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Johnny Depp and His Glasses Through The Years

Shu Kie

Written By:

Shu Kie

Updated: 20 July 2024 •  
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An icon, a household name, a legend — the name Johnny Depp needs no introduction. While lately his name has been in the headlines more often for personal rather than professional reasons, today we’re focusing on something that’s less talked about – his glasses!
Whether onscreen or off, Johnny is known for being something of a glasses connoisseur, having sported various designs of both the corrective and sun protection kind.
Let’s chart the journey of the multifaceted actor’s long love affair with glasses and style inspirations.

Who is Johnny Depp?

With movies like Edward Scissorhands, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Johnny Depp has made a long and successful career out of playing characters who go against the norm.
His personal life is equally colorful, thanks to a long string of famous paramours, his bad boy image, and his recent legal troubles.
young Johnny with Kate Moss

A young Johnny in his bad boy years with then-girlfriend Kate Moss. (Credit: Independent)


1. Go-to glasses: The Moscot Lemtosh

Johnny’s most well-known specs are his beloved Moscot Lemtosh, which he often wears with blue tinted lenses. These square frames sit narrowly on the face and have an old-school yet intellectual vibe to them.
Johnny Depp in his Moscot Lemtosh

Johnny’s most recognisable glasses are arguably his Moscot Lemtosh with blue-tinted lenses. (Credit: Ottica Ventino)

To get Johnny’s look in a cinch, our Modest frames are your best bet, if you want that classic Moscot Lemtosh shape without the hefty price tag! The clear lenses make them a little easier to style on a daily basis.
Mouqy's Modest frames

Mouqy’s square black Modest frames.


2. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Rayban Shooters

This classic movie, based on the Hunter S. Thompson novel of the same name, sees JD in one of his most iconic roles, and these sunglasses are no exception! The Rayban Shooters RB 3138 with their shiny gold rims, amber lenses, and circle below the bridge, have cemented their place among pop culture’s most influential glasses.
Johnny in Rayban sunglasses

The iconic gold Rayban sunglasses from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. (Credit: The Conversation)

If you want a similar silhouette that’s more subtle and wearable, our Denica frames are as close as it gets. All it takes are some transition or UV lenses, and you can easily embody Raoul Duke (without all the drugs and existential crises hopefully).
Mouqy's Denica frame

Mouqy’s aviator light gold Denica frames.


3. Secret Window: The ever reliable Moscot Lemtosh

This is a real gem of a psychological thriller that came out in 2004, based on a book by Stephen King. To inhabit the character of troubled writer Mort Rainey, Johnny put his OG Moscot Lemtosh glasses back on, but with clear lenses.
Johnny as Mort Rainey

A disheveled Johnny wearing Moscot Lemtosh as Mort Rainey in Secret Window. (Credit: Pinterest @recokokoa)

Our Queen frames bear a close resemblance to their onscreen counterpart, though with slightly thinner upper rims. The classic design goes with any lenses you desire, and you’ll never have to worry about it going out of style.
Mouqy's Queen frame

Mouqy’s square black Queen frames.


4. The Ninth Gate: Savile Row

While a far lesser known Johnny Depp movie, the glasses he wears here are so distinctive that we had to include it!
As rare book dealer Dean Corso, Johnny wears a pair of delicate Panto frames by Savile Row. These glasses have a gold nose bridge and temples and oval chestnut frames.
Johnny in Savile Row Panto frames

Johnny in The Ninth Gate wearing Savile Row Panto frames. (Credit: Amazon)

To recreate the look, you may opt for our Theda frames, which have equally delicate lines and a touch of gilded metal.
Mouqy's Theda frame

Mouqy’s oval brown Theda frames.


Does Johnny Depp actually need glasses?

Yes! Johnny’s glasses aren’t just an aesthetic accessory; he actually needs them to correct his vision. His right eye is near-sighted, and his left eye is nearly “blind as a bat”, in his own words. This is called ‘anisometropia’, a condition where the eyes require separate prescriptions.
That said, Johnny has certainly done a good job of merging fashion and function, having turned his glasses into an integral part of his sense of style and public image.
Johnny in square glasses

Johnny has a penchant for square glasses with frames and lenses in various hues. (Credit: Vanity Fair)


How Johnny Depp’s style has evolved

Years before playing Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny was already known for his eclectic, boho pirate style. In the 90s, he had a few sleek red carpet moments with suits and glossy hair.
Johnny Depp in 90s look

Johnny Depp in his trademark 90s look of tousled hair, leather jacket, and scruffy facial hair. (Credit: Elle)

However, his personal style usually leaned towards a grungy, thrown-together look, with leather, denim, tousled tresses, and scruffy facial hair. In more recent years, he favors a quirky mix of waist coats, shirts with contrasting prints, layered jewelry, and hats.
Johnny Depp in bohemian style

Johnny Depp has an eclectic, bohemian style that lends itself to his unique choice of eyewear. (Credit: The Globe and Mail)


Who was Johnny’s style influenced by?

With all style icons, you can always find a trail that leads to little nuggets of inspiration and influence from those that came before them.
In Johnny’s case, the source of that inspiration was likely 50s film star James Dean. On James Dean’s official Instagram, a post revealed that he was the spark that led Johnny to pursue acting.
A charismatic actor, mysterious heartthrob, and a massive style icon in his own right, James Dean was also known for wearing a variety of optical glasses and sunglasses.
James Dean’s glasses were the Mansfield Square F770 frames by Universal Optical, which had relatively thick plastic frames with a rounded bottom. He also eschewed standard black or brown frames in favor of a glossy acetate, tortoiseshell design, which might have inspired Johnny’s equally unorthodox taste in frames.
As you can see, Johnny’s beloved Moscot Lemtosh glasses bear a striking resemblance to James’s.
James Dean in Mansfield Square F770 frames

A pensive James Dean in the Mansfield Square F770 frames by Universal Optical. (Credit: L’officiel)


How to style tortoiseshell glasses

Tortoiseshell is to eyewear what leopard print is to fashion — they may appear bold and intimidating, but work surprisingly well as a classic neutral. If you don’t want to follow the pack but still need a versatile look, tortoiseshell is the way to go.
Here are some tips for picking the right pair and making the most of them.

  • Choose a tone that lifts your complexion. Cooler skin tones look great with cooler colors such as gray, blue, charcoal, or even a cooler brown. Warm or tanned skin looks incredible with a warm amber tortoiseshell.

  • Make sure your frames suit your face shape and maximize your natural features. Check out our guide to choosing frames for your face shape!

  • Tortoiseshell already adds a lot of detail and dimension to the eyes, so it’s best to keep your makeup super simple if balance is what you seek. For an effortlessly elegant French girl aesthetic, pair your specs with a fresh face and red lip. classic combo with a French-chic aesthetic and oozes effortless elegance.

Johnny Depp glasses

Johnny proves that tortoiseshell can elevate a look without overshadowing the rest of your outfit. (Credit: CNN)

By now, you’re either craving a Johnny Depp movie marathon or a deep dive into tortoiseshell frames. Both good choices TBH. If it’s the latter, go have a look through our tortoiseshell collection; you never know what might catch your eye!

Shu Kie

Written by:

Shu Kie

Shu Kie is Mouqy’s certified optician with over 5 years of experience in the optical industry. She earned her certification from Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO).

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