame originally. The Jawbone and Holbrook had a wider release and were priced at $225 and $150 respectively.
Simple exclusive colorways are nice but are standard fair these days. Fortunately the remaining models in the STPL line were much more exciting. The final three offerings brought back two vintage designs as well as more noticeable sport equipment frame decorations. The first retro design was the Blade. The Razorblade had previously returned briefly with the Stretchline release, but that was retooled to meet modern design standards and mass production. The Collectors Blade was a more-or-less remolding of the original. For a paint job, the splatter effect was chosen, reminiscent of the Rosa editions that came out almost two decades prior, and in true fashion were all hand painted for unique splatter effects per pair. The sport of choice for this model was surfing, with the white on blue splatter effect replicating the spray of ocean water. The frame was combined with an Ice Iridium lens, and was available for $200 with a production run of 150.
Starting with the sports inspire frame options, the Radar was outfitted with a Golf ball pattern print. This came with Green ear socks, two green nose pads, and a green icon. It was paired with a High Intensity Yellow lens, which is usually referred to as just Yellow now, in the Path lens shape. The Radar was a wider release than the rest and retailed for $200.
The final STPL design combined both a unique frame creation and a retro design, that many thought would never return. The Eyeshade was recast and returned with a fuzzy tennis ball orbital. The original stems were kept intact, but the foam brow pads were omitted. The lens accompanying the Eyeshade was rather unique. The primary lens was Emerald, and in addition to the STPL logo in the corner, a giant 'X' takes up most of the eyesight area, representing tennis court lines. For usability purposes, a Bronze lens was included in its own box; however the makeup of the frame material would make daily use almost impossible, due to the loose fibers in the tennis motif.
So while not as grand or ambitious as the Stretchline releases, the STPL line gave us a few excellent collectors pieces, as well as a few that would make good lifestyle pairs.
Great recap Dann! I was fortunate enough to get the Blades. I wish I had nabbed the Eyeshades. Do you know how many of the Eyeshades were produced? I thought it was around the 150 qty as well, but you didn't mention it above.
The Eyeshades are a glorious piece for those true collectors that enjoy the collection all nice in the case. For folks like me that enjoy wearing, it is torture to have those lines across the field of vision on such an amazing pair. I've worn them a couple of times, but feel silly for the attempt in the end.