Pick any sunny 80 degree day in New York City, look around and you’ll see that 94% of the people outside have something in common: They’re all wearing sunglasses. How could they not be? It’s too bright out for unguarded eyes and squinting advances crows feet (yes, true). But then those cloudy days…75% are still wearing shades. With purpose. These sunglass wearers don’t seem to just be protecting their eyes from what may be blowing in the air. There’s some sort of Sunglasses Style in the zeitgeist, and it goes well beyond just throwing on a stylish pair of sunglasses. It’s very deliberate.
We could sit in a conference room all day wondering how or why people choose the shades they wear and how much thought they actually put into it — but we decided to take to the streets of New York and ask people, “What’s your Sunglasses Style?” It started out as a video concept; let’s talk to people and make a fun and engaging video. We accomplished that, and in the process we learned some new things: Sunglasses Style has different personalities. Here are a few Sunglasses Styles according to Cohen’s! Have we found yours? Watch our Sunglasses Style Video: http://bit.ly/SunglassesStyle
The I Splurge on Designer Sunglasses Style > Definition: Style consists of a mixture of high and low priced items to yield a high fashion look. Clothes often come from moderately priced fashion driven retailers like H&M, TopShop & Zara and money is saved up and spent on designer shoes, handbags and sunglasses from luxury houses like Gucci, Louis Vuitton & Prada. Nashira was walking down the sidewalk as if it were a runway. She has such a unique sense of style and she owned it in leather pants, platform sandals, a head wrap and Ralph Lauren sunglasses – one of her many pairs of designer sunglasses in her eyewear arsenal. She shared her own style advice, “You can save here and there but splurge on your eyewear.” With that, she said she’s saving up for this season’s Valentino shades.
The I Do a Lot of Sports and I want my Sunglasses to Keep Up With Me Sunglasses Style > Definition: An urban adventurer who runs, bikes, skateboards and needs sunglasses that protect the eyes AND hold on when hitting bumpy terrain. Also, they HAVE to look sporty. It turns out sporty people want accessories that match their athletic aesthetic. Daniel was zipping by on his bike in his classic Ray Ban Wayfarers which were given to him by his equally sporty skateboarding nephew. He said he bikes a lot and walks a lot and has different sunglasses to accommodate his sport of choice. Daniel particularly likes Ray Bans because they stay on securely, are durable, and also clean up well without scratching. They don’t slide down the nose and they don’t bounce around and as a bonus, they perfectly compliment his urban sporty style.
The All in the Details Sunglasses Style > Definition: Picking a color theme for a certain outfit and weaving it all together. We found Alonzo laying out in the grass wearing big Yves Saint Laurent shades and it was clear he takes his style seriously. He said he chooses his eyewear according to the day’s color theme. For example, he had a brown Gucci bag, his bathing suit had brown in the pattern, so he wore his brown YSL’s. The frames had gold accents, so he was wearing gold rings and bracelets – all deliberately chosen. Alonzo had it all pulled together. He said he’s the guy who matches his socks to his underwear to his belt to his bag and so on. For him, it’s all in the details.
The Special Reserves Sunglasses Style > Definition: Pulling out your “take a second look at me” shades for special occasions. We ran into MJ dressed in head to toe Lulu Lemon gym gear while walking her dog. Her sporty look was accessorized with a pair of simple aviators that she “threw on”. When asked what her ultimate Sunglasses Style is, she remarked, “My favorite are big cat eye frames during fashion week that say, This is completing my look. The cherry.” The conclusion to be drawn here is that certain sunglasses give the perfect outfit a turbo boost and perhaps the frames are so style conscious that they don’t come out every day. In MJ’s case, the cat eyes seal the deal during Fashion Week.
The They Have to Fit my Face or It’s Not Happening Sunglasses Style > Definition: People who think they have either large or small faces so the wrong size sunglasses either give a bug eye effect or look like kids sunglasses. Katie was the first to say that her primary purpose for wearing sunglasses is to protect her eyes and she has very few pairs. “I have a small head so basically most pairs I try on make me look like a hedgehog.” She was wearing round Ray Bans that perfectly fit her face. She got them because her mom had the same pair and they have the same facial structure so they both found something that works. For some, a flattering fit that blends in is more important than having big oversized fashion frames that draw attention. Not everyone wants to look like a celeb hiding behind their frames. Katie prefers function over form.
The common denominator between all the sunglass wearers we spoke with is that they all have a really a distinct process for choosing their frames, and eyewear is a major component of their style. In many ways, choosing the perfect sunglasses is actually a very personal and emotional process and it’s tied to the degree of how seriously someone takes fashion. Yes, people are protecting their eyes behind sunglasses, but there are many stories behind those frames as well – eyewear is perhaps a symbol of what people value and what is important to them. We were impressed with how strangers were willing to open up about their choices and opinions on eyewear. They actually liked talking about it and had more to say on the subject than they would have thought. And we learned more than what we originally had set out to do. We’ve been in the fashion eyewear business since 1927 and as it turns out, you’re teaching us something new every day.
With that, let’s see your Sunglasses Style!