Lindsey Vonn might have retired from alpine skiing in 2019, but she's taken that same passion for the slopes and put it toward various business ventures. Her latest? Designing sunglasses. The three-time SI Swimsuit model just released her first sunglass collaboration with Swedish luxury eyewear brand Yniq after working on an exclusive ski goggle collection in the past. Together, they utilize leading-edge science and hand craftsmanship to create sunglasses with ski slope quality and runway style.
SI Swimsuit chatted with Vonn as part of the launch to learn about the inspiration behind her designs and what other projects she has in the works. Here’s what she had to say.
What was your inspiration behind the sunglass design?
“I designed the Lindsey Vonn Edition One sunglasses to put my own twist on the classic cat-eye and aviator sunglasses and create a functional pair that doesn’t compromise style. We also designed The Shield style for men and women to wear to the beach, out and about around town, or during those sunny days on the slopes.”
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How is this different from other projects you’ve collaborated on?
“I am a part owner of Yniq, and so far, we have only been designing ski goggles together. Since goggles don’t work as well at the beach, we needed to create something new for the summer. My goal was to take sunglasses to the next level by using the most high-quality materials on the market. We were hyperfocused on the quality of the materials and manufacturing process. Skilled artisans handcraft each pair of sunglasses in Italy. The Shield-style sunglasses are made with the same material as airplanes and Ferraris.”
Did your expertise in skiing inform the design at all?
“Yes! After my Yniq goggles launched, I wanted to create something for people to wear year-round. I love the combination of mirror and gradient tints we chose and the high-quality flat nylon lenses. In addition, the Shield’s shape inspired Yniq’s iconic goggle Model Four and the intricate metal parts from Model Nine.”
How do you want people to feel while wearing them?
“I want people to feel unstoppable!”
How do you define your style?
“As far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved dressing up. As an athlete, I would design my own ski suits, and although you’re limited with what you can do in sports, I always wanted to add some flair. Over the years, my style has definitely evolved, but I would have to say it’s more classic, with a little bit of edge. Your style can often reflect where you are in life; sometimes you are drawn to more sophisticated and sleek looks, and other times you want to feel feminine and sexy. Fashion is something I’ve always been passionate about.”
What other projects are you working on?
“Even though I retired from skiing, I’m busier than ever! I started a production company, Après Productions, to chronicle unheralded stories of sport, determination and the human experience. This past winter, I worked with Frank Marshall to create a documentary about alpine skiing gold medalist Picabo Street, my childhood hero. The documentary shows behind-the-scenes footage and chronicles her life. In addition, I’m busy with my foundation, the Lindsey Vonn Foundation, which provides scholarships and programming for education, sports and enrichment programs to give future generations the tools they need to reach their goals and discover their grit. I’m also an active venture capital investor. I joined JUST Egg™ as an ambassador and investor last summer and have recently designed another collection for Head.”