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For Elton John, quarantine wasn’t just about collaborating with fellow artists on new music — it was also a chance to work on a longtime passion project of his. The result is Elton John Eyewear, a new line of accessible glasses launching this week at Sam’s Club and at Walmart.
Each pair in the eyewear line is inspired by the singer’s iconic style, alongside different eras of his music career. Elton collaborated closely with the design team on product development, and on the branding. Each frame is given a cheeky name, like “Rocketman,” a nod to his chart-topping hit (and most recent film), “A-List” reflecting the peak of his career, and “Prodigy,” representing how far the superstar singer has come from the shy piano prodigy born Reginald Dwight. Each frame has a temple tip silhouette with the classic “E” Star mark.
“I express myself boldly through my music and my personal style which comes through in my eyewear collection,” John tells Rolling Stone. “My fans have always empowered me to do that. I want others to feel safe expressing their own spirit. When we accept people for who they are and what they are, the world will be a much, much better place.”
One of the goals of the collection was to ensure that there was a frame for every fan, kicking off with the Foundations Collection which includes 60 frames total — 36 frames that are unique to Sam’s Club available online now and 24 frames that will drop on Walmart’s site later this week. The frames will retail between $95-$100 and are available in prescription, non-prescription, sun and reader varieties.
One major reason John gives for teaming up with Walmart? The opportunity to give back. “Funds from the sale of Elton John Eyewear will help us reach the most vulnerable communities to help combat the growing AIDS epidemic in the U.S. South,” he says. “I’m incredibly inspired by the commitment Walmart has made to bring much-needed awareness and education to these communities.”
Walmart Inc. will donate a minimum of $1 million annually from the Elton John Eyewear collection to support the Elton John AIDS Foundation to increase HIV education and awareness. “We’re addressing an issue that impacts families and communities, so we don’t leave anyone behind,” the singer says. “Part of that is celebrating people for who they are. I’ve always believed that there’s more love than hate in the world, but we must come together to break down the barriers that are preventing us from ending AIDS.”
Along with Walmart’s offerings, Sam’s Club will premiere two additional collections for its members that celebrate Elton John’s confidence and self-expression. The Capsule Collection, is designed in two phases, “The Formative Years,” representing Elton’s time as a childhood music student with more conventional looks, and “The Working Musician,” with ‘next generation’ styles as Elton John discovers his love of Rock and Roll.
Just in time for gift-giving season, Sam’s Club will launch a limited edition collection of “collector” frames that take on Elton John’s most iconic looks. Each will be signed, numbered and only available on the Sam’s Club website, with prices starting at $350.
In addition to eyewear, Elton John has been keeping busy lately promoting his latest album, The Lockdown Sessions, which was written entirely during quarantine. It features artists from Charlie Puth to Lil Nas X, and the Walmart-exclusive version also includes a bonus remix of John and Dua Lipa’s hit, Cold Heart (PS1 Remix). The CD is available in stores and on Walmart.com, or you can stream the full album online.