Without wanting to get too deep straight off the bat, it feels like something has shifted recently in the planet’s shared psyche, doesn’t it? While we’ve all been jolted by a truly global event that demonstrated just how precariously the things we take for granted are balanced, we’ve been able to have a good old think about our place in the world, our communities, and our families. When we (eventually) make our way out of the lockdown, we’ll be bringing with us some positive new attitudes.
There’s already some evidence that this thinking has triggered a bit of a change; lots of us are already buying differently to how we used to. Sales of pricier but better quality wine have exploded, independent craft beer is somehow even bigger than it was, and locally grown and farmed produce is selling like locally baked hotcakes. And that’s just foodstuffs. We’re wanting more carefully produced things and we want to support the independent businesses that are making them. The lockdown’s taught us that buying things we can really savour, things that really last, is so much more enjoyable than buying masses of stuff just for the sake of it.
"...we’re going to be paying particular attention to the trends that we think are really going to go the distance and endure well beyond this summer’s sunshine."
So what does this mean for sunglasses? Does it mean people will stop buying tacky shades at the airport or in souvenir shops? Will it be the end of throw-away trends that last barely a season? Probably not. But we’re thinking now is a good time to assess when and why you buy certain things and that includes your summer sunnies. You could decide you no longer need to keep up with flash-in-the-pan trends by buying dozens of pairs of cheapo knockoffs every year that quickly fall to bits. You might decide now’s a good time to get a pair of sunglasses that will last longer than one or two summers.
With this in mind, and as we’re well and truly into sunglasses season, we thought we’d take a closer look at some of 2020’s current sunglasses trends. We’d much rather you buy a pair that lasts a lifetime rather than just a few months, so we’re going to be paying particular attention to the trends that we think are really going to go the distance and endure well beyond this summer’s sunshine. Hold onto your sun hat and lather on the suncream: Let’s do some thoughtful sunglasses shopping...
Transparent and Translucent Acetate Sunglasses
Clear, nearly clear, and coloured crystal eyewear has been cropping up on the Seen shelves for quite a while now. In fact, we’ve been talking about why we love clear frame glasses and sunglasses for years. Since it first exploded (or re-exploded) as an option for acetate frames back then, the style’s continued to become more refined and this year it’s still very much the starting point for loads of sleek and contemporary eyewear pieces.
With the added variable of lens colour, clear framed sunglasses can make for some mega-striking colourways. Combining blue lenses, sturdy vintage lines, and thick-cut glassy acetate, the Jacques Marie Mage’s Enzo sunglasses in Frost have the heft of a timeless antique and the edge of something a lot more modern. They’re an all-rounder that are bound to turn heads whether they're sported on a sun lounger or sat amongst the ornaments on your oak mantlepiece.
The introduction of tints into the clear acetate frames has meant that coloured crystal colourways are pushing eyewear further still into the future. Mr Leight’s Stanley S in Grey Crystal-Pewter-Grey Crystal and the Molino in Army by Jacques Marie Mage both use just a pinch of muted colours to give a more subtle touch to translucent acetate. Less subtly, in one of the 10th anniversary reissue of the Garrett Leight Hampton, the Hampton X Sun in Sea Grey with Blue Smoke Lens, a dark grey crystal finish combines with blue lenses and an ever-so-slightly thicker design to bring the now-classic frames bang up to date.
Shop all of our clear frame sunglasses here.
Mr Leight’s Stanley S in Grey Crystal-Pewter-Grey Crystal marries colour crystal with a sleek design
Sunglasses that pop with colour
If there’s one thing we love here at Seen, it’s original, independent eyewear being used to make a statement. For some, that statement’s simply just a nod that they’re into perfected craftsmanship and thoughtful design. For others, the statement’s a little louder; it’s their chance to shout who they are with frames that pop with colour.
If you fall into the latter camp, then you’re in good company. Like eyewear icons Spike Lee and Sir Elton John, we love a hearty dollop of colour served with our eyewear and we have absolutely no doubts that sunglasses with a good glug of colour are always going to be huge.
As the proud purveyors of eyewear that isn’t one size fits all (for that, they say, there are contact lenses), it’s not surprising that Belgian brand theo don’t often hold back on the colourful stuff when it comes to making frames. For colour cravers, another one to watch is YOU MAWO. Their Bilma frame in bright pink Himberee packs a heck of a colourful punch.
Keep your eyes on the cat eye
As much a firm favourite of early morning jewellery shoppers as they have been with those on cross country crime sprees, cat-eye sunglasses are a frame style that won't surely ever slip out of fashion. But despite long since being established as a must-have, we've been enjoying watching the feminine-favouring frame getting a facelift at the moment.
French designer Clare Vivier and Garrett Leight’s Nouvelle collaboration is a masterclass in reinventing the cat eye. Leaning towards the squarer, chunkier side of the style, the Nouvelle is very much a French-chic effort right down to its range of vintage yet forward-looking colourways.
The Jacques Marie Mage Heart is a feisty and pointed cat eye sunglass
Taking things in a more angular direction the Redeemer Sunglasses from DITA are a fiercely modern take, while Jacques Marie Mage’s Heart frames are elongated and pointed in all the right places. Take a look at our full range of cat eye sunglasses and glasses.
Hunt out the classics ahead of their time
We like to think that we have a good eye for sunglasses that have all the makings of a timeless classic. Many of our favourite brands like Jacques Marie Mage and Garrett Leight consistently put out frame styles that remain best sellers.
As if they wanted to prove our point, Garrett Leight have been celebrating their tenth anniversary this year with the relaunch of two of their bestselling frames, the Hampton X Sun and the Brooks X Sun, frames we’ve been selling since not long after they launched a decade ago. These two styles haven’t stuck around by chance, they’re based on enduring vintage silhouettes that will continue to look good and they’re well crafted out of sturdy contemporary materials that will last.
The actual man himself, Garrett Leight sports the Hampton X Sun
We’ll be back soon
Our Manchester eyewear store isn’t open at the moment, but we’ll be back soon. To keep up to date and be one of the first through the door once we reopen, sign up to our email or follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook where we'll be announcing developments as soon as we know them.
In the meantime, please continue to get acquainted with our virtual shelves right. Shop our full range of sunglasses right here.