Over the past 5 years”, accessories have become key aspects to fashion style when it comes to global youth culture. In particular sunglasses have taken on new meaning not only in terms of the style one wears, but also the corresponding color of one’s shades to coordinate with various outfits. In Label Networks’ Spring Youth Culture Study 2008, we reveal fresh consumer preference data about sunglasses among 13-25-year-olds in North America, including the top brand preferences, spending patterns on sunglasses, size of market, frequency of purchases, and other characteristics that are shaping the sunglasses and accessories markets in general.
In terms of style, while 3 years ago Europe was having a field day with rave-inspired bright sunglasses, young people in North America in the last year are clearly on the same band-wagon. Rave-inspired colors, ’80’s retro styles, shutter shades are all a part of the new groove (along with corresponding footwear). But so now too are aviators in terms of style on the rebound and other identifying traits -such as the eggshell, or iPod white colorwaves. Generally, the white-shade obsession comes from influences of iPod earbuds with a throwback to the ’50’s styles when white was clean, upper-class, stylish, and preppy cool. As some of our white-shade-wearing fashionistas explained, “The white is pure, cool, and goes with everything.”
As a growing market, sunglasses are an industry that’s continuing to push boundaries in style statements and identity. As many people noted that we have interviewed, they like the retro feel of their shades, particularly oversized thrift finds, and often say that their sunglasses are a key component to their style -not just a protective device from the sun. As fashion styles continue to move forward, yet with retro glances backwards, we anticipate sunglass styles to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s old as new again.