On September, 2017 I embarked on a quest to find the elusive 24k Magic sunglasses. I needed them to complete my first outfit I acquired as a celebrity lookalike, which was from his 24k Magic music video. The allure of these rare and luxurious shades had captured my imagination, and I was determined to make them mine.
My journey began with extensive online searches on first figuring out who made them and second, if anybody had any information on them. This by far was the hardest part. Whether using Google images or doing deep dive searches on other search engines, no information came up whatsoever. It’s also hard to find something that has no information on it online. It also quickly became apparent that these sunglasses were a true collector’s item, with little to none being in circulation. Frustrated but undeterred, I decided to take a more old-fashioned approach and asked around at vintage shops, eyewear boutiques, and even reached out to some of Bruno Mars’ biggest fans. Still, no luck.
It was one day being on Instagram I encountered a vintage sunglasses collector from France. He had a vast collection of rare Cartier sunglasses, vintage Hip Hop eyewear, and of course, the 24k Magic sunglasses. I finally was able to see lifestyle shots he posted of the sunglasses and got to read the temple to see who made them. The sunglasses are made in Italy by Maga Design. Maga Design emerges as an Italian eyewear brand from the 1980s with a fantastical and futuristic essence. As I inquired about purchasing the sunglasses, he told me, “They are not for sale”. He was not willing to part with the prized sunglasses and made it clear that he had no intention of selling them because of their rareness. However, I did purchase the Uptown Funk sunglasses from him, another rare set of shades and he did let me know he sold a pair of Bruno’s 24k sunglasses to a person, who will not be named, but is a celebrity impersonator of various people.
Intrigued, I followed his lead and soon found myself searching for this person quickly on Instagram. When finding his page, I saw him sporting a pair that looked identical to the ones I sought. With a sense of hope, I messaged him and inquired about the glasses, asking him if he would ever sell them and where he got them. He said he didn’t want to sell them and his response was evasive, as he claimed to have had them handmade by a Japanese sunglasses maker and that it would cost a lot to make. However, I knew he was guarding his secret source to protect his connection to a private sunglasses collector who had access to rare eyewear. I just could never figure out why he lied to me about where he got his sunnies.
Undeterred by his lack of transparency and him also not willing to sell his rare sunglasses, I continued my quest. Throughout the years, I made it a habit to ask shades boutiques and search online for Maga Design 3010, which is the model. Then on October 30th, 2023, searching EBay, they finally popped up and I bought them as quickly as possible! A seller in Las Vegas, California had them and I thought to myself, “I hope nobody stole these from Bruno Mars’ dressing room and is now selling it online.” Haha
Finally, after years and an arduous journey, I had the prized sunglasses by in my possession. The journey had been a whirlwind of secrets, encounters with awesome vintage collectors, and a deep dive for me into the world of rare eyewear. As I put on the sunglasses, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction and the undeniable magic.