Throwing shades: Joe Biden gifts Vladimir Putin pair of iconic American-made aviator sunglasses

US President Joe Biden drives the new electric Ford F-150 Lightning at the Ford Dearborn Development Centre in Dearborn, Michigan on 18 May 2021.

  • US
    President Joe Biden gave Russian President Vladimir Putin a pair of American-made
    sunglasses in his signature aviator style.
  • The
    maker, Randolph Engineering, has had a contract with US armed forces since
    1978, which buys some 25 000 pairs per month.
  • The
    “Concorde” style, the pair gifted to Putin, takes 200 steps over six
    weeks to manufacture.

For
his first meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Geneva this week, President
Joe Biden gifted his Russian counterpart a pair of American-made sunglasses in
the US leader’s signature aviator style.

Peter
Waszkiewicz, head of Randolph Engineering, said he felt “surprise” at
seeing the sunglasses his company made become a diplomatic token at a meeting
followed the world over.

“It
was a normal business day until about after 12:00, when the phones started
ringing and the social media went abuzz, then we realized what was going
on,” he told AFP, saying it was “pretty tense and exciting”.

“It’s
pretty amazing, isn’t it? I mean, how often does an opportunity like this happen?”

Specs
of this style are often worn by the military – the company has had a contract
with the US armed forces since 1978, which buys some 25 000 pairs per month.

‘Handcrafted in the USA’

That’s
in addition to the pairs Randolph Engineering sells to the general public in
the United States, where the aviator look was made famous by the 1980s Tom
Cruise movie Top Gun.

It
takes 200 steps over six weeks to manufacture the “Concorde” style,
the pair gifted to Putin, which was named after the 20th-century supersonic
aircraft. A matte black polarised pair sells on the Randolph website for $279.

They
are made in a small town in the northeastern state of Massachusetts, and the
company, founded in 1973, boasts of its “handcrafted in the USA”
credentials.

Waszkiewicz said:

President Biden, I’m sure, gave those glasses to President Putin as a symbol of our national heritage.

“And
let’s hope it’s the symbol of peace,” he said.





The article from the source

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