A Step Through The History Of Cat-Eye Glasses

Styles in glasses have changed over the decades but one style that keeps coming back is Cat-Eye Glasses. The style was first introduced in the 1930s and has grown ever since.   In the 1960s, Audrey Hepburn made them even more famous in the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Cat-Eye Glasses have become a favorite from Marilyn Monroe to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and even showed up on a Barbie Doll!

Designer Altina Schinasi turned designing n it’s ear when she created the Cat-Eye look in glasses. She noticed that glasses were absolutely boring with no flash what so ever in the U.S. while designing was huge in Venice and Italy. She set out to design glasses with huge, exaggerated frames around her eyes.  Although most opticians turned her designs down, she landed a boutique in New York City.

During the 1940s, the shape of the Cat-Eye frame took on a new name, the “Harlequin”. The new style consisted of rectangle lenses and thick frames.  The sides offered a slight uplift and incorporated small details in the orders such as this one with small gold stars.

In the 1950s, the Cat-Eye glasses became a lot more narrow and pointed. The style hit huge popularity after being worn by Marilyn Monroe in several of her films.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that Cat-Eye glasses became much larger, enormous frames. Now was the age of Cat-Eye Sunglasses.  Once again, Audrey Hepburn made this style the absolute rage in design. As mentioned above, she wore this style in her famous movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

When the 1970s came around the corner, bigger, larger, rounder glasses were the new fashion. The design was more dramatic to keep up with the times as well as the Kennedy family!

In the 1980s,  bigger, larger, rounder glasses continued to take on fashion by storm. The only design change. The Cat-Eye glasses were even larger and offering metal frames, perfect for hiding a celeb’s face!

These over-sized Cat-Eye frames with colored lenses became the in-thing for the 1990s. Note – They are making a big comeback this year! In the 90s, these glasses came in a huge range of bright, splashy colors!

In the new millennium, 2000, glasses became even larger, if you can believe it! Cat-Eye glasses were showing up in thick, chunky frames with a touch of dazzling on the side.

When 2010 struck, the retro Cat-Eye style was born and being worn by one and all. The big difference, the frames became more geometric and smaller than the past years.

It seems the Cat-Eye look in glasses has stayed around since the 1930s and there is no sign of the style going away.