Mail Call – DIFF Princess Leia 2.0 Sunglasses

Mail Call – DIFF Princess Leia 2.0 Sunglasses

Today’s mail call features the DIFF Eyewear x Star Wars Princess Leia 2.0 sunglasses. When DIFF Eyewear launched their first Star Wars licensed collection in July 2020, of course I was instantly drawn to the Princess Leia inspired sunglasses. When they expanded the Star Wars line with new characters and designs, I was excited to see a brand new Princess Leia 2.0 style. After eagerly waiting for international mail to arrive, I finally have both pairs in hand and have been very keen to compare them side by side.

The Princess Leia 2.0 sunglasses are priced at US$115.00 each, while the original Princess Leia sunglasses are US$98.00 each – DIFF Eyewear can ship internationally.

As a NZ customer, when I visit the DIFF website, I can get free international shipping on orders of US$115 and over – so the new 2.0 pair ship for free on their own, whereas I need to buy something else for the first pair to qualify. I assume many other countries are eligible for free shipping as well.

Check out my full unboxing and comparison video –

The sunglasses took a while to arrive via international mail, but that’s not on DIFF, that’s just the way things are right now for New Zealand – everything takes ages to arrive from overseas. It was an anxious wait, I was so keen to see these in person.

The sunglasses came packaged inside a neat branded cardboard box. The matte black box features a shiny black Rebel Alliance symbol, with a metallic rose gold Star Wars x DIFF logo and text. The front Aurebesh text reads ‘Let’s make a difference’.

As with the entire DIFF x Star Wars range, these Princess Leia sunglasses came with a special branded trifold case and branded cleaning cloth. Again, the trifold case is pretty much the same as the original Leia sunglasses, with a slightly different coloured text. The cleaning cloth is the same one used throughout the Star Wars collection – black fabric with a white hyperspace design and Star Wars x DIFF logo.

You can also purchase a separate Star Wars sunglass cleaning kit that includes an exclusive Star Wars microfibre cleaning cloth, lens cleaner spray, and a screw tightener for US$12.00. I’m not entirely sure the cleaner spray would make it through NZ customs, so I choose not to purchase the additional kit – the case and cloth included with each pair is fine enough for me.

Now on to the sunglasses themselves. Here is the description from the DIFF website –

Featuring a sleek cat eye shape, gold metal frame with a cream acetate fill, “ALDERAAN” ™ etch pattern along the outer rims, Rebel Alliance™ logo on the temple tip, and a brown gradient lens.

Each Star Wars | DIFF frame includes a specialized trifold case & cleaning cloth.
Measurements: 56 – 18 – 145
Gender: Women
Lens: Premium Scratch Resistant Polymer
Polarized: Yes
UV Rating: 100% UVA/UVB
Frame: Stainless Steel

General Gold Brown Gradient

At first I was a little unsure as to the direct inspiration for these Princess Leia sunglasses – the listing doesn’t specify. The gold colour doesn’t really make me think of a specific Leia outfit – but the cream acetate details leads me to believe that this design is inspired by Leia’s Hoth outfit. In certain light, the gold tone of the frames appears quite pale, so it does have a bit of a cream appearance. Leia’s Hoth vest is cream, worn over a white jumpsuit – and I often find that Star Wars apparel inspired by Hoth Leia is cream, rather than a stark bright white, perhaps to differentiate it from white Stormtrooper designs.

The first DIFF x Star Wars collection includes 5 styles, and was entirely themed on The Empire Strikes Back, including designs inspired by Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, R2-D2, and C-3PO. That first Princess Leia design was inspired by her maroon and gold Bespin gown. The second collection includes 6 styles, inspired by Chewbacca, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, Darth Vader, and Stormtrooper – all characters than appear in ESB, so it feels like a definite continuation of the first collection, rather than being inspired by other saga films.

The lenses are a lovely warm brown colour, with a subtle gradient – darker at the top, lighter at the bottom, which looks really nice against the gold tones of the frames. These are polarized lenses, with 100% UVA/UVB protection – proper functional sunglasses, not just for looks. They are described as ‘Premium Scratch Resistant Polymer’ – nice to know, though I’m not going to (deliberately) put that to the test!

Several designs in the second Star Wars collection (and all 3 in The Mandalorian collection) included a special ‘breath reveal feature’, where a logo or text is revealed by ‘breathing’ on the front of the lens. Unfortunately the Princess Leia 2.0 style doesn’t include this detail, which seems a shame – I can easily imagine a Rebel Alliance symbol on one of the lenses. I was able to see this effect in person on my Ahsoka Tano sunglasses (which feature a hidden Jedi Order symbol on the lens), and it is very cool, but of course it isn’t seen when worn, so it doesn’t really affect the design or desirability, it’s just a fun bonus that could have been included here.

There is a small ‘DIFF’ logo/text on the top of the right frame (right when worn). To be honest, I didn’t notice this at first, and I can’t actually see it in any of the promotional photos on the DIFF website. Obviously I wish this was something more Star Wars-y, like a little Rebel Alliance symbol, but I do understand companies wanting to make sure they get brand exposure and recognition from licensed collabs like this. I wouldn’t expect Adidas to hide their logos on their Star Wars apparel and footwear.

DIFF x Star Wars Princess Leia 2.0 Sunglasses

The side Aurebesh text is a great detail, but it had me a little confused at first. The website description says this translates to ‘Alderaan’ – but there are simply way more letters than just 8. The word actually repeats/mirrors, so it covers the entire metal part of the arms. A little harder to read (if you’re good at reading Aurebesh without an online translator), but I do think the design looks good, rather than cutting off half-way down. This is an ‘etch pattern’ – I can feel it with my fingers, but it’s not a deep, rough etch. The text has a good contrast so it’s instantly recognisable as Aurebesh, rather than a decorative geometric pattern.

DIFF x Star Wars Princess Leia 2.0 Sunglasses

The frames feature cream acetate details on the outer corners of the lenses – both front and back, and also at the ends of the arms. This really differentiates this 2.0 design from the original Leia pair which are all metal. It softens the over all colour scheme, and accentuates the cat eye shape.

The hinges on these sunglasses feel nice to open and close – not too tight, not swinging loose. I’ve found this with all of my DIFF x Star Wars sunglasses, the frames all feel very good quality.

The main ‘hidden’ detail (in that you can’t see it when wearing) is a small gold-toned Rebel Alliance ‘starbird’ symbol on the inside at the ends of each arm. This is a lovely little nod – It’s not Leia-themed without a Rebel bird somewhere on it! On the left arm, there is also small text that reads ‘Princess Leia 2.0’.

Now, moving on to compare the original and 2.0 Princess Leia sunglasses together. First up, the cases are mostly the same – they are both matte black with a shiny black Rebel Alliance symbol. The original design has a more copper-tone Star Wars x DIFF logo, while the new design has a shinier rose gold-tone logo – inside they are both the same, plain black.

First version on the left/behind, new version on the right/front –

DIFF x Star Wars Princess Leia Sunglasses

Let’s take a look at the sunglasses together. We can quickly see that these are completely different designs. The first ‘Bespin’ design features a rose gold-tone frame with maroon lenses, while the ‘Hoth’ design features a gold-toned frame with brown lenses. As I noted earlier, the new design features a small DIFF logo on the right lens – this detail is not on the original pair.

Another difference – the hidden detail on the underside of the nose pads. The original pair has metal nose pads with a little Rebel Alliance symbol on the underside, so it rests against your nose when worn. The new 2.0 pair has clear plastic nose pads, with a small metal DIFF logo on the underside. Of course neither are seen when worn, and are hard to see unless looking up close. Check out my comparison video for a closer look at these details.

DIFF x Star Wars Princess Leia Sunglasses

The frame shapes are very different – which I find is the biggest consideration when choosing sunglasses. The shape of the frame really affects whether they ‘suit’ your face shape. Of course we are all free to wear whatever we want, whether or not it ‘suits’ us – but we are all drawn to certain colours/styles etc in fashion, so the big difference in shape and size here may affect which design you prefer to wear.

Normally I tend to go for rounder sunglasses shapes (in high school my go-to pair was a perfectly round style that I called my ‘John Lennons’) but I’ve found Star Wars fashion has really lead me to experiment with different styles beyond what I would usually choose. The squarer cat eye shape of the new Princess Leia sunglasses really caught my eye as something different to my current collection, and I have to say, for me, they are certainly a bolder statement style than my usual pairs. I guess time will tell which pair I will end up wearing more often – but from a Star Wars collector standpoint, I love them both.

DIFF x Star Wars Princess Leia Sunglasses

As part of the first Star Wars collection release, DIFF also sold a Star Wars vanity case that can store 2 pairs of glasses. This sold out quickly, but I was able to grab one on a restock. It is currently out of stock at the moment, so I really hope they continue to make more – especially since there are so many amazing designs, it’s not hard to have two (or more). Originally I hoped to get the Princess Leia sunglasses and the matching Leia blue light glasses. Alas, the blue light pair sold out and haven’t been restocked – but that’s okay, now I have two different Princess Leia sunglasses that store together perfectly in my vanity case!

I honestly don’t know which of these designs is my favourite. I usually go for rounder shaped designs like the first Bespin pair, but there’s something so fabulous about this new design. The cream acetate details really add a neat Hoth Leia touch to the design, along with the Alderaan text down the sides, and the little Rebel symbols on the arms. In those respects, these new 2.0 sunglasses have more Leia-specific design elements than the original pair.

I hope you enjoyed my review and comparison of these Princess Leia sunglasses by DIFF Eyewear. It has been really fun taking a closer look at all the details of both pairs. It’s pretty much summer already here in New Zealand, so I’m going to wearing these a lot in the coming months – and years.

Which Princess Leia design is your favourite? Have you picked up anything from the DIFF x Star Wars range? Let me know in the comments below.

May the Force be with you!

DIFF x Star Wars Princess Leia Sunglasses