A peek at the hottest spring looks in eyewear

By David Goldberg 


“Cool shades.”

It’s a compliment that’s sure to get just about anyone glowing since sunglasses are an essential accessory for peoples’ wardrobes.

Many consumers own several pairs to co-ordinate different looks.

And thank goodness sunglasses make everyone look so darn cool because they’re essential to saving the eyes from the sun’s rays.

For these reasons, the global sunglasses market is currently worth $30 billion, a number that’s expected only to grow.

Once again, eyewear style watchers say the retro stylings of past decades will dominate trends for summer ‘21, which comes at a time when people are expected to spend more time outside because of COVID-19.

“Casual styling to compliment the athleisure trend continues to dominate as consumers look to spend as much time outdoors as possible due to pandemic restrictions,” says Safilo SVP Eric Blanchette.

“Additionally, sunglass brands with a sustainability offer have become increasingly important. Our Levi’s and Polaroid collections, for example, offer sunglasses made from either bio-based, eco-friendly or recycled materials.”

Sustainable shades, along with oversized sunglasses and those featuring coloured lenses and ‘70s-inspired stylings are also expected to be on-trend this spring/summer.

“Our newer men’s brand, Eyewear by David Beckham, and Levi’s, an iconic brand favoured by today’s millennials and Gen Z consumers, also continue to rank high on our excitement scale since these collections launched during the pandemic and continue to offer that ‘new’ factor,” says Blanchette.

The Levi’s LV 1015/S butterfly sunglasses are expected to be popular for women, while the Eyewear by David Beckham DB 7048/S sunglasses, designed for a perfect fit under motorcycle helmets, are a hot new look for men.





Beverly Sulltineau, WestGroupe’s vice-president of product development and creative director, says retro shapes inspired by the ‘70s will continue to trend in sunwear this spring/summer.

“Oversized square shapes in both thin metal and acetate as well as hexagon shapes are featured heavily in both Fysh and OTP Sun collections, while flat top rounds work great for OTP unisex models.”

Trendy shades by FYSH include the F-2064, while OTP Sun’s OTPS-2008 will be a must-have unisex option.

Rene Gerber, Bolle Brands’ senior marketing manager, also says ‘70s-inspired thin metal frames in large geometric shapes are expected to be popular among women.

“Nylons are still strong in the uplifting cat eye shapes like the new Rolla from Serengeti Sport,” she says.

“Colour trends for ladies include blush and crystal-based resin in a number of hues.”

Rolla has a chunky rectangular shape with an angular profile and wide temple, while Wakota is feminine and casual with an angular design on the top.

Crystal Geoghegan, lead buyer at Canadian Optical Supply, says oversized sunglasses will continue to dominate trends for the 2021 season.

“We also see a mix of bold/saturated colours with classic neutrals,” she says.

The newest sunglasses collection from Nifties, available in Canada by COS, is a great mix of form and function. They boast trendy oversized shapes with a perfect balance of classic and bold colours. All Nifties frames, including the trendy Nifties-NI9824 (pictured above), are designed specifically to fit adult customers with fine facial features.




Maui Jim is making the new Hawaii Lava red mirror available for several of its most popular legacy styles, including Ho’okipa, Kawika and Cliff House. 

“We are continuing with the tradition of streamlined and minimalist design,” says marketing manager Jeff Speiran. 

The company is also introducing two new styles built with its MauiFlex memory metal frame technology and MauiBrilliant lenses.

They include the Aki Aki and Ohai, now available in black, gunmetal, silver and copper.

These rimless, three-piece mounted frames compliment the previously-launched Nanea in this line. 

Mehran Baghaie, chief designer at Spectacle EYEworks, says “loud, niche, bold and beautiful” sums up the sunglasses trends for 2021.

The Vancouver-based company is releasing its first collection of sunglasses in 15 years. 

The new line of shades dubbed, Anisa, will offer three distinct looks: Gisele and Ghazaleh for women and Perdrum for men. 

“I anticipate very fashion-forward and unique styles of sunglasses. I think making a fashion statement with your sunglasses will be the norm for 2021,” Baghaie says.




Life is extra complicated these days, so we welcome anything to make our lives a little easier. For instance, if you’re frustrated by having to constantly swap your prescription glasses for sunglasses, Alternative & Plan B Eyewear has delivered with its revolutionary Interface that certainly isn’t your grandma’s clip-ons! “The convenience of swiping skin options is the hottest trend for ease when switching from RX to Sunglasses,” explains Paul Storace, CEO at Alternative & Plan B. The slick design doesn’t need hooks or magnets to attach the skins, which fit seamlessly to the frames. “The transformative eyewear experience creates ease with your vision while having options for driving at night with yellow lens option or maximum UV protection with our polarized grey lens protection,” says Storace.