Harmonizing With Mary J Blige’s New Melodies By MJB Sunglasses Collection
In the “I’m Goin’ Down” video, they were short, rectangular black frames with dark tinted lenses that wrapped around her face. In the “Enough Cryin'” video, they were square tortoise shell frames to match a leopard faux fur coat and dark black oversize glasses with teardrop-shaped frames to match an all-black catsuit. In the “Not Gonna Cry” video, they were the ultimate, hide-my-tears choice: oversize frames with ultra-dark lenses set in a thick, rectangular-shaped acetate frame with chunky arms.
Pick a Mary J. Blige video in the My Life era or thereafter, and you’re bound to find at least one sunglasses moment. In fact, during her ghetto fabulous phase (after the ’round-the-way, jersey-and-baseball-cap days of the “Real Love” era), oversize shades were as much a part of her diva dress code as fur coats and high-heeled boots. Later, when she traded in the furs for leather jackets and jumpsuits, she still kept her sunglasses game tight, streamlining their silhouettes a bit and opting for thinner metallic rims with lenses in funky tints. And, of course, once she married husband Kendu Isaacs and released her The Breakthrough and Growing Pains albums, her style evolved yet again, with more demure pieces like flowing Grecian dresses, form-fitting, sleeveless sheath dresses, and double-breasted trench coats entering the rotation and helping MJB achieve a more “mature” but still chic and decidedly urban look (an effect that was aided by her new cropped ‘do, of course). And still, the sunglasses remained a key accessory. She even sported a funky pair of aviators during an August appearance on BET’s 106 & Park.
Which is why it’s almost shocking that it’s taken this long for someone to realize that maybe the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul should launch her own line of sunglasses. After all, they’ve been an integral part of her persona for decades now.
Fortunately, Mary J. Blige and Jimmy Iovine, Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, took matters into their own hands, teaming up with Orange 21, Inc. to develop the Melodies by MJB line of sunglasses. The line just launched at Bergdorf Goodman and Nordstrom stores on October 1st, with four styles available in the premiere collection, all meant to represent a different phase of Mary’s life.
The four styles are: “Showtime” (pictured at top), which feature octagonal mirrored lenses with a gradient tint set in metallic frames with thick, fin-shaped arms featuring grate-like cut-out; “Red Carpet” (pictured second from top), square acetate frames with rounded edges; “The MJ’s,” a more dramatic version of the “Red Carpet” silhouette, with thicker, taller arms along the sides (very reminiscent of the shades worn in the “Not Gonna Cry” video); and “Incognito” (pictured third from top), metal aviator shades with acetate temple tips.
Melodies by MJB “Showtime” sunglasses, $225; “Red Carpet” sunglasses, $165; “The MJ’s” sunglasses, $190; and “Incognito” sunglasses, $200. All available at Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman stores. Visit Nordstrom.com