The Eyewear Evolution of Side Shields

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Louis Vuitton SS 14

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.

Safety Eyewear

Motoring Glasses were introduced in the early 1900’s. They offered side shield protection as well.

1916 American Optical Catalogue
1916 American Optical Catalogue
AO Catalogue 1920
AO Catalogue 1920
Vintage Glacier, round lenses, mineral glass
Vintage Glacier, round lenses, mineral glass lenses and leather nose guard. 
Vintage AO Goggles
Vintage AO Goggles

Safety Eyewear in the early 1900’s featured mesh sides that folded in or out.

1930 Safety with mesh sides
1930 Safety with mesh sides
1940
1940

1980 UVEX sports-Safety sunglasses

1980 UVEX Sports-Safety Goggles
1980 UVEX Sports-Safety Goggles
1980- As seen on Etsy
1980- As seen on Etsy

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.

Jp Gaultier 1980
Vintage Jean Paul Gaultier with a Steampunk look.

Vintage-gaultier-gafas

Gaultier-750-luxury-sunglasses

1990s JP Gaultier
1990s JP Gaultier (also seen on Rihanna)
JP Sunwear, seen on Runways
JP Sunwear, seen on Runways

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.

Vintage Swatch 1993
Vintage Swatch 1993

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.

Cartier Ad 2001
Cartier Ad 2001

Using Filagree to decorate the sides also is another embellishment. We don’t know the years of these vintage looks.

Chrome Hearts
Chrome Hearts retailing for $1500
Christian La Croix
Christian La Croix

In 2008 Michael Kors introduced a steampunk look on the runway.

2008 Michael Kors Runway
2008 Michael Kors Runway

2011 Henry Holland in collaboration with Le Specs an acetate version with mesh bridge and tapered, wrapped front.

2011-Henry Holland-Le Specs
2011- Henry Holland x Le Specs
Spitfire 2011
Spitfire 2011

Ksubi one of first to start the trend using mesh side shields.

Ksubi Spring 2011
Ksubi Spring 2011
Ksubi Cisco Sunglasses
Ksubi Cisco Sunglasses

Fendi launched their Limited Edition leather side shields in 2012

Fendi 2012
Fendi 2012

The punk look continued and we started to see studs and spikes in climbing sunwear.

Punk Rock
Punk Rock look 

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.

Julbo Remade in 2013 to celebrate 125 years
Julbo remade in 2013 to celebrate 125 years.

2013 Armani on the runway launched a colorful beaded side shield.

Armani SS13Armani SS13

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.

Thom Browne
Thom Browne
Image Essential Home Mag
Image Essential Home Mag
Thom Browne 2013
Thom Browne 2013
Thom Browne SS13
Thom Browne SS13

Fall Winter 2013 Ferragamo showed an aviator style with leather shields that wrapped from underneath the temple.

FW 2013 Ferragamo
FW 2013 Ferragamo
Ferragamo Spring Summer 2014
Ferragamo FW13

Also in 2013 Mykita in collaboration with athleti-leisure sporting company MontCler showed their version of mountain shades.

2013 Mykita Monclear
2013 Mykita Monclear

Balmain launches an aviator shielded sunglasses with rivet holes on the leather.

2013 Balmain Leather Side Shield $630
2013 Balmain Leather Side Shield $630
2014- Porsche Sunglasses
2014- Porsche Sunglasses

2014 Linda Farrow launches a mini climber.

Linda Farrow
Linda Farrow

2014 Carolina Herrera showed a streamlined cat-eye shape with side shields. Ready to Wear Fall 2014.

Carolina Herrera RTW Spring Summer 2014 New York Fashion Week September 2013
Carolina Herrera RTW SS 14

2014- Roberto Cavalli introduces mirrored aviator sunglasses with a cloth side shield on the runway.

Roberto Cavalli SS14
Roberto Cavalli SS14

2014 Louis Vuitton Mountaineering look includes both the leather side shield and heavy leather bridge.

Louis Vuitton 20114
Louis Vuitton SS 2014

2014- Leisure Society launched this upscale climbers in 2014. Retailing for $980.00

Titantium temples and cable temples
Leisure Society Titantium temples and cable temples

2014 Catwalk with Gucci, aviator with high bridge in summer colors.

2014-Gucci Sunglasses

Gucci Spring summer 14
Gucci Spring Summer 14

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.

Vuarnet 2014
Vuarnet 2014

2014 Mykita with their new material Mylon introduces another look. The side shields are re-moveable. The lenses are mineral glass.

Mykita Mylon Glacier Glasses with Removeable Side Shields and Mineral Glass Lenses
Mykita Mylon Glacier Glasses 

Spring 2015 Glacier Glasses continue to be seen on the runways.

Nicholas K Spring 2015
Nicholas K Spring 2015

Spring Summer 2015 in Barcelona, shades of the original look, including a leather leash.

Barcelona Spring-Summer 2015
Barcelona Spring-Summer 2015

Matsuda is known for updating the past. Their look in 2015 is leather stitched sides with thick temples.

Matsuda Eyewear 2015
Matsuda Eyewear 2015

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.

Linda-Farrow-

2015-Innovative eyewear company Gentle Monster showcases their look with embroidered side shields.

Gentle Monster's embroidered Side Shields (2015)
Gentle Monster’s embroidered Side Shields (2015)

2015- Eco friendly wood eyewear company, Karun made their side shields from discarded salmon Skins from canneries.

Karun Wood with Salmon Skin Side Shieds
Karun Wood with Salmon Skin Side Shieds

2015-New Canadian company Northern Lights sunglass collection offers many looks for the outdoors. The lenses are CR-39.

Northern Light Optics; CR 30 Lenses
Northern Light Optics 2015

Paul Smith, exclusive eyewear company style Alrick retails for around $480.00

Paul Smith
Paul Smith Alrick 

2015 Rapper Will.i.am launches his first sunglass collection, also with side shields.

Will.i.am
Will.i.am

2015-Salt Optics + Aether Eyewear sunglasses are a holey side shield. Retail= $600

Salt-Aether-

Luxury eyewear company Matsuda’s heritage collection. Relaunched several years ago, the

Matsuda-Hertiage-2809H
Relaunched in 2015 these Matsuda shades made famous by star Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

2016-Matsuda-Vintage-10611H

2016 New Yorks Lucky Selectism features plastic side shields.

Lucky Selectism 2016
Lucky Selectism 2016

Colorful J.F. Rey introduced the mesh side shield in a multitudes of color and shapes in 2015

J.F. Rey (2015)
J.F. Rey (2015)

J.F. Rey also launched a more sporty version in collaboration with Hideo Kojima all to be replaced on video games.

J.F. Rey x Hideo Kojima Metal Gear launched in 2015
J.F. Rey x Hideo Kojima Metal Gear launched in 2015

2016 the look continues with L.G.R’s vintage look with a mesh bridge, leather side pieces, thin temples and mineral glass lenses.

L.G.R. with Mineral Glass lenses
L.G.R. with Mineral Glass lenses 2016

2016, the look get vibrant, mirrored lenses with matching side shields from Apro Spectacles. 

Apro Spectacles
Apro Spectacles

Spring 2016, Anderne Eyewear takes a more fashion oriented look with color and cable temples.

Anderne Eyewear Spring 2016
Anderne Eyewear Spring 2016

2016- Gentle Monster’s style Kingfish is oddly shaped, contrasting colors and mesh side pieces.

Gentle Monster Style Kingfish
Gentle Monster Style Kingfish 2016

Luxury eyewear company Gold and Wood uptake on Climbers, textured leather sides.

Gold and Wood Leather Shields
Gold and Wood Leather Shields

Side shields are for Steampunkers!

Atomefabik
Atomefabik

How does wood sound for side shield? Conservatoire International de Lunettes. 

Conservative international de lunettes
Conservative International de Lunettes

2016 Frenchy and Mercury adds a pinch of color.

Frenchy and Mercury
Frenchy and Mercury

Spring 2016 Armani’s look is chunky with wide sides.

Armani Spring 2017
Armani Spring 2016

Fall 2016 Ciros sunnies are wild.

2016-Fall-Ciros-Fall-2016

2016- Crowd-sourced Original Trading company is remaking vintage safety glasses into eyewear

2016-Original Trading 2016

2016 Sporty Sunglass company Revo revamps their collection. Giving back, style and functionality. .what more could you want?

Revo Style Traverse
Revo Style Traverse

2016 Electric California is a cross between a safety and a mountaineering sunglass.

Adventure Sunglasses
Adventure Sunglasses

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.

Aspire MidPage June 19