Tom Boonen wants you to buy a bust of his head

Sunglasses! NFTs! Big white busts! It's got it all!

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Tom Boonen is many things: one of the great Classics riders of his generation, fast car enthusiast, wearer of bonkers cardigans. Now he’s added another string to his bow. 

Together with the Antwerp sunglasses manufacturer Odette Lunettes, Boonen has entered the eyewear game. Are they just any sunglasses? Oh, dear reader, how naive. These are buzzword-rich, fashion-forward sunglasses, complete with a leotard-heavy advertising campaign:

Odette Lunettes was founded in 2015 by the above-leotarded Belgian singer/influencer/TV presenter Eline de Munck (stage name Ellektra), and creative director Bob Geraets. They teamed up with Boonen for the Odettes Lunettes x Tom Boonen collection, which comprises one model, in two sizes, in three colours. They are a double-bridged affair which happen to look quite a lot like my favourite pair of sunglasses. So far so good.

Let’s not stop there. According to the company website, these sunglasses are made in Belgium via 3D printing, using a material called PA11 – made out of castor beans (which, besides being extractable into Belgian sunglasses, are something which you should not eat because they contain ricin). These castor beans were grown in India, where they apparently “provide an income for over 700,000 farms”, which seems high for a small sunglass release, but let’s assume they’re talking about the entire sector. There are nods to cycling specific features, like non-slip silicone nose pads, and a flexible construction “to cope with all the twists and turns of your most demanding training sessions.”

Odette Lunettes says that they want to “optimize your sports experience while still being stylish … In short, our crossover sports glasses will not grant you the power of winning the rainbow jersey, but you’ll most certainly bring home the fashion trophee!”

But we are not dealing with mere sunglasses here. It is 2022, so we are also dealing with digital art.

Launching with the sunglasses is a trio of Tom Boonen NFTs – the company’s “first step into the metaverse”. The lucky winner of the auction gets a pair of real-world 3D printed sunglasses, a real-world 3D printed big white bust of Tom Boonen’s big bald head to rest them on, and a digital artwork. Odette Lunettes says that they will “become real COLLECTOR’S ITEMS with a financially interesting VALUE,” and who am I to disagree. 

If the owner of the NFT decides to sell it on, they get to keep the sunglasses, but the big Boonen bust must go. 

Pricing? I’m glad you asked. The sunglasses themselves are, until April 24, on a 50% off promotion at a quite reasonable €149.50. The NFT/bust/sunglasses combo will cost you quite a bit more: bidding has opened at 0.69WETH (€2,186 EUR/US$2,085). There have been no bites yet. 

If you would like to look at and/or buy a Tom Boonen bust, visit OdetteLunettes.com. If you would rather see five good pictures of Tom Boonen just hanging out with Johan Museeuw, please see here.

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