By David Goldberg

More and more men are seeing the light when it comes to the appeal of lightweight eyewear.

And optical companies are anticipating that ultra-light frames will be among the hot trends for men’s frames in 2020.

Silhouette’s 20 Years of Titan Minimal Art collection, distributed in Canada by Canadian Optical Supply Co., features frames in materials based on titanium, which creates lightweight yet lasting eyewear.

“The Special Edition 20 Years TMA models are Silhouette’s unique take on the modern holograph trend,” says COS’s Crystal Geoghegan. “Their stunning, futuristic look gives them the appearance of full-rim eyewear, proving that minimalism and high fashion can go hand in hand.” 

The special TMA models come in options for men and women.

Meanwhile, Centennial Optical is bringing to Canada new TLG (Thin. Light. Glasses) frames, which are designed to be modern, thinner and lighter.

New looks include the TLG053 in navy.

Another light and airy-looking frame from Centennial is the 5211 from Alfred Sung. 

Centennial’s Linda Mulford-Hum also believes that 2020 will see the continuation of the popularity of warm hues, cocoa browns, burnt ambers, Tokyo tortoise, nudes and neutrals.

Going green is also a focus for the company in the new year. 

“We are working to incorporate both biodegradable and waste-stream reduction zyl into all of our brands for 2020 because we know it’s time,” she says.

Safilo also says after many seasons of chunkier, heavier frames, the trends are now pointing towards ultra-light.

Safilo offers lightweight frames for people seeking athleisure styles.

“Directional, wraparound masks in acetate or injected, with sculpted soft curves, and rubber accents, for technical or fashion appeal, as well as memory metal and titanium styles, are representative of this sports-active look,” says Vladimiro Baldin, Safilo’s chief licenced brand and global product officer.

And athleisure is all about offering optimal ultra-violet protection as well.

Styles with all of these elements include Carrera 1029/S, a unisex style with a pink option as well, and Carrera 1031/S.

Another bold look that’s still light on the face is the Tommy Hilfiger TH1721/S.

At Alternative/Plan “B” Eyewear, Cassandra Slepien anticipates that there’s going to be a lot of metal fans to kick off the new decade.

“We believe that metal is still going to be a strong look for 2020, especially the play between matte and shiny finishes on single designs to create an increased depth of light and colour,” the company’s director of sales and marketing, says. 

Slepian also sees a lot of vintage inspirations including drop temples, over-the-top shapes, and filigree are still on trend and will continue to be seen. 

“Finishes with some texture to them are also showing signs of growing,” says Slepian.

“With an emphasis on the mixing of these elements to create a new look.” 

A perfect example of this is the Staag Collection with the SG-Reece, SG-Sullivan and SG-Kingston frames leading the way. 

Meanwhile, at WestGroupe, Beverly Suliteanu, vice-president of product development, sees high-end materials and minimalist design elements highlighting men’s fashion in 2020, particularly with WestGroupe’s Evatik line. 

“Combining architectural details and refined design elements for a polished look, the new styles provide uncompromising comfort with luxury appeal,” she says. 

For men requiring a larger eye size, E-9200 is a rectangular style with a linear patterned acetate. This contrasts the tortoise pattern laminate along the inside of the temples. The stylized double-cubed metal integrated spring hinges stand out against the acetate and is offered in matte black, black grey and forest green.

Stainless steel and acetate are combined to create style E-9201. A modified square shape in translucent acetate is outlined along the browline by a thin metal frame that seamlessly forms the temples. With a matte finish, this style is available in black crystal, navy blue crystal and grey crystal.

WestGroupe’s KLiiK collection is drawing from key fashion influences, Suliteanu says.

“The new models create a subtle, minimalistic look for men and women requiring a narrow fit with a strong sense of style,” she says.

Stainless steel style K-666 is a rectangular, semi-rimless frame in a matte finish. The frame front features linear pierced end pieces and stylized hinges with a metallic finish. This style is available in metallic hues of black gun, grey silver and khaki silver.

Marcolin’s Timberland collection for fall/winter is divided into two clusters, including heritage/outdoor, which falls under the lightweight trend in eyewear.

These designs are light and comfortable on the face and boast sporty designs to be worn in the outdoors.

The other cluster is modern casual, which features current and urban eyewear.

All frames in the collection are made of at least 35 per cent bio-based plastic material.

Shapes in the collection range from round to pilot, all the way to typical sports-style wraparound frames. The colour palette features classic shades such as black, Havana and blue in matte finishes along with bright red and orange hues.

The collection includes the minimalist rectangular TB1650, which has temples with micro-perforated metal inserts, and the athletic TB9204 navigator-style wraparound frame.

Classic styles are definitely still in, according to René Gerber, senior marketing manager – North America at Bollé Brands. 

“Vintage styles are still in demand, but with updated colours and utilizing a combination of acetates or nylons combined with metal. These styles are popular as they are classic and modern at the same time so you can wear them year after year and still feel on trend,” says Gerber.

New Serengeti releases that fall into this category include Alray and Aurora, which come in rich, warm torts and ambers and have a high luster finish.

Also, the classic aviator get a facelift this season with bold golds, matte rose gold and shiny silver. The Carrara from Serengeti is a popular style that keeps going year after year.