If you’re wondering what sun frames to be filling your shelves with as we reach spring, don’t panic. We’ve got the skinny on the, well, skinny and futuristic styles all the haute couture fashion houses have been parading on the runways, plus some old favourites to keep the less adventurous customers coming.
With recent summer seasons being dominated by aviator styles, it might come as a shock that on the catwalk this year, sunglasses were decidedly geometrical in shape, with triangles proving popular from the likes of Saint Laurent and Burberry. Zoe Kravitz is all over Instagram in micro-triangle sunnies, so expect your younger customers to be wanting these.
- Shield and mask
Massive sunglasses have always been popular with the Desperate Housewives set, but Stella MacCartney and Loewe have given them a sporty twist. Aerodynamic shapes cut from a single piece of material in bold colours make this style suitable for both the beach and the boardwalk. Mask sunglasses offer a similar look but are a little less sporty with a complete acetate frame.
- Skinny cat’s-eye
This shape has been a strong contender for several seasons, but in 2019 we are seeing a super skinny twist on this classic style, plus it often comes with an intense splash of colour. The Vogue Eyewear collection by Gigi Hadid was strong on this shape, while Sally LaPointe offered a great, acetate look in a strong colour.
- ‘90s sleek
That obsession with ‘90s fashion continues, and with it comes the small wire frame we remember so well from Beverley Hills 90210, or Keanu Reeves in The Matrix. The golden rule here is that if it’s tiny, it’s in. This means those customers who prefer a rounded frame can still be sneakily on-trend.
- Tinted lens
Neon was popular on the European spring/summer catwalks, and what better way to accentuate your luminous green power suit than with a bright orange lens? Tinted lenses are a flexible way to sharpen up many styles as they work with a variety of frame shapes and materials.
- Chunky but clear acetate frames
A mix of the shield and mask look, and a reverse on those tinted frames, the all clear acetate frame is definitely gaining in popularity. It blends minimalism with the oversized frame trend well.
Don’t forget your staples
Not every customer wants a catwalk-fresh sun frame look. Many are looking for a timeless classic they won’t feel the need to replace next season.
These three trusty styles will never go out of fashion:
- Maui Jim Big Wave – wrap-around frames are unisex, practical and versatile. Great for sport and driving. You can even break them out at a wedding. They work well all year round; the jandals of the eyewear world.
- Ray Ban Wayfarer – a classic shape, in a versatile tortoise shell acetate. You can’t go wrong with these frames. Vintage and modern at the same time, they will appeal to the original 90s kid, as well as their actual kids. An investment piece your customers won’t regret.
- Classic cats-eye – the micro-glasses trend might be a bit much for many customers, but the classic full cat’s-eye is still cutting it on the high street. This colourful acetate version from Blackfin adds a modern, playful touch to a vintage look.
Sadly, much of what is on the catwalk only suits a pakeha face shape. Your black, Māori, and particularly, Asian customers may require alternate-fit frames. Thankfully, most major manufacturers such as Burberry and Ray Ban have cottoned on to this and many styles are available in both traditional and alternate fit.
Just remember that all faces have huge variations in shape and size, and alternate fit won’t necessarily be a magic bullet. Carrying a wide range of styles with different types of bridge and a variation of sizes should put you in a good position to service your customers’ needs.