'New York Times Magazine May 2013 features Portrait by Ira Cohen 1985 of Mercura NYC Cohen Sisters at Lobby of Chelsea Hotel
Handmade sunglasses suitable for Lady Gaga.
Chelsea Hotel 1985 photo by IRA COHEN
When the sisters Merrilee Lichtenstein Cohen and Rachel Cohen-Lunning were growing up in White Rock, British Columbia, in the 1950s, they used to play with chemicals that a scientifically inclined brother kept in a room off the garage. They remain mad scientists, only now their focus is on one-of-a-kind sunglasses, which they concoct in several New York locations, including a studio in the Chelsea Hotel. Their Mercura NYC glasses have long had a celebrity following, from Goldie Hawn and Grace Jones in the ’80s to Jay-Z and Lady Gaga today. Rachel says the secret to their success is their constant tinkering and combining of disciplines from architecture to sculpture. Merrilee says they want to “bring out the feelings that you have inside you.”
Julie Bosman YEAR THE SISTERS FIRST CREATED EYEWEAR: YEAR THE SISTERS FIRST CREATED EYEWEAR: 1976 UNIQUE PAIRS OF SUNGLASSES PRODUCED
UNIQUE PAIRS OF SUNGLASSES PRODUCED:“thousands” '
PHOTO EIDTOR: AMY KELLNER