Trends 2013: Retro/Geek Chic


Make room, Buddy Holly, the naughty librarian wants her due too. Yeah, the retro/geek chic trend is not going anywhere anytime soon. However, it has evolved over the last few seasons to reflect a lighter, more streamlined aesthetic, the addition of more feminine silhouettes (hello cat eye!) and the rise of the round to add a bit of freshness to this classic ‘everything old is new again’ trend.

“Cat eye styling for women in ophthalmic and suns, and in both zyl and metal. We are seeing the modernized versions of what the late 1950s and early 1960s made so popular. Styles like those featured in the movie The Help have resonated with women in our area.”
– Aaron Schubach,
vice president/owner, Standard Optical

“The younger market is embracing eyewear these days and is still tending toward the Buddy Holly/geek chic look that has been growing in popularity over the past couple of years.”
– Timm Parker, Viva International

“The next evolution of the ‘geek chic’ phenomenon continues to influence the eyewear category. Customers are drawn to unique, cool and oversized retro shapes from many brands this season. And while we first saw the trend on male celebrities like Justin Bieber and professional basketball players, both men and women have embraced the style. Everything from oversized frames, to soft cat eyes and round shapes is giving our customer the ‘retro geek chic’ look they want.”
– Lori Bowman,
Pearle Vision

“Vintage done in larger shapes and round is a big shape this year.”
– Cynthia Shapiro, creative director, Europa International

“Round frames continue to be a driving trend for us. Morgenthal has always specialized in round frames, but the clients willing to try this distinctive look continues to grow and works great for both sun and optical. Cat eyes continue to be very important, as retro styling continues to grow in popularity. It truly comes back to clients wanting a wardrobe of eyewear, so they can achieve different looks to suit their overall moods.”
– Jeff Press,

“What’s trending now is geek chic, a lot of large, plastic frames. Cat eye shapes, black, not the goth look but the geek look. What people wanted in the ’70s has circled back around. Females, men, even children are getting the square, plastic, large size frames.”
– Sharron Sanchez, store manager, Metro Optics

“For women, we are seeing with most brands, a cat eye shape being offered as well as larger round and square shapes in both ophthalmic and sun. For men, we are seeing a heavy zyl trend, but also a resurgence of popularity in metals, specifically heavier looking, lightweight metals. Men like the look of the thicker, plastic frame, but they are looking for something a little different, hence the ‘heavy metal.’”
– Cindy Keil,
director of purchasing and office planning, Eye Care Associates