The Rise and Fall of Killer Loop Sunglasses
Made using the latest scientifically enhanced urban assault materials – apparently. But what happened to this once-popular eyewear brand?
Over my years in eyewear, there’s always one name that I keep coming across – Killer Loop (the original website address was (https://killerloopeyewear.com/)). After seeing it mentioned across social media, and Reddit I finally decided to see what all the hype was about. What did I find? Basically nothing. Killer Loop is an eyewear brand that seems to have fallen into relevant obscurity aside from a few die-heart fans that are keeping the brand alive. So who is Killer Loop? Why did they fail, and why is the brand nothing more than a shadow of a minority online? In this article, I’m going to try and piece together the history of Killer Loop, and see If I can piece together the legacy of this now-defunct brand.
Killer Loop Sunglasses: A Timeline of Events
After trawling across the internet I’ve been able to create a timeline of Killer Loop and find some information regarding its founding and legacy. During my tenure researching this article, I found a lot of conflicting information. It seems Killer Loop changed hands a lot and was continuously bought and sold by many different businesses all the way up to its being discontinued. Below is a brief summary of Killer Loop and its history up until its discontinuation.
+ In 1997, 2 years before B&L’s acquisition Killer Loop was acquired by Bausch & Lomb. An article by The Business Journal in 1997 said that they were purchased from Benetton Sportssystem S.p.A. In 1996 another article states that the Benetton family already controls the sportssytem brand – this makes sense.
+ In 1997 Benetton Sportsystem was purchased by another company called Benetton Group which in term is owned by Edizone Holding. The acquisition of The Benetton group by Edizone was made in 1991 and met with criticism due to it making the company the largest private landowner in Argentina.
+ It seems that killer loop was owned by Benetton Group, but had its sunglasses manufactured by Luxottica. This is not unlike many other designer brands that have their sunglasses produced by the global conglomerate (including and not limited to Giorgio Armani, Bvlgari, and Chanel).
+ Luxottica owned and operated Killer Loop until they discontinued the brand in around 2005. This is when Luxottica stopped registering its trademark. A forum post on Optiboard from 2003 saw a post that speculated and discussed the idea Killer Loop was on its last legs. A now ironic comment from one user said ‘‘I asked my rep today about this. He said Luxottica IS NOT dumping Killer Loop, in fact, it has expanded the line. So there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth’’. Guess your rep was ill-informed.
+ An article in 2013 by Fashion Network suggested that The Killer Loop brand was relaunched. But it’s hard to find much information about this and it’s clear its launch was unsuccessful and discontinued soon after. Another post by Events FAQ stated in 2008 that Killer Loop was relaunching specifically in India. Again, no other information on this can be found.
Who Founded Killer Loop?
With all this said and done, I still was no further into understanding who actually founded Killer Loop and understanding when the brand was first brought onto the market. In the above, the timeline where most information starts is around the 1997 mark or at least the early 1990s. With that, I decided to go on another deep dive into discovering If I can find out more about the founding of the brand. I spent a good hour looking into this before I finally stumbled across a name in an old article regarding the history of sportswear brands. In this, the article states that Killer Loop was created by Businessman Enrico Ceccato.
Further digging and I was able to corroborate this with a Linkedin Profile of a man of the same name. In his profile’s work history, it stated that he was the chief operating officer of Killer Loop from 1989 to 1996. This all but confirms it to me and it seems Killer Loop was established in 1989. I tried to get in contact with Enrico Ceccato and so far have had no look contacting him. Hopefully, he’ll respond to one of my messages eventually as I’d like to dig a little deeper into Killer Loop, the brand it was, and its eventual demise.
How good were Killer Loop Sunglasses?
You can still find Killer Loop Sunglasses available online through a variety of different second-hand marketplaces. But one big question I had was how good were they back when they were still available through Luxottica and still being bought brand new. I decided to delve through some old archives and discovered a variety of reviews of the Killer Loop Pandeania (from MTBR). Out of the 14 ratings that date back to 2001 it seems that these sunglasses were very popular with the majority of buyers rating them 5 stars. One buyer said ‘The strongest glasses I have ever owned. I once dropped an entire stove on them, and I was able to bend them back into shape, with only minor scratches due to the frames’.
Another user stated that the sunglasses were: ‘’Very long-lasting, very strong. It is really hard to get down on these glasses. I had them on for two years almost every sunny day. I’ve sat on them, stepped on them, dropped them, had lenses pop out… almost every time all it takes is a little bit of bending back if they did get bent’’. It seems Killer Loop specializes in eyewear that was durable and built with quality in mind. To be expected from a sports brand. At the time (1998) the Pandeanima Sunglasses were sold for $119.99, which, with an inflation calculator, comes in at a staggering $375.00 in 2023. It’s clear based on this that Killer Loop Sunglasses were premium eyewear that rivaled even the most designer eyewear brands. This fits with a promotional tagline I found in an old copy of Spin Magazine in the 90s which stated: ‘’All Killer Loop sunglasses are made using the latest scientifically enhanced urban assault materials. Killer Loop. Eyewear for the Killer Elite. Available at fine stores everywhere’’.
Celebrities that wore Killer Loop Sunglasses
As a big-name brand that was once operated by Luxottica, it seems that a variety of different celebrities once wore, or at the very least, endorsed Killer Loop. Although there’s very little information (and fewer photos), I’ve been able to find evidence that Killer Loop Sunglasses were at some point worn by the following celebrities.
Michael Jordan: The legendary basketball player, widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time, was involved in promotional campaigns for Killer Loop sunglasses.
Alberto Tomba: The Italian alpine ski racer, who won multiple Olympic gold medals and World Championships, was a brand ambassador for Killer Loop in the 1990s.
Fernando Alonso: The Spanish Formula One racing driver, a two-time world champion, also had a collaboration with Killer Loop.
Ivan Capelli: The Italian former Formula One racing driver, who competed for various teams during the 1980s and early 1990s, was associated with Killer Loop.
Manuel Ruicosta: If sources are to be correct Luxottica launched an ad campaign with soccer champion Manuel Ruicosta. Photos of Ruicosta can be seen in the Photographer Stefano Oppo’s portfolio here. It seems Oppo was hired to take many of the promotional images used by Luxottica at the time.