Side Shields were first used in three areas: Safety Glasses, Glacier Glasses and Motoring Glasses. All three had several things in common: Glass lenses, side shields and some safety straps. Everything to protect against the elements whether inside or outside.
Glacier Sunglasses came with nose guards and side shields with cable temples. Who created the standard Glacier/Mountaineering Glasses? Was it the Alpine mountaineer who put up scraps of leather on the side of his sunglasses? We know that Julbo (France) was founded in 1888 with mountaineering glasses, Bolle (France) in 1888 developed Safety eyewear with goggle added in 1950.Their first ski goggles in 196o. Cebe (France) founded in 1892 had side shields. Leather side shield were also shown by Persol in France (founded 1917) and Vuarnet (founded 1957). Even American Optical offered Glacier AKA safety glasses along with Carrera, RayBan. The piece of leather in the bridge with the snaps is really a roll down nose guard.
Safety Glasses came about in 1880, when P. Johnson, an African American invented and patented an ‘Eye Protector on November 2, 1880. American Optical launched an eye safety protection in 1914.
Motoring Glasses were introduced in the early 1900’s. They offered side shield protection as well.
Safety Eyewear in the early 1900’s featured mesh sides that folded in or out.
1980 UVEX sports-Safety sunglasses
The Safety to Mountaineering to Fashion look in we attribute to Jean Paul Gaultier in the 1980’s through the 1990’s. Steampunk, punk, goth, he did it all.
Swatch watches made a resurgence were 1980’s making watches a whimiscal fashion statement. Licensing out their name.. they did the same with Climbing Sunglasses.
Having a side shield didn’t mean it had to cover the side of the face. Luxury eyewear Cartier created their own version of protective eyewear in 2001.
Using Filagree to decorate the sides also is another embellishment. We don’t know the years of these vintage looks.
In 2008 Michael Kors introduced a steampunk look on the runway.
2011 Henry Holland in collaboration with Le Specs an acetate version with mesh bridge and tapered, wrapped front.
Ksubi one of first to start the trend using mesh side shields.
Fendi launched their Limited Edition leather side shields in 2012
The punk look continued and we started to see studs and spikes in climbing sunwear.
2013-Julbo remakes one of their original mountaineering sunglasses in a limited edition model to celebrate 125 years of business. The lenses are mineral glass and included cable temples.
2013 Armani on the runway launched a colorful beaded side shield.
2013 Thom Browne via Dita Eyewear on the runway took both safety eyewear and climbing sunglasses to make colorful fashion statements. All with cable temples. Spring Summer 2013.
Fall Winter 2013 Ferragamo showed an aviator style with leather shields that wrapped from underneath the temple.
Also in 2013 Mykita in collaboration with athleti-leisure sporting company MontCler showed their version of mountain shades.
Balmain launches an aviator shielded sunglasses with rivet holes on the leather.
2014 Linda Farrow launches a mini climber.
2014 Carolina Herrera showed a streamlined cat-eye shape with side shields. Ready to Wear Fall 2014.
2014- Roberto Cavalli introduces mirrored aviator sunglasses with a cloth side shield on the runway.
2014 Louis Vuitton Mountaineering look includes both the leather side shield and heavy leather bridge.
2014- Leisure Society launched this upscale climbers in 2014. Retailing for $980.00
2014 Catwalk with Gucci, aviator with high bridge in summer colors.
Vuarnet makes a comeback starting in 2014. Known for their mountaineering styles continues with climbing styles. The look has metal temples with built-in leash.
2014 Mykita with their new material Mylon introduces another look. The side shields are re-moveable. The lenses are mineral glass.
Spring 2015 Glacier Glasses continue to be seen on the runways.
Spring Summer 2015 in Barcelona, shades of the original look, including a leather leash.
Matsuda is known for updating the past. Their look in 2015 is leather stitched sides with thick temples.
2015 Linda Farrow’s luxury gold plated titanium sunglasses. The side shields are called ‘Blinkers’ with a snakeskin inlay;The top-frame temples are slim and wrapped in matching snakeskin. Retail $1275.
2015-Innovative eyewear company Gentle Monster showcases their look with embroidered side shields.
2015- Eco friendly wood eyewear company, Karun made their side shields from discarded salmon Skins from canneries.
2015-New Canadian company Northern Lights sunglass collection offers many looks for the outdoors. The lenses are CR-39.
Paul Smith, exclusive eyewear company style Alrick retails for around $480.00
2015 Rapper Will.i.am launches his first sunglass collection, also with side shields.
2015-Salt Optics + Aether Eyewear sunglasses are a holey side shield. Retail= $600
Luxury eyewear company Matsuda’s heritage collection. Relaunched several years ago, the
2016 New Yorks Lucky Selectism features plastic side shields.
Colorful J.F. Rey introduced the mesh side shield in a multitudes of color and shapes in 2015
J.F. Rey also launched a more sporty version in collaboration with Hideo Kojima all to be replaced on video games.
2016 the look continues with L.G.R’s vintage look with a mesh bridge, leather side pieces, thin temples and mineral glass lenses.
2016, the look get vibrant, mirrored lenses with matching side shields from Apro Spectacles.
Spring 2016, Anderne Eyewear takes a more fashion oriented look with color and cable temples.
2016- Gentle Monster’s style Kingfish is oddly shaped, contrasting colors and mesh side pieces.
Luxury eyewear company Gold and Wood uptake on Climbers, textured leather sides.
Side shields are for Steampunkers!
How does wood sound for side shield? Conservatoire International de Lunettes.
2016 Frenchy and Mercury adds a pinch of color.
Spring 2016 Armani’s look is chunky with wide sides.
Fall 2016 Ciros sunnies are wild.
2016- Crowd-sourced Original Trading company is remaking vintage safety glasses into eyewear
2016 Sporty Sunglass company Revo revamps their collection. Giving back, style and functionality. .what more could you want?
2016 Electric California is a cross between a safety and a mountaineering sunglass.
Side shields in eyewear have evolved from function to fashion statements. Versatile looks for Mountaineers, steam-punkers, safety and fashionistas. The look is a winning classic look.