When speaking of sunglasses, there isn't a single style that is as iconic and timeless as the cat-eye. Cat-eye has stood the test of time through decades, from hopping off to beaches to shopping at downtown, and has become the favourite of countless fashionistas. Stars like Sophia Loren from '50s silver screen, or Lana Del Rey, our modern DIVA, got their signature look with a pair of cat-eye shades on.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see how the style evolves through the years. 🕶
Prior to the 1940s, glasses were practical but not fashionable. People would wear them just for an evening read, work or sports. After all, to cover their pretty faces? That’s the least thing a woman would want to do! Soon, light plastic frames with colored lenses were created. Women started wearing glasses as fashion accessories, as they can use different colors to compliment skin, hair and outfit. Also, people thought a tinted sunglasses would be fun to wear especially suffering the desperate WWII period. Cat-eyes became a big hit with women as it is small & lightweight in function, and can show elegance in women.
The popularity of the cat eye frame soared throughout the post-war years. Eyewear brands spent more time to cater the female market by designing more frames. They added stylistic touches like diamonds, pearls and glitters to elevate frame details. The popularity of cat-eye has been further sped up when Hollywood stars Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Morre wore them frequently in the big screens.
1960s marks the rise of cynicism and is named the “Time of Wilderness”. The surge in younger generation lead to explosion of different culture as they no longer follow their parent’s conventional fashion trends, but create their own instead. Cat-eye has not only been a symbol of feminine, but it also signifies rebellion and freedom. More frames are painted in bold and exaggerated colors, such as bright red and creamy white.
To put it simple, “Peace, Love and Freedom” is the word – The hippie fashion has been popularized and has posed huge influences on fashion, culture, arts and music. Softer colors and transparent lens can be seen in sunglasses, which aligns with the main message people upholds – freedom & clarity. Different types of materials are used in crafting sunglasses, such as acetate and stainless steel. Cat-eyes are most often paired up with the classic 70s look – spongy hair and flared jeans.
1980s - 1990s
Cat-eye has continually been recognized a worldwide phenomenon and a fashion-forward item. Not only in the Western countries, but also here at Hong Kong - the styles has been featured countless times in local movies and dramas. Red lips, Qi Pao (Chinese Dress), neon lights, busy streets, together with a pair of bold cat-eye shades has become such a signature and is remarkable in many Asian’s eyes.
2000 - Now
Thought the style will fade away? You’re so wrong…the classic style appeal of cat-eye from the late 50s is making a comeback! The style is not simply just classy, yet, it has reinvented to become a combination of retro and fashionable, an accessory of attitude and daring. It has become the top selection for pop stars like Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, Miranda Kerr & Gigi Hadid.
Check out our Cat-eye collection here!