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Sunglass Design Trend Series


Design and fashion trends are often cyclical. They come and go and come back again in cycles taking cues from past decades. Diverse considerations influence when and why sunglass design trends evolve and or re-emerge. Societal mindset, world events and the cultural climate just to name a few. Once a trend is established, social media, popular figures in culture, high profile celebrities and musicians further it along until it becomes mainstream fashion. Then the process begins again.

How sunglass design trends are revisited also varies as they can resurface with evolution, taking inspiration from the past and reemerge as if out of a time capsule having stood still in time.

From eyeshapes and lenses to innovative technologies, frame materials, to frame sculpting and build out processes, all command a role in trending sunglasses.

Exploring Some Broad Concept and Specific Design Trends to Watch

Sport to Fashion – Multifaceted Sunglasses

Mindsets are on protection from the environment, selfcare, back to nature, less is more, comfort and convenience all the while wanting to be a la mode, expressive, exuding confidence and cases, anonymity. Revived are the ’80s- and ’90s-inspired sport fashion sunglasses from wraps and shields to bold oversized retro shapes and avant-garde slim styles parade in bright frame colorations with mirrored lenses and dramatic neutrals in dark tone-on-tone combinations. The renewed and newfound love of all things sporty trend speaks to those not only seeking functional high-performance eyewear, but also those wanting to mix fashion and function. Functional Sporty sunglasses have become a modern-day fashion trend.

23° Eyewear

Cateyes Galore

Cateyes remain and are stronger than ever with multiple eye sizes, various frame colors and frame embellishments. The traditional cateye as worn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in now the retro look and new again. As well we will see this iconic design in bigger and bolder looks with the traditional eye as well as slightly to very modified eyes that provide a more contemporary look. Frames from thick to thin will have softly curved angels, adorned at the brow, and without. Frame materials are acetates and injected plastics and if you want color the rainbow is yours as the designs color wheel ranges from subtle to bright.

Oversized Extra-Large and Squares

This return to the 70’s and 80’s vibe features medium-large, large, and oversized proportions with thick and chunky acetate frames featuring true square, angled square gently rounded square eyeshapes. Colors range from black, traditional, and colored torts in various prints, opaque two tones as well as solid crystals. Note that we will see these larger square and rounded square shapes with slimmer frame options as well.

All Things Round

Rounds – True rounds range from small to large and hyper sized. These classic appeal and retro touch sunglasses with the John Lennon, Harry Potter and Preppy like vibes bring out and enhance facial features and are a great option for all. Round frame materials are abounded as we see them in all acetate, nylons, and metal plastic combinations. With an array of frame designs from thick and chunky to minimalist

23° Eyewear


Classic shaped aviators (pilot glasses) have been with us for decades but hit the eyewear trend worldwide 1986 as the star sunglass in the hit movie Top Gun. They have been on and off trend for the past 30 years. Enjoying this return to the 70’s and 80’s, versions of sun and optical aviators are back but instead of your traditional pilot shaped eye and metal frame, we are seeing various versions as well as the traditional. Sunglass designs will feature medium to large, modified round and navigator eyeshapes, a single or double bridge, no bridge and even plastic flat brow designs. Frame materials include acetate, nylon, metal and acetate combos and metal. Without a doubt a classic yet sporty look and feel and will withstand the time test.

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