It occurred to me after 100’s of years, that Eskimo/Inuit/Aleut Eyewear is a classic. Some could even call it Retro. Eskimo Eyewear dates back 2000 years to the first ivory snow goggles found in Alaska. Made from ivory, skin, wood, leather, the shades were wrapped around the face with two eyehole slits. People wore these to prevent snow blindness and the fashion statement were in the carvings and the shape of the snow goggles.
Over the years.. the look evolved into Safety Eyewear, motorcycle and driving glasses and into Fashion Statements.
Not only did the look prevent snow blindness, it saved vision from flying objects, dust, wind and at work.
The Sun Visors, a take off from Inuit Snow Goggles were a sunglass with a shaded slit. In the 1930’s they were for driving.
The 1950’s saw the was called Slit Specs. Seen in Popular Mechanics Magazine in November of 1955. The text said: SLIT SPECS, originated by the Eskimos, are considered the most on Canadian ski slopes these days. Glassless, slits guard against sun’s glare. This pair costs $20.
Renamed again in the 1960’s and 70’s to Mod or Space Age Fashion. The leader was Andre Courreges with other eyewear designers such as Oliver Goldsmith (UK), Neostyle (Germany) Michele Lamy (France) creating their own ‘look’ of Aleutian Eyewear.
Sea and Ski expanded the slit into a Jetson Futuristic look.
Renauld International patent 200,735 1964 © sunglassespreservation- combined sunglasses and hair band, is an avant-garde space age model for which Mr. Atherton Mitchell applied for a US design patent on August 13th, 1964. The patent was granted on March 30th, 1965 and since then these shades have been showcased in several fashion magazines and ads of the period.
Pierre Cardin making making waves in the Fashion and eyewear industry, made the slit above the eyebrows for a non-functional look.
The classic colors seemed to be white, ivory and yellow for some reason.
Believe it or not,I have a pair of the Neostyle Playmate in white .
Revitalizing the swinging 60’s look of Futuristic Fashion, companies such as Uncover showed Jetson type of fashionable Future Frames.
Hussein Chalayan 2009
Vivienne Westwood, always re-vamping, launched her version of Aleut Fashion in 2009.
Slanties were launched in 2009 and unfortunately we can’t find them anywhere
KTZ, who else takes the Eskimo look and updates to a look like you would going on the Crusades! Perfect look for a swap team member or a driver of an amoured car.
Pierre Cardin jumps back into the futurist game his his ‘Jetson’ look
Alain Mikli in one of his Special Addition artistic rendering of Eskmino eyewear complete with ice skaters.
2012 continues to showcase Eskimo Fashion: As seen in Marie Claire Russia
Louise Grey Runway 2013 adds a graffiti touch
Traction Products created their own look including a round sun-disc.
Back on the runway in 2015
Black Eyewear relaunched their Eskimo version in three colors in 2015. Available in Red, White and Yellow.
Nuitt Eyewear launched in 2015 a horn version that is still available today
Alexander Hi-Tk the steampunk, futuristic eyewear also currently offers and option in stainless steel.
Here is IGAAKs that launched on Kickstarter in 2016. Unfortunately they did not make their goals.
As you can see, the style is timeless and been worn for hundreds of years for both functionality and fashion. That makes is a Fashion Classic