1. Lots of sunshine.
L.A. gets an average of 284 sunny days a year, making a good pair of shades an essential.
2. A thriving community of celebs who like to go incognito.
L.A. has a built-in consumer base for sunglasses, thanks to the movie stars who wear them for glamour’s sake, or pair them with paparazzi-dodging baseball caps while getting their morning chai latte. Two much-touted sunglass providers to the celebrity set include and its next-generation incarnation, Venice-based , which has a branch on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Oliver Peoples even offers star-inspired glasses: The ($405) was created with the late actor’s estate to replicate the shades he wore while filming To Kill a Mockingbird.
3. Stores, stores, stores.
Shopping districts and malls around L.A. County are destinations in themselves, from Melrose Avenue, and —and each has its own sunglass outposts or counters within stores. The Grove, for instance, just opened up a branch of the timeless retailer .to ,
4. Fabulous nightlife.
Nothing builds a bridge between a big night in L.A. and the next day like good coffee and flattering sunglasses. For cutting-edge styles that will help you develop your own entourage, browse the styles at (located at its Venice flagship and The Grove), such as the sleek ($190) or the geometric ($240).
5. A deep commitment to luxury.
For showstopper sunglasses, go to, on Melrose Avenue. Its ($1,300, with a rose gold option for women) takes its inspiration from the racing world, with titanium temples and UVA and UVB-blocking lenses that are “designed with split second decision in mind.”
6. A knack for fashion that looks pricier than it is.
One of the hottest new sunglass brands around town is L.A. (with locations around L.A. County, including Westfield Culver City and Westfield Fashion Square), which boasts Kendall Jenner, Jaden Smith, and Cara Delevingne as customers. The brand also prides itself, though, on making its “California lifestyle” shades affordable. Its pair of gem-accented, cat-eye-style , for instance, is just $55.
7. International appeal.
Culver City’swas founded by L.A. native Ashley Bezamat, who studied eyewear in Italy then brought those skills back to the Golden State, creating sunglasses using super-durable Italian acetate. Its F36 ($295) is dubbed a “modern aviator with Italian racing design” in black, tortoise, or quartz.
8. A passion for that vintage, Old Hollywood look.
1970’s “mogul shades” to 90’s side-shield shades and even pre-Hollywood, century-old sunglasses with red and green tints.($500), and conversation-starting designs from Christian LaCroix and Dior. In Echo Park, showcases anything from