There are always trends, glasses are no exception. These are the top trending glasses for millennials in my practice.
1.) Blue Light Protection
The eye care industry has done a great job at educating the public on the potential dangers of exposure to harmful blue light from digital devices and other natural sources like the sun. With all of the resources available on the internet, I have found that millennial patients in particular often come in asking about what can be done to keep their eyes protected while they sit in front of computers and other screens.
Our practice utilizes a lot of Essilor product; however, there have been great strides taken in blue light protection recently in many companies within the ophthalmic industry. One lens in particular that I have found myself calling upon is Essilor’s Essential Blue SeriesTM lenses. These lenses have a clear filter which is a feature that many of my patients appreciate on the level of aesthetics. Millennials love that this new technology gives them added protection without having to sacrifice on looks aka forcing them to wear yellow tinted lenses.
2.) Brands with a Story
Millennials are less likely to buy something because of the brand’s name and more likely to buy something because of the brand’s story. Is the brand independently manufactured, does the frame have a story to tell? STATE Optical who makes its frames in the Chicago area really focuses on this aspect.
Another message that an increasing number of companies are starting to leverage are programs that give back. Does purchasing a frame give back to a cause? A good example might be Article One Eyewear, who donates to Helen Keller International to fight Vitamin A deficiency. There are many other examples of this even outside the ophthalmic industry!
Here’s an excellent article and video with Dr. Courtney Dryer who shares how she designed her one of a kind optical dispensary. She too is a big fan of STATE Optical.
Another hot topic is sustainability. Is the brand environmentally friend? Like MODO who makes its ECO frames from sustainable materials. Carrying brands with a story let’s millennials better connect to your frame lines, and is something I have seen more and more of in the industry and as a discussion in my practice.
3.) Eyeglasses as an Accessory
Millennials are digitally connected. If you look on social media, you might find that millennials are constantly sharing pictures of themselves. Glasses and sunglasses seem to be trending as a hot accessory to compliment personal style.
It is not uncommon to find millennials wearing colored frames and lenses as opposed to traditional black and tortoise. You can see examples of companies working to meet this consumer need like with the new Transitions® Signature® lenses style colors and Transitions® XTRActive® style mirrors. These lenses feature new colors (emerald, sapphire, amethyst, amber) and mirrors (silver shadow, blue, gold, green, pink, red) to give wearers the power to truly express their style through lenses and take customization to another level.
4.) Blast from the Past
Flip through photos of your mom and dad before they were your parents and you’ll likely find them rocking frames that are once again popular with millennials. The aviator style usually reserved for sunglasses is making a comeback for daily wear. Millennials are picking round shapes over square and double bridges over single. A modern twist on the double bridge is the floating bridge; the lenses connect at the top near the eyebrow verses/instead of midway down over the nose.
Here is an excellent article and infographic about matching frame to face shape!
5.) Solutions for the Modern Lifestyle
Even if millennials may not sit in front of a computer screen at work, it’s hard to argue that much of their free time isn’t spent on digital devices like smartphones and tablets. All this near work adds up and puts a huge stress on the eyes’ accommodative system. This can lead to sore, tired eyes later in the day, and is a complaint that many of these patients present with. Single vision computer lenses might work for some; however, many of my millennial patients need something more versatile that can offer them a bit more.
I prescribe Essilor’s Eyezen™+ lenses for these patients for several reasons. They offer help against digital eye strain, protection against harmful blue light and sharper vision due to their digital aspheric design. The modern millennial spends so much time looking between digital devices at varying distances, so a lens like this is oftentimes necessary to provide that accommodative relief, but something that is far more dynamic than single vision lenses. The lens provides a great opportunity to discuss blue light in addition to digital eyestrain, a discussion many of my millennial patients appreciate!