2021 is seeing exciting changes in the glasses industry, for both fashion and technology. Each year different glasses designers set their hearts on new styles, shapes, colours, materials, technologies, and innovations for their new model frames. Visual Q Eyecare has done its research, and here are the hot trends for 2021!

Frame Colours and Patterns: 

This year various tortoiseshell patterns have come back into circulation, with mottled mixtures of dark and brown stealing the show. Colourful acetates particularly blue are rocking American and European fashion catwalks, as is the continuing trend of matt colours as opposed to glossy shades.

Examples: Carter Bond is focusing on blues and horn colours together with thinner edges, whilst staying innovative with varying front and side colours to enhance the azure. Wayne Cooper is also focused on blue – offering slightly exposed metal hinges on acetate frames, the frames being refined and thin with smaller horns.

Carter Bond Blue Frames Australia
Australia’s Carter Bond is at the forefront of 2021 glasses trends.

ProDesign’s Essential range emphasises crystalline pastel colours. The frames have see-through colours at the front or back, utilising more than one layer of colour upon another. Exciting! Both Jono Hennessy and Porsche Design are following the continuing trend of matt colours. The matt effect deepens and darkens the colour, making it subtler, and less ostentatious.

Retro Styling:

We don’t know if the hipster movement has anything to do with it, but 2021 is seeing a lot of retro styles coming back into fashion. Large and square is in, but these designs have also been refined from the days of old to fit into the modern era, using thinner edges and lines.

Hipster Black Glasses Frames

Examples: Australia’s Jono Hennessy is a master of retro styles, and in 2021 his attention is on exposing a part of the actual hinge, which results in the area looking like a symbol of sorts. Bape’s new frames are decidedly retro too. Wayne Cooper, Carter Bond, and Rodenstock have all designed ranges with extremely thin edges on their frames.

Wayne Cooper Thin Frames
Wayne Cooper is keeping with the trends by designing extremely thin edges for their frames.

Shapes – Cat’s Eyes:

Traditional cat’s eyes shapes are back for 2021, but again these are softer shapes than back in the 1970’s. The shape is often subtly rounder when compared to old-fashioned cat’s eyes’ frames, creating a beautiful style for 2021’s contemporary woman.

Examples: Rodenstock’s T-Lites are a new retro version of the cat’s eye style, using extremely thin edges on semi-rimless frames. Very cool indeed! Carter Bond has done the opposite, producing the new ‘square’ – a squarish cat’s eye, while Bape has created a cat’s eye frame using a new technology where decorative metal pieces are added into an acetate frame via very fine laser metal etching.

New Technologies:

There a few different technologies coming into play for 2021. A lot of frames are going lighter in terms of weight. Lighter materials in conjunction with thinner lines are allowing this to occur. Another trend is the double-bridged metal frame, creating the so-called ‘engineer look’, which suits many modern men.

Examples: Porsche Design and Karavan have both released double-bridged metal frames hoping to catch the attention of men looking to be taken more seriously, if not just more intelligent.

Porsche Design Double Bridged Frame
Porsche Design is always leading trends in glasses technologies – Check out this double-bridged metal frame.


This year certain brands are attempting to separate themselves from the crowd by designing unique glasses frames others have not had time to emulate. This is cutting edge stuff!

Examples: Caroline Abrams is using basic shapes, but with 3-D styling. Our favourite is an old-fashioned TV glasses frame, which mixes matt and gloss black finishes on its front side. Antonio Bene has designed acetate frames with spilt colours – the top of the frame being one colour, while the bottom is another colour entirely. Awesome!

Finally, ProDesign’s new Axiom range of frames mixes crystal acetate fronts together with metal sides/arms, as well as using high-tech screw-less hinge mechanisms. You’ll have to see them to believe it.

If you want to stay fashionable in 2021 come down to Visual Q Eyecare in South Yarra and we’ll show you what is in vogue, and we’ll also make sure you don’t get stuck wearing frames that went out of style 5 years ago!

By Simon Ch’ng

Visual Q Eyecare

*Thanks to Helga Weber and Andrea Rose for use of the images via a Creative Commons license!