Fashion influences from past decades have an undeniable presence in eyewear collections. Iconic frames from the ’20s through the ’80s as well as styles derived from classic American novels and films have been reinvented for the current season. We discover how manufacturers artfully incorporate vintage looks for the modern wearer.
The 1925 novel The Great Gatsby proved to be a source of inspiration for Ray-Ban, which introduced its Gatsby style in the early ’80s. Luxottica is offering the vintage look for another go-round, this time by including the new Clubround icon. “The revamped style is a hero of retro design paired with contemporary elements,” said Alessandro Mariani, senior brand director. The polished metal double bridge pairs beautifully with the acetate pieces resulting in a frame full of character.
When it comes to character, Victory Optical, the flagship brand under Eagle Eyewear, Inc., has made a name for itself by re-releasing its bestselling styles from the ’40s through the ’80s. “I kept seeing the influence of retro styling emerge in fashion, movies, cars and furniture,” explained William Marfuggi, president of Eagle Eyewear. “I realized the time was right to put the classic designs of my grandfather and father back into production.” The Lady Cornell, a new take on Victory’s original Cornell, is a contemporary modified cat eye with a keyhole bridge. “We are always looking back to move forward,” said Marfuggi.
Ogi Eyewear also maintains its role as a trendsetter while paying homage to vintage styles. “Ogi keeps an eye on the whole fashion industry-from eyewear to architecture to furniture,” said David Spencer, founder and designer. Model 9215 from the Evolution Collection channels the ’50s with its modified cat eye accented with bursts of confetti-like color.
Some trends are forever linked with an iconic individual. And when it comes to sunglasses, few people have surpassed the influence of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. WestGroupe’s F-2001 sunglass embodies Jackie O’s signature look from the ’60s, modernized with metal inserts and ombre handmade acetate, according to Beverly Suliteanu, vice president, product development.
Colors in Optics, Ltd. delivered its first iconic designs in 1976, and, lucky for today’s style-conscious wearers, the rectangular Matahari (updated with vivid hues) and round Stutz (modernized with high-voltage colors) are back on the scene. The round, oversized Stutz was launched by CEO Sanford Hutton that became hugely popular when Diane Keaton donned them in Annie Hall. “At its release, Stutz’s chic design and unprecedented color range caught fire, signaling a new fashion focus,” said Jade Hutton, vice president and chief designer.
Another statement style, Tura’s 311-aka the Sally Jessy Raphael frame-first released into the market in 1986, found new life in 2016 when the company
released it in three fresh colors for the ophthalmic (black, olive and brown) as well as three hues for the sunglasses (blush fade, blue fade and teal fade).
The past offers such striking fashion concepts that it’s easy to understand why eyewear designers continue to reinvent them for a new generation of eyewear fans. Keep your dispensary current by stocking frames that go back in time.
Kendra Klapheke, MEd, is the office manager and frame specialist at St. Matthews Vision Center in Louisville, KY. Rachel Bozek is a freelance writer who includes the optical field as one of her areas of expertise.
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Our condolences to the family and colleagues of Eagle Eyewear’s William Marfuggi, who passed away shortly before this issue went to press.