The latest trends
Sunglasses are part of the fashion industry, with leading manufacturers bringing out regular new collections. While certain styles endure, new trends are constantly emerging. Discover the latest fashions and innovations in our review – and make sure your style is in vogue!
Every year, sunglasses designers and manufacturers showcase their newest creations at international trade fairs. It’s a chance for the industry to gauge current trends, find out about new innovations and even discover some pleasant surprises. Following the 2013 MIDO event in Italy, here are some of the very latest fashions in sunglasses.
Which shapes are in right now?
Some classic sunglasses styles are currently being revisited and reinvigorated by different manufacturers, with each brand bringing its personal touch.
• Wayfarer style frames are very much in vogue. This friendly, ‘intellectual geek’ look comes with a whole range of options, from subtle tones (such as the ever-trendy black frame) to bold fluorescent colours. The temples are often designed to contrast with the rest of the frame.
• Aviator style frames remain relatively classic in comparison. There are some slight variations in the shape, plus an increasing choice of metal finishes and small touches of leather. The bridge may also be elongated or arched for extra elegance, but the classic ethos of the aviator look remains essentially the same. Certain brands also offer the style in plastic frames, often in larger sizes.
• Oversized frames were originally a 60s phenomenon, but they’ve since become a must of any contemporary collection – especially for fashion houses. While the frame shapes are varied, the lenses tend to feature gradient tints and are therefore best suited to urban living. Originally perceived as women’s sunglasses, oversized frames are more and more popular with men.
• Sports sunglasses may not evolve greatly in their shape and form, but they are constantly being improved in terms of performance. Designers are continually pushing technical boundaries to bring more comfort, lightness, protection and flexibility to sports sunglasses. Technologies such as anti-fog treatments can help improve performance, and researchers are always finding new ways to optimise visibility in different light conditions and perfect easy-change lenses.
• Round sunglasses are the retro comeback of the moment, both in their original and updated forms. The John Lennon look is back, and there’s a model to suit every style.
What are the different trends for men and women?
For both men and women, the current trend is towards vintage styles. And while women’s models are becoming more curvaceous, men’s sunglasses are tending towards square or rectangular designs.
• Women’s fashion is particularly focused on the Cat Eye style at the moment, which is easily recognisable by the frame’s pointed top corners. Recent collections feature the design in a wide range of sizes.
• Men’s fashion is currently dominated by square forms, giving wearers an air of chic intelligence. The look is well on its way to becoming the Cat Eye for men.
What are the fashions in frames and lenses?
The materials used to make sunglasses frames are also subject to changing trends and technology.
• Plastic frames are becoming more and more popular, now available in shiny, matt, clear and vibrant colours. While plastic frames are generally getting thicker, certain models are more low-key, recreating the more discreet look of metal frames.
• Metal frames are all about leveraging technology to offer flexible, lightweight sunglasses that optimise comfort.
• Mixed-material frames are a growing trend, combining plastic and metal to marry transparency with finesse. They make for a futuristic look for those who want to express their individuality.
In terms of lenses, gradient tints are an upward trend for women and, more and more, for men. Mirror finishes are increasingly available in a range of colours that match the frame, and polarized lenses have taken on colours, gradient tints and mirror finishes.
Treat yourself to special edition sunglasses
Top brands often mark anniversaries or key dates by bringing out special editions of their sunglasses. Sometimes, these models hark back to old times; and sometimes, they feature exclusive designs. Recent examples include Julbo’s limited edition Mythic Vermont glacier sunglasses and Safilo’s iconic collection.