It seems that tiny sunglasses have finally run their course. Athletic shades have officially dethroned the ubiquitous teensy frames as the cool-girl calling card. The fashion set has chosen to eschew the microscopic, Matrix-style sunglasses in lieu of something sportier, just as Instagrammable, and that actually shields against the sun’s UV rays.
Need proof? Bella Hadid, who made tiny lenses somewhat of a sartorial signature, stepped out in Paris sporting a shocking head-to-toe red ensemble plucked from Virgil Abloh‘s debut collection for Louis Vuitton, elevated by a pair of orange-tinted performance sunglasses dreamed up by Heron Preston for Nike. The athletic frames have also found favor in jet-setting DJ twin duo Simi and Haze Khadra, and even Princess Anne, who recently attended the Chelsea Flower Show wearing a pair of sporty Adidas sunnies.
As is the case with most trends that come and go, Kim Kardashian West, purveyor of Instagram-worthy fashion trends, can be credited for influencing the wave of It-Girls recently embracing performance shades (she was named fashion influencer of the year, after all). Similarly, it was also Kardashian West who was responsible for the tiny sunglasses trend after her husband Kanye West urged her to ditch oversized sunnies over email. “Kanye sent me a whole email like, ‘You cannot wear big glasses any more. It’s all about tiny little glasses. He sent me millions of ’90s photos with tiny little glasses,” she said on a recent episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians . And it seems like the reality star’s husband may have had a hand in convincing her to re-adopt bug-eyed shades after he put her in the latest Yeezy 8 campaign wearing giant, wraparound sunnies that extended below the apples of her cheeks.
The look has its roots in recent runways too. Alexander Wang released a black pair in collaboration with Oakley as did Stella McCartney and Fenty x Puma. During Men’s Fashion Week, Heron Preston sent out a line-up of models wearing Nike Vision Tailwind HP performance sunglasses, complete with glare protection, paired with another sporty trend having a major moment: Cycling shorts.
In the gallery below, shop some of our favorite performance sunglasses that, unlike tiny shades, will actually shield you from the sun.