Willy Wonka Glasses

Identifying the glasses worn by Willy Wonka in Tim Burton’s classic take on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Johnny Depps Willy Wonka was a fever dream of strange themes and psychedelia.  Oompa Loompa, Chocolate Rivers, and Depp’s unique take on the crazed chocolatier. Although the movie wasn’t generally well received the world of Willy Wonka isn’t one that can easily be replicated on screen and is a fantastic example of creativity something that could have only been achieved by Tim Burton. But it was one aspect of Willy Wonka’s appearance, style you might say, that caught many people’s attention. I’m of course talking about Wonka’s sunglasses that he’s seen wearing throughout the film. In the typical whimsical theme of the film, these glasses are bold, unique, and damn right bizarre.

Large frames, white colorway, and stark red lenses.

But what if I told you that Willy Wonka’s sunglasses have risen in popularity over the years and are nothing unique in the eyewear world? This style of large oval frames is a style that dates back to the early 90s. Need some proof? Kurt Cobain popularised the style and wore them in a famous interview months before his death. Cobain famously wore a pair of Series 6558 from the brand Christian Roth and has since not only cemented himself in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame but also as an eyewear icon. So much so, these style of sunglasses have their own name often referred to as Clout Goggles among those who tout the style. The question on everybody’s mind is how do I get my hands on a pair of Willy Wonka Sunglasses and are they actually produced by a brand or merely a prop? In this article, we are going to explore all the evidence on Wonka’s frames and get to the bottom of Wonka’s frames. 

The ‘TV Room’ scene in Tim Burton’s 2005 adaption of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka Sunglasses: Identifying the Brand

After searching across the internet there’s very little information or evidence these glasses are anything more than a prop. I managed to find an article from 2006 citing inspirations from the set design to the costumes of every character in the film. Unfortunately, his famed frames get no mention and due to this, and the lack of information across the web, it’s clear that Wonka’s glasses are nothing more than a prop created by a team of designers. Now, I’m not saying these glasses didn’t take inspiration from real-life sunglasses and designs – that much is clear, only that these were never glasses mass-produced by any one brand. 

Not just Wonka wore the famous glasses: All characters wearing Wonka’s Glasses

Willy Wonka Sunglasses: Alternatives & Recommendations

Due to the popularity of Willy Wonka’s sunglasses, it’s no surprise that many companies jumped at the opportunity to manufacture and produce this style for the mass market. You only need to do a search for Willy Wonka Sunglasses on websites such as Amazon or eBay to get inundated with many near replicas. If you want a cheap pair of Wonka Sunglasses, for a costume or cosplay, then these are going to be your best bet. They’re affordable and were specifically designed for this reason. On the other hand, if you actually like the Clout Googles look and are looking to wear these more as actual sunglasses, then these Amazon finds aren’t going to cut the mustard. Below are just a few of the Wonka-inspired clout goggles that we think are perfect for people who want to achieve this unique look.

Cubitts Goldington: A more affordable pair of sunglasses from respectable brand Cubitts. These glasses aren’t as large as Wonka’s in the film but still take the unique oval shape and are more subtle (which we personally like). They come in medium and large sizes and a range of colorways ranging from black, and a whole host of transparent colors. Not bad for just $150.00.

Christian Roth Series-4001: These are remarks of the original clout goggles made famous by Kurt Cobain. The designer, Christian Roth, remade these into celebrities’ famous frames and are still available to purchase through Christian Roth for a price of $350.00. These frames are as aesthetic as you get when it comes to Clout Goggles and come with either black or white with grey or brown lenses. Act quickly as these sunglasses are unusually sold out and very rarely available.

Christian Roth: Series-4001 Sunglasses (in Black)