The Story Behind The Glasses
In 1993, photographer Jesse Frohman photographed Kurt dressed in his usual odd blend styles. He wore a leopard-print coat and a flap cap, and accented the look with white, oval glasses that made him look like a grungy alien. The photo, taken months before his death, quickly became iconic.
But what made the look such a hit? i-D explains, “[the glasses] are a flashy shade and bold shape, diametrically opposed to the dirtied faded clothes of 90s alt-rock. It’s a misfit choice. It adds to the haphazard combination of can’t-be-bothered independence and I-can-get-away-with-anything arrogance”.
And the vintage sunnies aren’t just a bold choice. They’re a portal to the past. Audrey Hepburn famously wore massive white Chanel glasses too back in the ‘60s. Nobody really knows why Kurt chose to wear those glasses that day, and we doubt he knew how influential they’d be. Some suspect he was just trying to hide a hangover. But whatever the reason, Kurt inadvertently did that thing that fashionistas do – bring back trends from decades past.
From Hepburn To Clout Goggles
Just as Kurt brought back mod-style glasses, today’s rappers are also rehashing Kurt’s famous look. These days, the white glasses go by the name “clout goggles” – a term coined by rapper Denzel Curry. In a 2017 YouTube video, Denzel can be seen wearing the goggles and going “These ain't glasses, baby, these are Clout Goggles”. According to GQ, the word “clout goggles” became an official entry on Urban Dictionary two weeks later. The site described them as “A pair of white sunglasses that mumble rappers wear”.
Since then, rappers like Lil Yachty, Offset, and Lil Uzi Vert have all sported similar specs. Pharell and Takeoff even wore them while performing at Coachella in 2017. Brands like Gucci, Chanel, and Acne Studios also released their own or similar version of the oval shades.
In fact, the style became so popular that designer Christian Roth chose to reissue the original series 6558 (also called Archive 1993) glasses in black and dark grey. But if you’re not so inclined to pay an exorbitant price for a pair of specs – Roth’s glasses go for $USD300 ($AUD443) a pop – you can always shop for much cheaper copies online.
Where To Buy Clout Goggles For Cheap
On Ebay, you can find imitation clout goggles for only $AUD3.99 to $AUD7.99. This is probably the only place you’ll find these goggles for so cheap. They also come in a variety of colours, like white, black, yellow, and red.
A quick search of “clout goggles” on Amazon yields some pretty neat results, from neon green shades priced at $AUD5.59, to black and white checkered goggles that’ll put you right at home at a race track, to some out-of-this-world holographic sunnies.
On The Iconic, you can cop a pair of clout goggles from Reality Eyewear. These translucent, aquamarine specs are perfect for summer festivals. It also comes in mustard, dusty pink, turtle, red, white, and black.
If you’re looking for something simpler, The Iconic also carries Dazie Concert glasses. The oval specs are the same shape as Kurt’s glasses, but come with a black, glossy finish and smoke-tinted lenses.
Here’s another site where you can get a lowkey, simple version of the bold clout goggles. Showpo’s Took A While sunglasses are plain black and glossy – perfect for everyday wear.
The Glasses That Stole The World
Over 20 years after his death, Kurt Cobain’s quirky sense of style lives on. And who would have thought that it would do so through the likes of mumblecore rappers and hip-hop stars? Though Kurt may have never anticipated that his style choices would become symbols of clout among rappers, it just goes to show how much of an influence he had.