Posts Tagged ‘retro eyeglass frames’
While eyeglasses are a necessity for many, the designer eyewear industry is based primary on want versus need. And with the help of flash sales and members-only sites such as Gilt and HauteLook, and online retailers such as Eyeglasses.com, the average consumer can now afford to purchase designer goods at a tremendous savings. We are also finding that the luxury sales sector is increasing rapidly with Generation Y leading the charge in all fashion categories, including premium luxury and full-priced online luxury retail.
Generation Y increased premium luxury fashion by 33 percent in 2011 over 2010. Though it represents the smallest group of luxury consumers, this group of twenty-somethings has also led the charge of full-priced online luxury retail, spending 31 percent more on designer duds than the year before. They have also shown and increase in spending among all groups in specific retail categories, such as jewelry, shelling out 27 percent more in 2011.
While the financial standpoint on designer eyewear will vary among working youngsters, many limit their eyewear purchases to a minimum. Those with insurance typically have one pair of glasses with little to no extras and keep an old pair for backup. One popular trend is to layer contact lenses and oversized sunglasses. For eyeglasses, the trend is something along the lines of a Clark Kent horned rim eyeglass frame or retro (read: ironic), possibly vintage eyeglasses.
“Most [generation Y-ers] are unaware of differences in lens types and just go with whatever lenses their optometrist's office recommends,” says Kate Baker, 29, at Moneywise Payroll in Charlottesville, Va. “Most have to pay extra for anti-glare and scratch-resistance, if they can afford it; optical insurance isn't that common.”
In terms of specialty glasses, the young members of Generation Y are often unaware of their existence or usefulness. While few of the students are interested in spending additional cash on special glasses, an explanation of why they are special or what they do help move them toward buying.
These tech-savvy shoppers take to the Internet to research eyewear options and compare prices. In fact, females in their 20s often window shop in person to examine the product firsthand but search online for a better deal. But this is not the only advantage online shopping provides: Many Gen-Y-ers relay convenience as web's biggest advantage to brick and mortar retail. This added convenience has only made it that much easier for them to spend on luxury items they may not have had access to before.
Coveted designer eyeglasses purchased strictly as collectibles proves the old adage that art is subjective. Whether collecting vintage eyeglass frames from the 1950s or new limited edition designer frames, collectible designer eyeglasses are the latest art commodity. Interestingly enough, the same proportions, bejeweling, and shapes that were popular during the 1950s and 1960s are among today's hottest trends in fashion accessories. But, for those on the hunt for the real deal in vintage eyeglasses and art collectibles, there are three coffee table books that will steer you in the right direction.
The first book 'Collectible Eyeglasses' by Frederique Crestin-Billet is a considered great read for eyewear enthusiasts. This collector's bible can also be appreciated by the everyday fashionista or accessories hound. 'Collectible Eyeglasses' takes you on a historic journey of classic, most notable, and collectible eyeglass frames throughout time. Whether referencing sports goggles or opera glasses, basic or extravagant, the images of antique, classic, and contemporary designs will inspire while informing on the most recognized and collectible eyeglass frames to date.
Specs Appeal: Extravagant 1950s & 1960s Eyewear
Highlighting vintage eyeglasses from the 1950s and 1960s, 'Specs Appeal' provides a colorful and outrageous narrative fashion by way of cat-eye styles, polka dots, and rose-colored glasses. With more than 450 photos and vintage ads, you can't help but be taken back in time to the ladylike and fashion-forward eyewear that has been reinvented and reused at some point in every decade since then. The jaunty, informative text includes identifying information, historical notes, and hints on how to adapt frames from the past for modern use, not to mention a current price guide for avid of collectors and curious fashion mavens alike.
Eyewear: A Visual History
New York City-based eyewear designer and collector Moss Lipow provides a detailed account of the history of eyewear and its progression from a thing of function to one of a multi-billion dollar industry where medical necessity rivals fashionable accessory. Lipow scoured eBay, flea markets, and similar venues to gather an extensive collection of classic and outrageous examples, from prehistoric whalebone eye guards used by Eskimos to today’s frames, as well as a number of styles from Lipow’s own collections. The book features more than 1,000 images covering almost 500 years of eyewear design.
Blending the fun of fashion with history, these books prove to be entertaining and educational. Curious collectors come for the information while fashionistas stay for the beautifully taken shots of amazing one of a kind pieces. Both demographics receive a lesson about the evolution of optics while reveling in the space where art and eyewear collide. And although this cult sector of the population is small and unnoticeable for now, as the lines blur between form and function, art and necessity, you will see the recurrence of designer eyeglasses as one of a kind art pieces becoming more prevalent in the future.
With eyeglass frames towing the line between function and fashion, it’s no surprise that the shape of eyeglass frames is changing in some dramatic ways. Some of the new options have vintage qualities to them with rounded, cat-eye, aviator and wayfarer shapes; while others have a more ultramodern approach with spikes, curves, and shapes that are more avant-garde than everyday. Round eyeglasses are scaling up in size and offering more complex shapes such as hexagons and octagons. This new strain of oversized eyeglasses and sunglasses are great for anonymity, and are on trend with celebrity style eyewar. However, these larger scale eyeglass frames can be quite tricky to wear as this style doesn’t necessarily work with most facial shapes. Be sure to carefully select a frame that does not engulf your entire face.
Even square frames make an appearance this season alongside oval and 70s glam rock throwbacks. But on a whole, the current availability of eyeglass and sunglass frames range from retro to futuristic.
Speaking of futuristic eyeglasses, Oakley and Google are both working on glasses that will project information directly on to the lenses. Oakley with it's Smart Glasses, and Google with Project Glass. The smart glasses use a technology called augmented reality which gives users information about real life objects or places. Oakley is targeting athletes for its line of "smart glasses". The company is also looking to incorporate augmented reality in its military subsidiary, Eye Safety Systems. These latest developments in eyewear technology have truly turned wearing eyeglasses into a multimedia experience.
And while Oakley and Google look towards the future, Lafont Eyewear harkens back to the past with the classic shapes and colors of Lafont Babel glasses with horned rim, cateye, and other retro styles.
For those interested in serious vintage eyeglasses, as opposed to retro eyeglasses that just appear to be vintage, there is always unique vintage eyewear available online and in excellent condition. Many vintage frames provide the perfect touch of old Hollywood glamour. An elegant pair of Schiaparelli catseye frame with rhinestones and flower design may just be the frame for you. However, if rhinestones piqued your interest or you prefer a more modern, urban chic pair of glasses, then you'll love the Swarovski crystals collection. Swarovski designer sunglasses feature an assortment of frames in metal and acetate with their signature color and clear crystal accents. Other stylish models come in black, gold and blush and include a strong silhouette that is softened by the Swanflower motif on the temple arms. Delicate frames, pinks and pastels, amber and honey hues, and frosted tortoise frames breathe new life into these classic eyeglass frame styles.
This season, designer eyewear collection range fancy to futuristic, rock 'n' roll to demur, and everything in between. No matter if you decide to go vintage or retro, you'll love what the designer collections have in store for you this season.