We love shopping for a new mini skirt or cropped cardigan as much as the next person, but sometimes an outfit is only as good as the sum of its accessories. Namely, sunglasses. Small but mighty, the right pair of sunnies plays a bigger role in the end result of a full ensemble than you think. Fortunately, emerging eyewear brands hitting the market totally get it, and they’re here with styles that will make you fall in love with accessorizing all over again.
With the right collection of sunglasses on your hands, selecting a pair for the day almost feels like choosing a fun alter ego. Feeling Y2K nostalgic? Opt for a pair of rimless visor frames. Feeling extra and want to channel a “please, no paparazzi" vibe? Grab the darkest pair of oversized sunnies you can find. Expanding far beyond its initial purpose of protecting your eyes from the sun, sunglasses these days are statement pieces that have just as much power to top off a look as your favorite leather jacket.
Below, 13 emerging sunglasses brands you’ll want to follow on Instagram immediately and keep tabs on from here on out.
It’s Meh’s oversized and angular fuchsia Witney sunnies that will snag your attention first. The brand launched mid-pandemic with two styles, and its second, The Annie, is straight out of your favorite ‘90s paparazzi street style shot. If a genderless, high-quality design is what you’re in the market for, your search ends here.
YouTube sensation Desi Perkins’ beauty empire has been years in the making, but fans weren’t lost on her fashion sense either. After a successful, years-long collaboration with sunglasses brand Quay, Desi’s 2020 launch of her namesake sunglasses line made total sense. Aligned with her elevated style, the brand launched with an array of nude tones. With one look at the offered silhouettes (many of them oversized), you’ll quickly see there’s not a drop of boring present. Whether you’re styling a pair with a blazer or a casual tee, everyone will want to know where your sunnies are from.
A Better Feeling
Warning: A Better Feeling’s futurist eyewear isn’t for the faint of heart. Rather, its techy, experimental styles cater to the bold and unconventional. Cairo-native Xander Ghost launched the brand in London in 2018 with a goal to create synergy between the sunglasses and the wearer. Mission accomplished. With steel designs and edgy construction that almost channels The Matrix, you’ll feel unstoppable wearing the brand at any given moment.
A tribute to the designer’s late aunt, Martha is that brand you head right after you’ve booked your flight to Santorini. Or Tulum. Or anywhere. The brand’s inaugural hardware collection launched with an oversized square frame and a modem shield style before expanding to include an elongated rectangular style and a rimless design, each finished with brushed gold accents. Style yours with a crochet maxi dress, a beach in view, and don’t forget the margarita.
To launch a sunglasses line was completely on brand for entrepreneur Elisa Johnson, whose personal Instagram boasts the best of New York street style. The brand’s Jane style appeared to be the biggest hit (you know, that rounded square, thick-rimmed aviator style Instagram can’t get over), but there are plenty more gems to be found, from brushed metal styles to nostalgic rectangular shapes. Did we mention each style is under $150?
Peta + Jain
Peta + Jain launched in 2017 with handbags, but its eyewear selection isn’t one to be overlooked. A guaranteed home for lovers of minimalism and elevated basics, you’ll find aviators, cateyes, a modern take on the round John Lennon silhouette, and more.
According to this UK-based brand, “the future is hot.” Whether you gravitate toward vintage or modern aesthetics, the lenses at Hotfutures are sure to satiate your appetite. Helmed by friends Tanya and Jake, who were first vintage fashion business owners, the brand creates each style carefully by hand in Shenzhen over approximately 60 days.
New sunnies brand Banbé is the effortless cool-girl personified. Sister brand to the already loved shoe line, Billini, you can only expect the Australian collection to deliver. With everything from aviators to cateye shapes in wearable, neutral shades of black and brown, Banbé's glasses are the kind you’ll always grab when rushing out the door, no questions asked.
The name of the game is “fun” at Los Angeles-based brand Dime. Launched in 2020, not only does the brand offer a wide range of styles to choose from, but they often come alongside a buzzworthy collab with some of fashion’s biggest trendsetters such as Kali Uchis, Becky G, and Anastasia "Stassie Baby" Karanikolaou. You’ll find rimless aviators, reflective lenses, and unorthodox shapes. Looking to stand out? You know what to do.
Huma says they’re here to embrace the extravagant side of fashion, and their collection of sunglasses does just that. Even more than the fact that the Italian-manufactured brand offers some pretty cool silhouettes, each come with subtle hooks on the arms that the wearer can leave empty, or embellished with the brand’s interchangeable charms or sunglasses chains.
Remember that feeling of a trip to the candy store as a kid? That’s how scrolling through Giant Vintage’s website makes you feel, especially if you’re a lover of nostalgic fashion. While the brand does carry more modern silhouettes, their archival sections are where it’s at, offering both vintage-inspired and true vintage styles dating from the 1960s to the early aughts.
How to nail that off-duty model look? One word: Raie. The brand has trend-transcending neutrals perfected to a science, with a range of beige, caramel, chocolate and peach tones, along with fun shades including lavender, mint, and blue. There’s no way you’ll leave Raie's site without something you love.
Simply put, Tribal Eyes is for the fashion girl who’s unafraid to turn a few heads. Launching in 2020, designer Ona Utuama offers African native patterns and Asian chakra art alongside more neutral designs in fun-loving, attention-grabbing shapes. They come chock-full of personality, many of them in unexpected two-tone or ombré finishes.