How Eyewear Has Changed Over Time

2020 eyewear eyeglass frame style trends david kind

Just like fashion, eyewear trends and styles have changed considerably over the years. Today, eyewear is seen as more than just a necessity — and is worn as a way to express one’s personal style…existing as a form of functional fashion. Our designers at David Kind incorporate vintage influences and multicultural details to create timeless styles. To spot these thoughtful elements, we’ve crafted a brief history of eyewear and examined how styles have changed over the past century.

1900’s – 1920’s

The French pince-nez and monocle styles were all the rage. While impractical and uncomfortable, the 1900s saw the most developments in optical technology and the ability to wear eyewear comfortably and fashionably. 

1920’s – 1930’s

With the invention of plastic lenses, small round styles worn close to the face became popular. This decade also brought along the invention of (much) more comfortable frames that could be worn over the ears. We’re especially thankful for this development. Our ‘Richmond’ frames are an example of a simple, circular P3 frame style that pulls inspiration from this time period.

1940’s – 1950’s

Eyewear became a fashion statement with the popularity of the ever stylish cat eye shape. Accentuating one’s browline, upswept cat eye styles have been associated with glamour and fashion-forward looks, especially as they were worn by celebrities during this time. Our ‘Atlas’ Frames pull inspiration from this timeless design. 

1960’2 – 1970’s

As you can imagine, the 1960’s and 70’s drew attention to oversized and dramatic eyewear. Round or geometric shaped glasses became the preferred style. Eyewear became even more of a fashion statement (perhaps more so than a functional accessory). While we prefer more understated styles at David Kind, we pull inspiration from the 60’s and 70’s  as seen in our Kodachi and Kodachi Windsor frames, which feel like a nod to John Lennon

2018 thin metal eyeglass trend

1980’s – 1990’s

Oversized frames remained in style throughout the 80’s — but became bolder with the addition of colorful materials and funky shapes. We love incorporating the unique look of the 80’s in our designs, like our ‘Quincy’ frame or our colorful ‘Ando’ frame in Moss. With the 90’s came a shift towards smaller, more understated styles. With a renewed interest in retro design, cat eye frames came back in fashion along with thinner, oval shapes. Our ‘Raleigh’ and ‘Rhodes’ take a note from this time period, with their slim face and clean lines.


Today, there isn’t a trend that dominates the eyewear market. At David Kind, we pull from vintage styles, construction details from Japan and design elements from the Art Deco period. David Kind eyewear is crafted by hand by the best manufacturers in Sabae, Japan and Cadore, Italy. Do you have a question about our process or our available styles? We’d love to hear from you! Email


Still have some questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out. Send us an email at


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