For his initial meeting with Vladimir Putin in Geneva, President Joe Biden gifted the Russian leader a pair of iconic American-made aviator sunglasses, which have become a symbol of his distinctive style.
Peter Waszkiewicz, the CEO of Randolph Engineering, was pleasantly surprised to see his company’s sunglasses become a focal point of global attention during this high-profile diplomatic event. He described how the day started as a typical business day until it transformed into something extraordinary after noon, with phones ringing constantly and social media buzzing with excitement.
«It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? I mean, how often does an opportunity like this happen?» he marveled.
This style of sunglasses is frequently worn by the military, and Randolph Engineering has held a contract with the US armed forces since 1978, supplying around 25,000 pairs each month. The aviator look gained widespread recognition in the United States, thanks in part to its portrayal in the 1980s Tom Cruise movie «Top Gun.»
Crafting the «Concorde» style, the specific pair gifted to Putin, involves a meticulous process of 200 steps spread over six weeks. A matte black polarized pair of these sunglasses is available for $279 on Randolph’s website.
These sunglasses are proudly manufactured in a small town in the northeastern state of Massachusetts, and Randolph Engineering, founded in 1973, takes pride in its «handcrafted in the USA» credentials.
Waszkiewicz suggested that President Biden likely presented these glasses to President Putin as a symbol of American heritage and expressed the hope that they could also serve as a symbol of peace.