In the 1990s, the sunglasses that were considered vintage sunglasses changed slightly, and although many of the styles that became popular in the 70s and 80s continued to be popular during the 90s, there were a few significant changes to sunglasses fashion during this decade. In the 1990s a few brands started to become more popular such as Oakley, and there were other brands that started to grow in popularity among younger demographics. Sports starts popularized brands like Oakley and different customizations to sunglasses continued to improve, as there were now thousands of different brands available to consumers, and they could purchase them from the internet toward the late 1990s as more people started to purchase computers.
New frames became available that were lighter than ever
As sunglasses manufacturers continued to try to improve upon the design of vintage sunglasses and modern sunglasses, they made them lighter than they ever were before. This made sunglasses more popular among athletes, and mountain bikers, skiers and other athletes started to wear them more during practices and casually. With many athletes reaching massive celebrity status during this decade, you had athletes like Dennis Rodman who popularized several different styles of Oakley sunglasses. The “wrap” design of vintage sunglasses like Oakely became very popular during the 1990s, and this style refers to the curved wrap around frame that fits in more of a contour to the face and offered more protection on each side.
Frames were stronger than ever
Oakley frames were also improved upon during the 1990s with the “X metal” frames that were made from a titanium alloy and used in some of Oakley’s product lines like the Juliet vintage sunglasses. The X metal frames were very resistant to damage and wear and tear, and although they were pricier than many other options, they were popular for their quality and design. The metal alloy was marketed as being “unbreakable” and it certainly was one of the strongest and longest lasting types of frames that you could buy during the decade, but there were other frames available that were made from very strong composites and materials that would be almost as durable.
Oakleys were popular with younger buyers
Younger buyers often preferred purchasing Oakleys as athletes popularized them, but other sunglass manufacturers like B&L, Armani and others introduced their own variation of the wrap around style that started to really take precedence in the 1990s. The wraparound style wasn’t quite as popular in following decades, but it still maintained substantial popularity. Other similar styles were also popular, and Cazal sunglasses maintained their popularity among hip hop and rap artists. However, Cazal sunglasses started to be worn by celebrities of all backgrounds including Hollywood actors, models, musicians of other genres, and more. Sunglass fashion as a whole really continued to evolve based on the groups that had adopted their preferred styles in the 1980s, and although some of the groups started to adopt new styles, many of the trends of the 80s remained in more or less the same form.