By Deirdre Carroll: Senior Editor

Robert Pattinson has almost single handedly done more for the “Clubmaster” silhouette as a sunglass in the last couple of years than anyone, but before RPatz, the ophthalmic style was popularized by such noted individuals as Malcolm X and Colonel Sanders.

WHAT: The term “Clubmaster” didn’t come about until the 1980s when Ray-Ban launched their iconic version, but browline glasses, as they used to be known, accounted for half of all eyeglasses sold in the 1950s. The glasses were first manufactured by Shuron in 1947 and popularized by ArtCraft with their Clubman and Leading Lady styles, which helped make them the most common style of eyeglasses sold before solid plastic styles took over in the early 1960s. The style is characterized by the lenses being fixed into metal eye rims and then inserted into a bold plastic or aluminum brow. Though traditionally the bridge was made of metal and affixed to the metal portion of the frame, in more modern styles, the bridge is part of the brow portion and the construction is often done in luxe titanium paired with high-end zyl and acetate. For Fall 2012, many collections have “gone clubbing” and introduced browline styles back into their ophthalmic collections.

(Top to bottom) The Fossil Margaret from Safilo proves the trend is just as wearable for women with a slightly more rounded shape in classic tort on front and a super on-trend-for-the-season oxblood interior. Speaking of oxblood, The Dale from Seraphin by Ogi also comes in the hottest color of the season paired with antique gold titanium touches on the bridge, eye rims and temples. The Sullivan from Spy Optic updates the classic browline by eliminating the metal bridge and finishing the brow in grey and white marbleized acetate while retaining all the other classic characteristics. If we are really going to talk about refreshing a classic, it doesn’t get more modern than the Javier from Sama. Done in all titanium paired with the lightest, most flexible acetate imaginable, the Javier has all the looks of a retro Clubmaster but streamlined without any unnecessary weight. On the other side of the spectrum is the Dita Statesman. Substantial and statement-making, the details on the Statesman are impeccable; from the textured black eye rims and horn-inspired acetate browline to the logo embossed nosepads, the Statesman offers a completely different form of vintage-inspired luxury.

WHY: You can never go wrong with a classic… but you can look dated if you are not careful. This new class of Clubmaster-inspired styles has been reimagined to make it feel fresh and look modern. For the customers who are still drawn to the vintage look, but may be tired of the heavy black or tortoise frames that spawned the trend, the Clubmaster is a great way to transition them into a new style that speaks to their retro-inclinations while slowly introducing them to upwardly trending metal frames.