|People may wear accessories, but they have relationships with their eyewear. Fortunately, designer glasses have hit on a number of styles whose relevance resonates. Some of these forever favorites may come in and out of high fashion, others are rediscovered and pulled from the archives for a second, third, or fourth moment in the optical spotlight; and still others are slightly updated with each generation to remain timely without losing their original voice.
If one compares eyewear to clothing, there are frames that are white tee shirts, cashmere sweaters, and Italian loafers. Certain eye shapes are universally appealing. The rounded oval “roval” shape, the P3 with its strawberry shape, the catseye, and the softened rectangle continue to work.
A style or brand that seems utterly specific to a certain time frame may actually come back into vogue as the fashion cycle runs its full course and what were popular returns to favor. While some trend-pushing style leaders may hit the vintage shops, many want a retro look without actually having an older product. For example, the Carrera glasses collection from Safilo has come back into the spotlight thanks to a growing love for all things 1980s. In a careful balancing act of vintage and new, regenerated collections frequently revisit styles and reinterpret them in new materials, on different scales, in on-trend colors, and in shapes that re-interpret classic shapes.
For a style to survive for more than 50 years, there is a good chance that there will be a few changes made— without losing a distinct look. The Ray-Ban Wayfarer, introduced in the 1950s, is a prime example of a style that has been very carefully adapted to keep up with the times. The brands' managers have kept Wayfarers glasses on trendsetters from the rock arenas to red carpets by blending the iconic frame shape with fresh details, such as color and patterns. Likewise for an even older style: the Aviator. While tweaking may ensue, the style stays recognizable. Aviators glasses have an advantage when it comes to timelessness.
While great design is timeless, sometimes it might be a little frustrating to sell the same people the same styles year after year. Classic styles can lure patients in, but good presentation skills can help ensure that eyewear wardrobes mix classics with contemporary designs.