In the ever-evolving world of fashion, certain styles have a remarkable way of making a comeback. Recently, activewear has been taking the fashion world by storm, as it highlights comfort and style simultaneously. Within this trend, accessories have also experienced a renaissance, with sunglasses emerging as one of the top means to dress up any athleisure look.
However, sunglasses are not only being worn with a pair of leggings or sports bras. In 2023, they’ve become a prominent “in” accessory for any aspiring fashionista. Below, we take a closer look at the resurgence of sunglasses.
The reach of pop culture
The interplay between sunglasses and pop culture is evident in how iconic sunglasses moments from movies can profoundly influence real-life fashion trends. This phenomenon is not a recent development — it has roots stretching back to decades ago. The 1980s was a pivotal era for sunglass fashion, as this is when Tom Cruise catapulted to stardom with his breakout role in Risky Business (1983), with the movie poster featuring him in the iconic Ray-Ban Wayfarers. This moment cemented Cruise’s status as a Hollywood heartthrob and propelled the Wayfarers into the realm of timeless and ultra-cool eyewear.
Fast-forward to the present, and the relationship between pop culture and sunglasses continues to shape fashion trends. 2022 blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick had a profound impact on sunglasses trends thanks to the coincidental but nevertheless cinematic allure of Tom Cruise, whose character sported aviator sunglasses. This critical accessory choice has transcended the silver screen, fueling a resurgence in aviator sales. Sunglasses retailer David Clulow reports that the classic RB3025 Aviator—Top Gun became one of its bestselling sunglasses last summer.
The enduring appeal of sunglasses as a cultural symbol is also intertwined with the nostalgic pull of the Y2K era. Fashion-focused Gen Z customers, inspired by celebrities like Kim Kardashian, are embracing Y2K looks that harken back to the turn of the century. Sunglasses, particularly round-shaped frames, have become a key element of this revived aesthetic, proving that the influence of pop culture is not confined to a single era but can weave seamlessly through different time periods.
The influence of celebrities
Celebrities have an unparalleled influence on fashion trends, and their choice of accessories can quickly become must-have items. Margot Robbie’s recent appearances during the press tour for Barbie exemplify this. The native Australian effortlessly blended retro glamor with contemporary style, accessorizing with white cat-eye sunglasses while sporting a black-and-white striped strapless dress. This look was reminiscent of the original Barbie doll’s one-piece bathing suit from 1959 — hinting once again at the reach of pop culture.
Fueling celebrity influence is the fact that celebrity-driven styles are often easily emulated. Numerous options from different brands at different price ranges are available for women’s sunglasses, catering to diverse fashion preferences. Readers looking to mirror Robbie’s chic cat-eye sunglasses can easily opt for Michael Kors’ Empire Square or Lady Burbank from Ray-Ban, for example.
Variety ensures that individuals can effortlessly incorporate celebrity-inspired sunglasses into their own fashion statements — without necessarily owning the exact same item. Fans hoping to copy Gigi Hadid’s appearance during the 2023 ANDAM Fashion Awards can look for the closest replica of her Dmy by Dmy black sunglasses within the Clearly or Vogue Eyewear catalog. This inclusivity and accessibility allows a more extensive audience to participate in, enjoy, and forward the overall appeal of sunglasses.
Since 1983, sunglasses have effortlessly asserted their significance as a stylish and iconic accessory in the ever-evolving world of fashion. With pop culture, we can expect this status to continue for the next succeeding decades. Learn more at The Fire Wire, where we explore the intricacies of pop culture around the world.