If you lived through the 80s, you probably owned a pair of Futuristic Sunglasses. These were shades that looked like they were from out of this world, and they fit in perfectly with the bold fashion of the decade.
The 80s was a decade that saw society looking forward to the future. As could be seen from the hundreds of sci-fi movies released during the era, the world’s obsession with the future was undeniable, and this didn’t exempt trends in fashion.
As a fashion accessory, futuristic sunglasses were seen everywhere – from angled and geometric-shaped frames to mono lens glasses made of acetate frames, to ski goggles worn with flashy dresses on the dancefloor, the more futuristic the sunglasses, the better.
Futuristic Sunglasses In The 80s
An obsession with cyberpunk, sci-fi movies and flashy fashions paved the way for futuristic sunglasses to become one of the hottest trends in fashion accessories in the 80s. These glasses came in many different shapes, colors, and materials, with the most popular ones being the cyclops glasses, also known as the Devo glasses, Robot glasses, and Oakley’s O-Frame goggles that were released in 1980.
These sunglasses had a flashy appeal, where they evoked styles that seemed to be ahead of their time. The designs also weren’t for the faint-hearted. They were bold, in-your-face, and demanded attention. Wearing them surely drew the attention of any crowd.
One of the most famous personalities of the 80s that put a spotlight on futuristic sunglasses was the band, Devo. They were one of the hottest stars on MTV, garnering significant airplay for their music, but also their fashionable ensembles. They were often seen wearing matching outfits, and of course, their iconic Devo sunglasses.
The Devo sunglasses featured a mono lens, also sometimes known as cyclops glasses. They came in an acetate frame that wrapped around the face and side of the head, featuring a single panel of lens that made them look like cyclops. These futuristic glasses were so popular that they were featured in the opening scene of the 1980s blockbuster movie, “Sixteen Candles,” released in 1984.
Another hit movie in the 1980s was “Back To The Future Part II” (1989), and Pizza Hut released a set of “Solar Shades” that were pretty rad to promote the movie. Check out this commercial for them below:
Popular Futuristic Sunglasses Styles
Aside from Devo sunglasses, otherwise known as cyclops sunglasses, other futuristic specs were also popular during the decade. In terms of lenses, Revo’s mirrored lens coating was very much sought-after. Used in visor sunglasses and goggle-style cyberpunk frames, the lenses were derived from the NASA space program, which Revo called the NASA LMS (NASA Light Management System technology).
These lenses weren’t just functional in blocking out bad light, but they also came in a spectrum of rainbow colors, such as red, blue, purple, orange, yellow, and red. With the 80s being a decade of bright and bold colors, the lenses provided the wearer with endless fashion possibilities.
These mirrored lenses created a futuristic fashion statement that matched the fashion zeitgeist of forward-thinking fashionistas of the decade.
Are Futuristic Sunglasses Still Popular?
These days futuristic sunglasses are typically not seen that often among the general public. It is just one of those fashion trends that seems to have been left back in the 1980s.
The 80s saw an era of fashion expression and an anything-goes philosophy in trends. The more eye-catching your clothes and accessories were, the better, and futuristic sunglasses like the cyclops or Robot glasses were deemed as way ahead of their time.
These sunglasses weren’t worn for their function, but they were purposely worn to draw attention, which was what the 80s was truly about – standing out in a crowd by being as bold and fashion-forward as you could be.
Though they are no longer popular, we will always fondly remember them as a fashion trend that was distinctly 80s.