Designer glasses frames have become very popular these days amongst the young, fashion conscious youth of today and the fashion frame industry is now worth Billions of pounds globally. But it hasn’t always been like this, in fact if you go back to the late 70’s the eye wear fashion industry was pretty much stagnant with only a handful of top fashion designers were releasing drab styles and dull coloured, serious looking prescription glasses frames. It wasn’t really until the early 80’s that things started to take off with designers labels such as ‘Ralph Lauren’ and ‘Giorgio Armani’ getting in on the optical frame industry and introducing us to an array of vibrant colours and bold styles.
The eighties played a big part in bringing designer glasses frames to the forefront of the fashion industry as it was an era that was all to do with loud, bash designs and colours to match. Sunglasses made a huge entrance into the fashion scene in the early eighties with artists such as Madonna and George Michael sporting the ever popular ‘Wayfarer’ frame made by American eye wear giants Ray Ban. Even radio DJ’s in the UK were getting in on the act with radio celebrates such as ‘Mike Reid’ and ‘Steve Wright’ wearing some very questionable large, round plastic frames at their photo shoots and public appearances. Hollywood Films became a major influence in how the fashion frame industry progressed as blockbusters such as ‘Top Gun’ with American actor Tom cruise helped boost aviator sunglasses sales by around 40%. It was these very styles that dominated the fashion frame industry until the very late 80’s when things were about to change dramatically.
The late eighties in the UK saw the emergence of the ‘Yuppie’ or ‘young upwardly mobile professional’ as they preferred to be called. This meant the introduction of sophisticated designer glasses frames as these were sophisticated times we were living in. Gone were the bright, bold colours and in were the tortoise shell coloured round plastic or metal frames with designers such as ‘Marco Polo’ leading the way in this particular style. It was also around this time that rap artists such as ‘Run DMC’ started to bring there own style to the fashion designer frames market by wearing thick black, angled plastic frames from the prestigious designers ‘Cazal’.
It wasn’t until the mid nineties when the major fashion houses such as ‘Gucci’, ‘Channel’ and ‘Prada’ started to domineer the designer glasses frames industry with their products being endorsed by ‘supermodels’ along with stylish, slick advertising campaigns to attract an even broader range of consumer. These designers still dominate the market even today and as the fashion industry is changing quicker than ever before, so is the fashion frame industry. The good news for the consumer is that you won’t have to throw away those tired, boring old wayfarer glasses or those hideous, bright coloured plastic frames because guess what? They are already back in fashion!