Michael Jordan punching the air right now. Eyewear and fashion legend Oakley has dipped into the archive books once again, reviving one of the most iconic frames of the ’90s, the Sub-Zero. Sleek and futuristically thin, the classic lenses pushed the boundaries of UV protection and stylish form factors when they were first released back in 1992. Flash-forward 30 years and the Sub-Zero’s rebirth arrives with familiar forward-thinking design language. Might want to pop these bad boys on inside, because the future is looking bright.
The new 2022 edition of the Oakley Sub Zero lands with the original lens shape, however, introduces a few 21st-century technical innovations. Offered as part of the brand’s MUZM Collection, which Oakley describes as a “unique curation of iconic styles” re-released with new interpretations, the glasses now cop Prizm Lens Technology. Fans of the eyewear brand will note the bold addition enhances detail and provides ultra-precise colour tuning for specific environments. Oakley’s premier sports technology, Prizm lenses are said to reveal details that would typically be missed by the naked eye.
From there, the new Sub Zeros also have a unique shield lens design, elevated by Unobtainium nosepads and earsocks that provide no-slip grip. According to Brian Takumi, Oakley VP, brand soul and creative on the heritage of the sunglasses, the modern touches help Sub Zero to mark its own place in Oakley history.
“In the ’90s, Sub Zero didn’t just break the mould of what sunglasses could look like. It changed the way they were made,” Takumi said. “It completely altered both the look and feel of modern eyewear, showcasing that when you stop at nothing to reach a goal, the impossible can be achieved. With this re-issue, Oakley continues to make the impossible, possible. Thirty years ago, Sub Zero set the stage for Oakley’s next chapter, fueling an unprecedented era of success. Now, the re-issue sets the stage for what’s to come in the future.”
To mark the official release of the 2022 Sub Zero frames, Oakley has launched an all-new campaign with skateboarding icon Aori Nishimura. The Tokyo-based fan favourite recently became the first Asian female street skater to win a gold medal in women’s street at the X Games, a feat that saw her join an elite circle of skateboarders who appear as playable characters in the video game Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2. How much more ’90s can you get?
“Skate culture through the decades influences my style when I am on and off my skateboard and I am naturally drawn to unique and disruptive designs, so I was immediately into the Sub Zero,” Aori said. “Through my own pursuit I personally connected with the attitude of being able to achieve the impossible so it’s awesome to be part of this re-issue.”
The new Oakley Sub Zero marks the first instalment in the collection, with more to come on May 12th. You can check out the Sub Zero campaign film starring Aori Nishimura above and view the full collection via the following link.