At the end of a decade-any decade-we’re usually ready for whatever style is next. But as time goes by, and we grow tired of the most recent looks, we often miss the trends and concepts of our youth (or someone else’s youth). Such is the case for the ’70s, which is back on the eyewear scene and looking groovy. Here are a few styles that have been relaunched or inspired by a decade remembered for the Bee-Gees, the original Star Wars, and Farrah Fawcett.

Carrera’s Champion first appeared in 1979, offering a distinct look with its iconic eyeshape. Now, decades later, the New Champion family includes several variations: New Panamerika and Carrera 100, and Signature styles, including Carrera 96 sunglasses and Carrera 97. “Carrera is one of the 10 biggest sunglass brand names worldwide and one of only a select few to own an iconic shape,” says Nicola Bonaventura, artistic director, Safilo Group. “In 2015 we decided to go back to the brand’s core essence to make it more contemporary in a way that would also be appealing to new groups, such as Millennials. We put our most iconic styles through an extensive remastering process, ultimately providing a more contemporary and wearable fit.”

Andie by Jimmy Choo boasts rounded mirror lenses and black and gold frames as well as glitter-encrusted windguards. Other color options include rose gold with crystal glitter sides and silver mirrored lenses; rose gold with gold glitter sides and brown shaded lenses; copper-toned gold with brown glitter sides and brown-gold mirrored lenses; and palladium with blue glitter sides and silver mirrored lenses.

Introduced in the late ’70s, the Cazal 607 found its true stride in the mid ’80s, and then was re-released in 2011. The style is sometimes referred to by the nickname Cazzie by those in the know, according to the company. “The Cazal 607 remains as one of the true iconic pieces of eyewear, in any brand, for any time period,” says Jason Shyer, managing director, Eastern States Eyewear. “It has graced the faces of men and women young and old as well as celebrities and artists from all eras, from Run DMC to Jay Z.” In addition to the wide range of colors in which this style is available, several limited editions have been created as a tribute to deceased creator Cari Zalloni, including leather finishing and an upcoming 24-karat, gold-plated finish.

The Jay and the Jay Sun, both from Kenmark’s Original Penguin family, each come in black, navy, oatmeal, and tortoise. “Taking cues from the 1970s country club scene, the aviator is made modern through its leisurely athletic silhouette and is perfect for accompanying many forms of attire,” says Jason Wehlage, director of product and Original Penguin designer.

The latest crop of eyewear from modern designer Zac Posen, with styles for both women and men, also channels the disco era. Noteworthy ophthalmic designs include Joan Juliet and Ethel for women, and Victor, Enzo, and Theo for men. Womens suns include Mounia and Issa. “The designs of Mounia and Issa take you back to the ultra-glam fashions from the ’70s often seen on celebrities at Studio 54,” says David Duralde, chief creative officer and designer.

The Leon Max Limited Edition Collection from Zyloware also brings the past to today’s wearers. “Zyloware has partnered closely with Leon Max’s inspirations from his luxury women’s wear collections to develop a distinctly bold and fashion look,” says President Christopher Shyer. “This attainable luxury styling has a vintage feel and yet is uniquely modern.”

Ray-Ban’s RB2180 Round brings the ’70s to life in a 21st-century-relevant way with a larger frame made with nylon and propionate and updated textures. The round shape was propelled to popularity when musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and John Lennon rocked them, according to Alessandro Mariani, senior brand director, Ray-Ban.

“This year, we are seeing the Ray-Ban consumer seeking a more wearable round shape in larger sizes with more modern materials,” Mariani says. “This cool, fresh, round shape is truly a collector’s item.”

Perhaps the 21st century is your first foray into the ’70s. Or maybe you still haven’t stopped saying “Dyn-O-Mite!” in the first place! Either way, there’s no denying the distinct, fun, and fabulous looks of that decade’s eyewear.

Rachel Bozek is a freelance writer who includes the optical field as one of her areas of expertise.


Eastern States Eyewear
800.645.3710 •

Kenmark Optical 800.627.2898 •

Safilo USA 800.631.1188 •

Ultra Palm Optical 800.327.5185 •

Zyloware Eyewear 800.765.3700 •


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