Young Generations Shape Eyewear Trends

Millennial Hipster. Colin Hawkins

Want to know what's current in the eyewear fashion world? Look at the young, millennial faces around you. The millennial generation is the segment of our population born between 1980 and 2000 - the children of the baby boomer generation. Roughly 76 million millennials live in the US and are the last generation born in the 20th century. Interestingly, forty percent of the millennial generation is African-American, Latino, Asian or of mixed race. More technically inclined than previous generations, they are the generation that "does not remember a time when there was no internet connectivity."

The millennial generation is shaping eye wear trends. In the eye care profession, this generation is often referred to as the Gen-Eye generation. Why are they getting so much attention? New research shows that the millennial generation currently outnumbers the aging baby boomers and are three times larger than the generation that follows them. These numbers add up to huge consumer trends. Millennials are two times more likely to be earlier adopters of technology than older generations so they tend to set the trends for what quickly becomes mainstream. Millennials are more likely than older shoppers to check out brands on Facebook and use mobile devices to read reviews and research eyewear products. They tend to do more research online before going to eye doctors or opticians for product selection.

GenEyes are an interesting bunch: they have a curious eye and tend to want to know details about not only their eye wear but the eye examination itself. These young men and women  tend to go overboard with brand loyalty. For you GenEyes out there, here are some of the hot fashion trends your friends and colleagues are donning.

  • Oversized frames - Thick, chunky colored frames made of many different frame materials are something that GenEye will not part with. They stand out from the crowd and show the wearer’s individuality.
  • Clark Kent - Clark Kent wore these larger, black-rimmed frames to show hide his Superman identity but also to reflect his mild-mannered, intelligent personality. This large, plastic style frame is extremely popular, not only in traditional black, but also dark blue, brown and green. Clark Kent depended on his iconic black-rimmed frames to both project his smart, mild-mannered personality and hide his identity as Superman.
  • Geometric frames - Geometric frames such as squares, circles, rectangles, and hexagons are popular with GenEYE because they cater to all face shapes.
  • Tone shifting and colorblocking - These frames are popular with GenEye because they incorporate several color hues into one frame. How about a fresh blend of turquoise and brown? 
  • Thick-rimmed frames - GenEye customers appreciate thick frames because they really make a bold statement.
  • Clubman - The Clubman frame style is often found on GenEye faces. The Clubman has a metal rim with a very thick plastic eyebrow piece.
  • A men’s look - Interestingly, many female GenEye customers are wearing men’s frames inspired by oxford boxed frames with masculine details and pretty styles.
  • Crystal or clear-colored frames - These frame are hot items. In particular, the clear frames in a square or rectangular shape are very sleek.
  • Sport brands - Active GenEye-ers are buying one pair of sunglasses and one pair of regular glasses in the same brand name family, such as RayBan or Oakely’s.
  • Speckel-patten - Speckle patterned frames are replacing many old tortoise colors that used to be popular often with embedded animal prints. These wild frames are popular in cateye or butterfly styles. Marbled swirl patterns are also very popular.

Source: Garcia, Victoria. Style Gen-erators, 20/20 Magazine, 15 Sept, 2013 p 44-45. Jobson Medical Information LLC, 2013. 

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