A New Breed of Fish Art – Costa Sunglasses

At first glance, the fish sculptures appearing in a new ad campaign for Costa Sunglasses look a bit robotic. But upon closer inspection, you can see what really makes this fish art so unique — the fish mounts are built entirely out of parts from Costa sunglasses! The company hired artists to build three species out of sunglasses including a tarpon, blue marlin and largemouth bass and they used nothing but pieces and parts of sunglasses to make them — lenses for scales, frames for gills, etc.

The artists used a mix of lenses, hinges, frame arms, nose pads, side shields and retainer-cord segments from hundreds of Costa sunglasses to create the mounted fish sculptures.

Each fish was built using a lens color and frame that you’d typically wear to catch that particular species. The blue marlin model glows with dozens of Costa’s 580 blue-mirror lenses as scales and silver and black frame arms as fins. Side shields and retainer cords add realistic detail to the body of the billfish.

Green-mirror lenses, nose pads and hinges work together to create a lifelike bass. For the tarpon’s scales, the artists used more than 150 Costa 580 silver-mirror and gray lenses. The fish also features frame arms to shape the fins and mouth, with a Costa ‘C’ logo accentuating its eye.

“You use every part of the Costa sunglass technology to help you catch a fish — the lens color and material, the frame fit, – so we used every part of the sunglasses to create the fish models,” said Tim Cole, creative art director at McGarrah-Jessee, Costa’s ad agency who produced the concept. “We meticulously calculated the amount of sunglass parts needed for each fish — they’re built to scale – and then worked with experienced model makers to bring the vision to life.”

Model makers McConnell & Borow/PropArt in New York were tapped for the job. The firm specializes in creating award-winning miniature sets, props, displays and editorial illustrations using a variety of materials such as acrylic, wood, metal, glass, plaster, clay, resin — and now, sunglasses.

“The most challenging and interesting part in building these fish sculptures is that we were working with materials (the sunglasses) that are made to be wiped clean and not hold dirt or smudges. We had to find adhesives that would work with the ‘stick repellency’ of the materials along with wiring that would hold, while not showing through in the finished product” said Mark Borow, owner of McConnell & Borow, Inc./PropArt. “We’ve worked in a lot of different mediums before to build models, but I can honestly say building fish sculptures out of Costa sunglass parts has been one of my most unique and rewarding experiences.”

We were founded by fishermen, and its avid fishermen who still work here,” said Al Perkinson, Costa’s vice president of marketing. “Fishing is at the heart of everything we do – it’s why we work so hard to build the best sunglasses on the planet for anglers. So it was no surprise that the inspiration for our latest brand campaign came directly from the fish.”

Costa plans to donate the fish sculptures to fishing and outdoor advocacy groups later this year.

For more information, call 800-447-3700 or visit Costa Del Mar.