The word “iconic” (icon·ic) is an adjective that refers to something that is widely known and acknowledged. Examples of this could be iconic voice, such as Mariah Carey for singers or Morgan Freeman for narrators. This idea transcends in fashion, too. You have iconic hairstyle (James Dean’s slick back), dress (Angelina Jolie’s black dress with high slit in The Academy Awards, 2012), and make up (Gene Simmons’). Then there are the iconic sunglasses. Yes, this humble piece of accessory has made its mark in the history, too.
Let’s begin with Oliver Goldsmith Manhattans. This was popularly worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Anyone who wears a pair of this sunglass these days could get the instant vintage chic look. The Oliver Goldsmith Manhattans come in the elegant opaque tortoiseshell, preferred by Miss Golightly (Hepburn’s character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), or an assortment of beautiful colors and patterns. Through the years, the classic frame has been also updated with high quality Zeiss lenses that provide both excellent UV protection and clarity of vision.
Who would forget the round frames that John Lennon, band member of The Beatles, pulled off in the 1970s? John Lennon’s Teashades, which is now more known as “John Lennon” glasses, which is an actual brand, are wire-framed lenses that shade the dilated pupils of the ’70s psychedelic environment. From 1970s, this style resurfaced in the early ’90s then again recently when Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, Fearne Cotton and Beyonce adopted the trend.
We also have the Oakley Sunglasses, which rose to fame thanks to people’s fondness for red-blooded and Army-of-one aesthetic. Now, more and more are using Oakley Sunglasses; we can see these pairs being used by teens, soldiers, policemen, postal carriers, beachgoers, and even athletes! Why not? More than its looks, Oakley Sunglasses have made it a point to enhance its features from making seeing through their lenses better to giving more depth and definition, which heightens their adage that “Sunglasses Are Now Essential Equipment.”
In the 1950s, along with the backcombed and beehives trend, the Cat Eyes Shades came. While this first debuted as prescription lenses, it didn’t take long for it to crossover into the sunglasses territory. Since then, the sunglass has been used by many celebrities, such as actresses Reese Witherspoon and Anne Hathaway and singer Rihanna.
From 1950’s until present time, Ray-Ban Wayfarer is still known in the fashion world. While they may have sank in popularity several times in the past, they have always managed to make a comeback, which only proves its being classic in its own. Wayfarer frames are a trapezoidal shape that Ray-Ban created using the then newly invented and moldable material acetate. There is a long list of known people who have worn this, and examples are Emma Watson and Taylor Swift.
Finally, we have the aviators, which was developed by Bausch & Lomb. While Ray-Ban pioneered marketing aviator shades, there are more manufacturers nowadays that produce aviator style sunglasses, such as Saint Laurent, Gucci, Dior, and Givenchy. This sunglass with large, tinted, and reflective lenses of a modified oval shape and held in a thin metal frame has been worn by famous people in their most iconic roles, such as Tom Cruise in Top Gun and Bradley Cooper in The Hangover.
Which among these is the most iconic for you? Let me know in the comments section. 🙂