Adam: Hip-Hop and it’s affinity for eyewear; a brief chronology.

From an early age, I have become all too familiar with the two subjects aforementioned. Unfortunately for me, the latter came first. In 2001, just before my Mum bought me my first ever pair of glasses, she would make me and my brother wear eye patches as instructed by my optometrist. My cousins used to poke fun at me by calling me Little Rick, a name which I came to learn was because the eye patch I wore bared a likeness to the 90’s hip hop artist Slick Rick. From that moment, both of the topics in the following blog have been a constant in my life.

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My vision is probably as bad as my lyricism however I always took comfort in knowing the coolest guys and girls on the planet in my younger years all shared a love for the same things as myself. I will now take you through a timeline of some of old school, new school and iconic artists who have triumphed, both musically and optically.

1981 – Run DMC

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One of the first groups to have an album certified Gold. We’re going to focus on Darryl McDaniels, or DMC, (pictured in the middle). The Gazelle type frame pioneered by Cari Zalloni (CAZAL) was prominent in the 80’s. This oversized, tinted optical frame is still very prominent with current fashion houses, notably Dior in recent years, whilst also influencing many of the more vintagesque styles within the Dita collection.

1986 – NWA

Musically and politically one of the most powerful and controversial groups in hip hop history. It is only fitting that their eyewear was as bold as they were, as shown by Eric Wright, AKA Eazy-E (pictured). The Compton based rappers wore a brand locally known as “Locs” & these frames offered dark tinted polarized lenses. I’d say this was beneficial for all of the flashing cameras. But make of it what you will…

1997 – The Notorious B.I.G aka Biggie Smalls

In terms of Hip Hop ‘hall of famers’, Christopher Wallace is arguably as iconic as it gets. Without doubt a lyrical pioneer sat right at the forefront of hip-hop legacy. So much so, that to this day his songs are continuously played on radio and in the clubs, still sounding as relevant, even amongst a whole new hip hop culture. B.I.G was instrumental in fusing fashion and hip hop, as before he came on the scene, an artists hip hop stature was evaluated on pure lyricism. This newfound link to fashion paved the way for new school artists, who may not have been lyrically superior, but knew how to ‘flex’ and sell records. This is now a common trend amongst many modern hip hop artists whose lyrics will often reference or boast about material things, rather than the hustling of old. Like an old school influencer way before his time, designer items worn by B.I.G increased in demand a thousand times over. None more so than the Versace VE4361 sunglasses (pictured). These sunglasses were re-released late last year and sold out within one month. The legacy of the Biggie Smalls lives on in his music, as does his love for fashion.

2013 - Jay-Z

Jay Z Wearing the Oliver Peoples Daddy B Sunglasses

Jay Z Wearing the Oliver Peoples Daddy B Sunglasses

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Now, although Jay’s career spans way before 2013, I am going to concentrate on the release of a song from the ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ album, entited; ‘Tom Ford’. The song was an ode to how fashion is a big passion in the artists life, and perhaps more importantly, it was an awareness of just how engrained luxury fashion is into modern hip hop. The song directly credits the designer. Prior to this Jay-Z had collaborated on Justin Timberlake’s ‘Suit and Tie’, in which the video samples Tom Ford collections and encapsulates the brands vision of well cultured, strong individuals with their own style. The song was nominated for a Grammy in 2014 and the Tom Ford brand itself experienced a spike in online sales and publicity. As we have experienced with the limited edition Tom Ford Private Eyewear Collection we have in store, the elements (polished horn, blended acetates,strong shapes based on TF’s own personal collections) certainly embody the luxe lifestyles of a highly successful modern day hip hop artist.

2019 – Migos

My current favourite hip-hop artists without question. The Migos, (made up of Quavo, Offset and Takeoff), bring a pioneering style to the music industry. Both of their albums debuted at number one on the Billboard charts, a feat which was only accomplished once before, by The Beatles. As if their dominance of hip-hop was not enough, the group also lead the way in fashion and eyewear within the music industry. Quavo and Offset boast jewellery collections worth (by their own admission) upwards of $3 million dollars. But for me what is a staple of their look, are the vintage Cartier frames they all wear. These vintage style frames are certainly synonymous with many rappers, sports starts and celebrities. As official Cartier stockists, we are all to familiar with the luxury presence Cartier holds; even within our store amongst a host of other luxury brands. We love this piece below from the latest release (in store now!)

I hope in this blog if nothing else, I have given you a brief insight into how music, eyewear and hip hop culture are constantly blending together. It must be mentioned that it is not just the hip-hop genre in which luxury eyewear has become synonymous, when you consider the likes of spectacle wearing musical icons Elton John, Buddy Holly, John Lennon to name a few. Maybe in my next blog I’ll cover some of those :)

Thanks for reading,

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Chloe; by Chloe!

Reviewing Chloe 2019

Reviewing Chloe 2019

Eyesite Opticians Chloe takes a look at Chloe’s SS19 eyewear collection available in store, offering a little introduction to the Parisian brands thinking behind the collection and tips on how to wear the pieces!

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This season Chloe’s creative director Natacha Ramsay-Levi has designed the collection to embody the hippie/boho spirit of a Mediterranean summer under the sun. Eyewear takes influence from bohemian, feminine vibes set in the 60s/70s. This season the Parisian fashion maison has re-vamped the classic Carlina shade, typically round-framed and oversized, the new model comes with gold detailing around the frame and pearl cut-out acetate tips to attach a jewelry chain to, adding extra sass to your summer outfit.

Gold Carlina £295, Eyesite Opticians

Gold Carlina £295, Eyesite Opticians

Chloe has introduced a brand-new frame this season called the ‘Rosie’, coming in a variety of zingy sunset coloured hues. The frames reflect a feminine, vintage inspired look in gradient, sunset-hued, flower-shaped lenses with gold detailing.

Rosie Sunglasses £295, Eyesite Opticians

Rosie Sunglasses £295, Eyesite Opticians

Another brand-new Chloe piece to add to your summer wardrobe is the Vicky… think vintage California vibes with this one. The aviator is over sized and comes with a variety of lens tints to choose from as well as interchangeable lenses. Perfect for a day of people watching in Beverly Hills or sunning on the beach in Ibiza

Vicky Sunglasses £325, Eyesite Opticians

Vicky Sunglasses £325, Eyesite Opticians

Stay tuned to our Instagram and Youtube channels as we look to showcase our pilot unboxing series, offering a chance to get a sneak into the newest designer catwalk and every day eyewear models coming in to Eyesite.  

Bye for now! x

Eyesite Opticians Barton - First year in review

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In Jan 2018, Eyesite Opticians opened its first doors in North Lincolnshire, moving to Barton Upon Humber replacing a local store that had been in situ for 20 years.

Having been resident Optical Assistant in store prior to Eyesite’s arrival, Helen shared her thoughts on her new place of work one year on.

“It’s been great to work with some iconic luxury brands. To say a new world of eyewear has been introduced to me is an understatement! Bringing these collections to the area, has made the combination of great eye health care and luxury fashion very accessible to the people of North Lincolnshire. ”

Having already introduced many brands to Lincolnshire from Eyesites extensive roster, new store manager and qualified Dispensing Optician Amy has already seen positive effects this has had. But she highlights the importance of an eye test as the essential factor in the bigger picture...

“We want to the local community to ensure they are maintaining the health of their eyes and receiving regular check ups from our qualified optician. An eye test can detect much more than just poor vision and can also uncover other underlying health issues, so it’s important people don’t shy away from attending their regular check up! Eye tests are free for many people, so it’s always worth receiving your annual test at the very least. But beyond that, yes it’s good to see people, whatever gender or age, experiencing their glasses as much more than just an 'aid'. Having so many styles to work with, means our clients can be perfectly matched to the frame, sunglasses or contact lenses, that fits their style, lifestyle and personality. At the end of the day we want for those who require glasses to have the freedom and choice to find something they will actually love wearing.”

From all of the staff at Eyesite we would like to thank the residents of North Lincolnshire for making us feel so welcome in year 1; as we look forward to meeting, testing and styling many more faces in year 2! See you in store :)

The Fashion Icon - Karl Lagerfeld

Sunglasses are like eye shadow. They make everything look younger and prettier.
A fresh faced Karl Lagerfeld

A fresh faced Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Otto Lagerfeld is said to have been born in 1933 in Germany but an exact date has never been confirmed with Lagerfeld after claiming he was neither born in 1933 nor 1938. Karl moved to Paris the fashion capital of the world at the young age of 14. In recent interviews it was revealed he hated being a child and couldn’t wait to grow up. Entering and winning a design competition for his sketch of a coat Lagerfeld finally had his foot in the fashion door. Pierre Balmain caught wind of Karl’s design and offered him the position of his personal assistant, immediately taking his award winning sketch to production. Lagerfeld moved onto creating designs for Jean Patou who was a top French designer at the time, creating two haute couture collections a year. In 1960 for their spring summer collection Karl designed a ground breaking skirt for the collection which was later titled the shortest skirt in Paris.

Fendi

The Fendi Family

The Fendi Family

It was the year of 1965 when Karl Lagerfeld joined the Fendi family. Karl was offered the job of creative director for the luxury fashion house. He began by overseeing designs for fur lines, accessories and ready-to-wear collections. To this day Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld are unapologetic for the use of furs. Karl believed the fur industry created jobs, nor did he see a problem with people eating meat or the use of leather goods which caused world controversy.  

Karl sketched the FF logo for Fendi which was reborn and took the fashion world by storm in 2018. Celebrities alike are now covered head to toe in the Fendi monogram thanks to Karl Lagerfeld. Karl had a fascination with beauty and youth by hand picking his models and keeping with the times by only using the current IT girls to showcase his latest designs.

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Bella Hadid “Can Eye”

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Gigi Hadid “Run Away”

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“Fabulous Fendi”

Chanel

What I do Coco would have hated. The label has an image and it’s up to me to update it. I do what she never did. I had to go from what Chanel was to what it should be, could be, what it had been to something else
Karl Lagerfeld @ Chanel

Karl Lagerfeld @ Chanel

It wasn’t until 1983 that Karl was appointed creative director for the iconic fashion house Chanel; a position he held for the next 36 years.  Karl described Chanel as a dying brand which he brought back to life by creating revolutionary suits with skirts and statement hats, Karl was known for being way ahead of his time. Lagerfeld felt it was his mission to reinvent previous designs and adapt them to modern life. Karl brought back the classic Chanel Little Black Jacket, pairing the statement piece with casual attire as opposed to full suit trousers. Lagerfeld was the true designer to create the interlocked double CC logo which is still incorporated into designs today.

Karl prided himself on being heavily involved into every process of a design from sketching, to production, to campaign ideas and to finally photographing his personally handpicked models.  Chanel AW16 Lagerfeld chose Willow Smith to be the face of Chanel for her youth, creativity and exuding confidence.  The collection became an instant hit.

Willow Smith for Chanel

Willow Smith for Chanel

Karl Lagerfeld was a true fashion icon across six decades of fashion. He single handedly shaped the fashion world as we know it. Never shy in voicing his policies, we see models marching down the runway with feminist placards in his Chanel SS/15 catwalk show.

Chanel 2015

Chanel 2015

Karl Lagerfeld dedicated his life and soul to fashion. Shortly after Karl Legerfeld’ s death on the 19th February 2019 a statement was released by Chanel’s president of global fashion Bruno Pavlovsky it stated “Fashion show after fashion show, collection after collection, Karl Lagerfeld left his mark on the legend of Gabrielle Chanel and the history of the House of Chanel. The greatest tribute we can pay today is to continue to follow the path he traced by – to quote Karl – “continuing to embrace the present and invent the future”. 

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Fashion houses, public figures and models alike pay tribute to Karl across their social media platforms how he each individually touched their lives. The entire fashion world was in deep mourning for the loss of fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld. Please click through to read some of the most poignant tributes.

I don’t believe in lifetime achievement. For me it is all about the next collection.
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Jon: Advertising on the fringe #Guccihallucination

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2018 was the year that Gucci cemented itself as a global Creative Fashion powerhouse. Gucci’s market dominance is evident everywhere you look but my personal intrigue in Gucci doesn't come from its financial success or its record sales. For me what is most inspiring is Gucci’s transformation from a brand with a dated philosophy and tired aesthetic to one which is embracing the avant-garde. Hyped brands come and go but its worth celebrating Gucci as a creative leader who seem to be reaping the benefits of thinking outside of the box and challenging the status quo when it comes to marketing its collections.

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This daring attitude has been most evident in Gucci’s Spring/Summer advertising campaign. Under the guidance of Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s creative team enlisted the assistance of Spanish Artist Ignasi Monreal. Monreal quickly got to work transforming classic artworks in his typical surrealist style to promote one of Gucci’s most dynamic capsule collections of 2018. The collaboration resulted in the #Guccihallucination campaign.

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Drawing from Renaissance portraiture Monreal has re-imagined Greek and Roman Mythology for the modern age. This modernisation of the Renaissance art style has complimented Gucci’s maximalist creative direction perfectly.

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Monreal paintings have found there way onto web, print and POS graphic campaigns but whats more surprising is that they have found their way into more ambient advertising campaigns. If you can call 20ft murals ambient! These murals have been a particular favourite of ours here at Eyesite Opticians.

Monreal has clearly thrived under the creative freedoms afforded by Gucci and it is clear that the partnership has been mutually beneficial. It would be unfair to say that the work is simply clever advertising for the various Gucci products present in the 2018 collection. For me its refreshing to see a huge brand not rest on the tried and tested methods of promotion i.e. Attractive cool model in XYZ garment, or even XYZ famous attractive person adorned in Gucci.

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Monreal’s work has given permanence to the collection in a way that only paintings can and the collaboration has cemented Gucci as a creative forward thinking fashion powerhouse.

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Rhianna: Dita Rikton 402 "A masterclass in futuristic eyewear"

The DITA Rikton-Type 402

The Rikton incorporates photochromic dual lens technology that adapts to every lighting environment for optimum eye coverage with enhanced colour perception. The twin lens design features an anti-reflection coating to block out the reflections of everyday life for a clearer sharper view, a small titanium spacer is then inserted to repel dust and scratches. These lenses are then locked in place with the iconic Dita green cording system. The Rikton’s futuristic chassis is developed using only the best titanium for a strong yet lightweight build, a modern take on a timeless aviator-like design. Created exclusively for eyewear enthusiasts.

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Founded in 1995 Dita have continued to push the boundaries in innovated eyewear. They excel in their lens technology, timeless shapes and master craftsmanship. Their attention to detail is unparalleled with each piece hand-crafted from start to finish with over 320 production steps and a completion time scale of up to 8 months. To have and to hold a Dita is to experience genuine eyewear luxury.

Shop Dita across the Eyesite stores.

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Jon: Icons of eyewear. "A brief analysis of the Icons of Modern Eyewear. "

The Ocularly challenged heroes of our modern age.

HARRY POTTER

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Here’s the big one! If you haven't heard anyone mention this guy you either don't work in Optics or you have been living under a rock for the past 20 years. The half blood prince has got a lot to answer for when it comes to peoples opinion on round frames. They either love them or hate them. Too round and you immediately here the fatal words of “he whose name should not be spoken” (see what I did there) It usually goes along the lines of “Too….Errrrm… Harry Potter for me.” It can be a blessing or a curse from a dispensing perspective. I guess in conclusion, we can thank Harry for raising the profile of round eyewear but I cant help feeling like we need more cultural reference points! Come on people!

To nail the Potter look. Go for a Warren in black and tort from Garrett Leight or for women theres the latest Celine CL50001U for that perfectly round aesthetic.

To nail the Potter look. Go for a Warren in black and tort from Garrett Leight or for women theres the latest Celine CL50001U for that perfectly round aesthetic.

SUPERMAN ( CLARK KENT)

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The classic gentleman. This guy literally becomes unrecognisable as his daily persona when he takes his spectacles off! It seems pretty unrealistic to suggest this guy is not immediately recognised. But, outside the world of Superheroes I actually think the idea of reversed identity actually bares some kind of truth. We often find that when a familiar face doesn't have their spectacles on, they too become somewhat indistinguishable. I guess this suggests that when ‘done right’, eyewear can be so iconic and intrinsic to a persons overall style that it becomes a part of what they are known for. I don't think we can give Clark the credit for this (!), but a strong image can be a result of some great styling and dispensing.

Off duty superheros should look no further than Tom Ford or Gucci’s latest 2018 AW mens range for that striking dark acetate look.

Off duty superheros should look no further than Tom Ford or Gucci’s latest 2018 AW mens range for that striking dark acetate look.

DAME EDNA

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Ednaphobia has been haunting Opticians for what seems like years! The image of this individual seems to be permanently seared onto half the populations retinas. Whats the cure and how can we change pubic opinion? Is Ednaphobia incurable? Well here’s the thing. A raised brow frame, or a cat eye style, can be one of the most popular and versatile shapes. It is a very elegant and timeless style, that combined with the right colour or pattern, looks extremely fashion savvy for wearers of all ages. Like any of the many styles we love, there’s no guarantee it will work for you personally; but for Ednaphobes worldwide, facing your fears on this one could be the best way to end Ednaphobia for good.

For those who have been enlightened look no further than Bvlgari 4165, or for a modern take the Cutler and Gross 1288 (both pictured).

DEIDRE BARLOW

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I cant think of another British Icon who has polarised opinion on eyewear as successfully as Deirdre Barlow over the decades. Potentially without even knowing it Deirdre’s oversized 80s frames are a cultural reference point for customers time and time again! If you follow optics trends as closely as we do you will know that in many respects oversized is back with vengeance! Metal and Acetate oversized square and aviator frames are now commonplace. Could this be Deirdres legacy finally getting the praise she deserves or simply a re-imagining of something edgy we took for granted the first time around. Either way we are into it!

Make Deirdre proud with Gucci’s Acetate Aviator or oversized square round GG0259O or GG0264O. For those who are into metal frames try VB’s latest Aviators VBOPT227.

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Rhianna: Chopard Cannes Limited Edition

Swiss jewellery powerhouse Chopard have been in partnership with the annual Cannes film festival since 1998, exclusively making one of a kind pieces for the event.

This year’s special edition piece is a classic round sunglass with a very contemporary twist.  The piece is dipped in 23kt gold and delicately hand crafted from start to finish in Italy by the world’s most skilled eyewear jewellers. The sunglasses feature a unique side shield, which incorporates an exquisite lace-like pattern. Precious stones are then elegantly placed to follow the shape of each oversized lens. The Chopard logo is modestly etched onto the fine gold finished sides to pay homage to the brand.

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“23kt Gold…

… with exquisite lace like patterned sides”

The piece is presented in a grand velvet show box. Designed for those with a true taste for luxury.

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The frame is made in a beautiful rose gold and orange gold. This piece is only available in the best optical stores across the world and exclusively at chopard boutiques. There are only 10 pieces made for the UK and we have each colour in store.

We look forward to seeing you in store this AW season.

Much Love

Rhianna x

Jon: Oakley Spotlight - "The power of being underestimated"

For many, Oakley has always represented the best in sports related eyewear and purpose related fashion and have always innovated within those fields. More recently there has been a general opinion that the brand has failed to keep up with the wider fashion industry and their demands to constantly reinvent season after season. Even though Oakley’s formula is loved by many a more brand-centric millennial or Gen Z individual may have felt the brand is no longer hyped. 


Oakley who were once famous for being at the forefront of youth culture may have been relying too heavily on their successes through the 80’s and 90’s. Their signature sports Aesthetic may have confined them to one area of the market and with that there’s a feeling that their core fan-base has grown older, had kids, and ditched the skateboards in favour of reliable German cars. This reliance has dramatically changed as Oakley’s have set out on a mission to re-engage with not just a younger audience but a more brand conscientious audience. Exactly how does a brand re-image itself and stay relevant in an industry which is constantly reinventing the wheel? In an industry where irony, self-reflection and re-appropriation are common themes, is there enough space for brand like Oakley to be relevant outside the sport related formula?


To start; Oakley seem very self aware and rather than change the formula completely have opted for a really interesting approach to penetrate new markets. Its all about collaboration and although most of Oakley’s collab efforts may have gone under the radar, there are strong signs of that quintessential Oakley innovation and creativity. Its exciting to see designers re-imagining Oakley classics and even completely re-appropriating Oakley’s aesthetic to meet their own message.
 

Check out some of these examples!

VETEMENTS SS19 RUNWAY DEBUTS SPIKED OAKLEY COLLABORATION


KITH X OAKLEY RAZORBLADE SUNGLASSES


PALACE X OAKLEY COLLAB - SUMMER '18


SAMUEL ROSS DESIGNED OAKLEY COLLECTION

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Aimee: Take us back to the 90's

Hyper colour t-shirts, butterfly clips and denim dungarees were staples of the 90's, and they do say how fashion always comes back around. This season is no exception. We have seen some serious throwbacks hit the catwalk. For all you '90's kids' out there, this one's for you. So many amazing brands this season have turned back the clock, dugout those retro trends and set the bar for this season's eyewear. From Celine to Persol, this year is definitely seeing a 90's comeback. Now, we all remember the tiny, sleek sunnies that everyone used to wear, well who'd have thought they'd be back, and in full force?! 

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Celine's latest range of sunglasses feature some truly retro pieces, including the 'Cat-eye' acetate frame which embraces a truly 90's feel to it. And with its shallow frame and block colour, this is nothing but retro.

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With the festival season upon us, Rayban's 'new-retro' pieces are the perfect way to top off that vintage summer look. Rayban have always been the 'go to brand' for classic eyewear and with their summer season 'Flat-oval' sunspecs you'll be effortlessly timeless throughout this summers festivals.

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Another supporter of the 90's cat-eye frame is Le Specs with their Last Lolita range, displaying vintage class with the bold colours and strong shape. This is a style that will keep coming back round due to it effortless elegance.

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Persol, just like Rayban, hold a kind of 'legend' with in the brand making each piece ageless but their new season features a selection of rounder frames, giving us a truly 90's feel.

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Fashion will always circulate, but personally, I love a throwback to the 90's and I feel that this season has done us proud, especially within the eyewear brands.