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The evolution of eyewear: from the 1930s to the 2000s

Discover the evolution of eyewear design and the trends from the '30s to the 2000s.

Before becoming aesthetic accessories, eyeglasses were born with functional purposes only. The history of eyeglasses can be traced back to Roman times, when the Romans used to employ glass spheres filled with water in order to observe and enlarge objects. Then, during the 13th century, the diffusion of glasses was boosted thanks to the fact that amanuensis friars used them to transcribe books.
Later, the first metal frames appeared during the 1400s and with the invention of printing press and publishing production, eyeglasses were widely found in those years.

- From 1930s to 1950s glasses
- From the revolutionary eyewear of the 60s to the modern frames of the 90s
- The new millennium, 2000s eyewear

From 1930s to 1950s glasses

According to the values and the creative guidelines of our company, TBD Eyewear has always looked back at the past, drawing inspiration from it, with the aim to create models supported by a strong history or with reference to style icons. The 1930s represent the years of the Great Gatsby, and during that time women’s fashion was particularly characterized by feathers and sequins, while the men's best friend was the iconic Borsalino hat.

TBD Eyewear models that perfectly match the 30s style are:

  • Oxford, bio-acetate optical glasses with a rounded shape, available in honey and havana frames, with a cool design that draws inspiration from the glasses worn by college students of one of the most famous universities in the world;
  • Welt, vintage sunglasses, with a sturdy frame, available in bright shades such as blue ocean, or transparent.

In the 40s, eyeglasses frames change and TBD models in line with that decade are:

  • Vicuna, rounded metal glasses, standing out for their simplicity and in particular for the lightweight frame, are available in both gold 24K and rhodium;
  • Ulster, rounded sunglasses with metal frame perfect both for man and woman.

The 50s are the years of rock 'n roll, of Elvis' tuft and full skirt. The TBD glasses inspired by the 1950s are:

  • Juta, available as sunglasses and eyeglasses, are characterized by a sturdy square frame with rounded edges that give armony to a geometric model;
  • Donegal, has a squared bio-acetate frame, soft-edged, available in both classic shades or eccentric colours.

From the revolutionary eyewear of the 60s to the modern frame of the 90s

The 1960s has been the years of student riots and the rise of jeans as clothes suitable both for men and women. As regards the eyewear we have:

  • Cran, as the expression of progress and modernization that people tried to achieve in the fashion industry during those years. They are rounded 60s sunglasses, with a simple and elegant style, thanks to the straight-line neat design;
  • Denim, squared bio-acetate sunglasses, designed as unisex eyewear, they show up with a bold appearance for an inimitable style.

For the 70s and 80s, reference can be made to the models:

  • Panama, with a teardrop bio-acetate frame, available as eyeglasses and sunglasses, alludes to a distinctive and unique Steve McQueen style.
  • Lino, squared oversize model perfect for oval and heart faces, the black model with orange lenses it one of our best seller.

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