Like so many things continually changing, eyewear has evolved significantly over the last millennia. Ushered in by changes in available technology, necessity of function and the latest fashions, collected here are two great media items that bring life to this point. This first infographic showcases changes in eyewear since the early Middle Ages. Beginning with the concept of using polished, clear stones to aid in reading, a.k.a. "reading stones," the infographic is quite interesting as one can clearly see (pun intended) the different factors of influence that made possible or drove the eyewear innovation of the time. Most certainly, eyewear has become much wider in the range of affordability, style and function. For example, imagine paying the equivalent of $6K for a pair of "glasses" not even dialed for your own particular Rx? This was the case in the 1800's. How times have changed!
This next element, a video from BuzzFeedVideo, gives a great tour of the last 100 years in men's eyeglasses/shades evolution. While comedic in presentation, one can again see how style, tech and the need for various functions drove these decade-by-decade changes. Video Courtesy: BuzzFeedVideo
Eyewear Trends Today
In looking at the evolution of eyewear, a few things clearly continue in their expansion today: 1. Rapid growth in technology is creating new and fantastic plays in the eyewear space (watch for a future blog post on this), 2. Eyewear is getting increasingly affordable and expensive in range. From ten bucks for a pair of corner shades, to prices in the many thousands for what are true works of art, the cost of frames and lenses represents quite a spectrum. Of course, as it has always been, high-end optometry shops provide opportunities for stylistic distinction and the chance to set trends. So, just where do you land on the eyewear strata? Are you an afterthought buyer, or do you treat your eyewear as a true fashion and/or function play?