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The Story Of Sunglasses… & Women!
Sure the headline sounds a bit odd. But it’s not really all that strange considering that it’s a story that most of us take for granted. Milica Jojic shares with us an interesting tale about the one accessory that each one of us uses as a first point of visual introduction to others. And then succeeds in giving it an interesting feminine twist!
There are infinite stories in the world that deserve to be told. Stories of courage, bravery, kindness, stories about love, loss and miracles. There are the stories that we live and the stories that we tell. But what happens to the forgotten stories? Stories that never get told or ones that are simply not considered? I want to share one of those with you. It might not be life changing or miraculous but it will leave you with a certain curiosity about sunglasses.
Although Arctic tribes carved snow goggles in the 10th century and Chinese judges used sunglasses made from smoky quartz in court in the 12th century, sunglasses as we know them were “invented” and popularised by James Ayscough in 1752. It is believed that he used green and blue tints in corrective lenses to protect his own eyes. Sunglasses developed over time and were used, in the 1800’s, to correct eye problems such as cataracts. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that sunglasses became fashionable and people wore them for more than just a medical purpose. Since then, each shape has had its era. From the aviators (1937), cat eye (thank you Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn), wayfarers (1956), round (yes, we’re talking about John Lennon), oversized glasses (1960s) and tiny ones (1990s), there has been a lot of change in the industry. We’ve explored the history of eyewear in one of the previous issues.
The materials used changed over the years too, from stainless steel and aluminium to plastic and titanium. The lens spectrum added a variety of colours and polarised glasses were introduced. Sunglasses were all of a sudden used for everyday life, fashion and sports. They snuck into our lives slowly and became our staple pieces. And now we can’t even imagine all the early sunglasses because we put so many spins since then and developed them entirely!
But apart from the fashionable use, there are so many different reasons why you should wear your sunglasses daily. An immediate relief comes from putting them on; they act as a barrier and allow you to see better in direct sunlight.
In turn, this allows you to be safer while walking, driving and getting around because your vision is better and you’re more receptive to things happening around you. Sunglasses protect your eyes from harmful UVA & UBA rays and other elements such as wind, dust, sand or any other debris in the air.
And if you develop a habit of wearing your sunglasses outside, you’re looking out for your future self! Sun-related eye diseases (such as cataracts, macular degeneration and eye cancer) are less likely to develop if you keep your eyes healthier for longer. Sunglasses are also extremely helpful in two other instances - if you’re recovering from any eye surgery, it’s really important to give your eyes proper time to heal, far from sun’s rays. And the second instance, if you frequently get headaches or migraines; sunglasses can help you avoid the pain and discomfort of light sensitivity.
So when we combine the medical use with the fashionable use, we get another story. Story about women all over the world who don’t know each other but have one passion - eyewear.
There is a universal understanding among women that the outfit you wear speaks volumes. From the clothes to shoes, bags and jewellery, these pieces work together to tell a story about your personality and style. Depending on the occasion, one’s profession, current trends and the location you are going to, outfits can be easily modified. High heels, for example, can be replaced by boots, slippers, sandals or sneakers. But what happens when you have to choose an accessory that complements every outfit you wear?
Sunglasses are an integral part of a woman’s look. Choosing the right frame is often difficult - the shape, frame colour, style and even material are all deciding factors. So what could tie all these women together?
I wouldn’t be wrong if I were to use ‘sunglasses’ as the binding factor. Let’s give it a try and visualise it.
A 22 year-old fashion student from Paris walks down the Champs-Elysées wearing her “Billie” sunglasses. On her way to work, a Dean of a nursing school in New York does the same. In her personal collection, she also has the frame “Ruby” which is the favourite of a mother of two from Belgrade.
In London, a fashion influencer found her favourite pair in “Jo.” In Dubai, a tourist is heading to the beach wearing “Maeve.” These women, busy with their work and successful in their personal and professional lives have found something in common. Regardless of their age, nationality, profession, personal taste and current trends, they have all found a frame they love.
The visualisation worked, right? As I am a part of the Denon Eyewear group, I confess to having used names for the eyewear models from our eyewear collection but the point is that sunglasses do much more that you give them credit for. I am sure you agree!