The New Eyewear Classic: Aleutian Eyewear

It occurred to me after 100’s of years, that Eskimo/Inuit/Aleut Eyewear is a classic. Some could even call it Retro. Eskimo Eyewear dates back 2000 years to the first ivory snow goggles found in Alaska. Made from ivory, skin, wood, leather, the shades were wrapped around the face with two eyehole slits. People wore these to prevent snow blindness and the fashion statement were in the carvings and the shape of the snow goggles.

Over the years.. the look evolved into Safety Eyewear, motorcycle and driving glasses and into Fashion Statements.

LiveAuctioneers

LiveAuctioneers

Eskimo Glassess

Aleut Eyewear Throughout history, Eskimo cultures have believed that all things in the physical world are imbued with a living spirit, or inua. In order to gain favor with the inua of his prey, a hunter would observe numerous taboos, and strive to use only the most beautiful, finely prepared hunting gear. – See more at: notedelhotel.blogspot.

Circa 1920 Image McCord Museum

Circa 1920 Image McCord Museum

glenbow.org

glenbow.org

Not only did the look prevent snow blindness, it saved vision from flying objects, dust, wind and at work.

http://www.kurzenberger.net An old patent from the 30s ! The slits allow relatively good vision and protect eyes from rainwater as motorcycling . The glasses are made new !

Image;www.kurzenberger.net An old patent from the 30s !

The Sun Visors, a take off from Inuit Snow Goggles were a sunglass with a shaded slit. In the 1930’s they were for driving.

1934 Driving Glasses

1934 Driving Glasses

1941 American Optical Ad

1941 American Optical Ad

The 1950’s saw the was called Slit Specs. Seen in  Popular Mechanics Magazine in November of 1955. The text said: SLIT SPECS, originated by the Eskimos, are considered the most on Canadian ski slopes these days. Glassless, slits guard against sun’s glare. This pair costs $20.

Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics

Renamed again in the 1960’s and 70’s to Mod or Space Age Fashion. The leader was Andre Courreges with other eyewear designers such as Oliver Goldsmith (UK), Neostyle (Germany) Michele Lamy (France) creating their own ‘look’ of Aleutian Eyewear.

Sea and Ski expanded the slit into a Jetson Futuristic look.

Sea And Ski Eyewear 1965

Sea And Ski Eyewear 1965

1960-s Mod Eyewear

Renauld International patent 200,735 1964 © sunglassespreservation- combined sunglasses and hair band, is an avant-garde space age model for which Mr. Atherton Mitchell applied for a US design patent on August 13th, 1964. The patent was granted on March 30th, 1965 and since then these shades have been showcased in several fashion magazines and ads of the period.

Image: Sunglass Preservation

Renauld Eyewear Image: Sunglass Preservation

Pierre Cardin making making waves in the Fashion and eyewear industry, made the slit above the eyebrows for a non-functional look.

1960 Pierre Cardin

1960 Pierre Cardin

1960's Futuristic as seen on 1st dibs

1960’s Futuristic as seen on 1st dibs. About $300. Courreges

he Vintage Fashion Librarian: From Life magazine, June 4, 1965. From left to right, Liberty inverted triangles, Riviera (inspired by the shape of TV screens), May Co ovals, Boy Watchers solid plastic band with a strip of see through plastic, Courreges white plastic goggles, Harlequin circular op art frames, and aviator goggles by Riviera.

The Vintage Fashion Librarian: From Life magazine, June 4, 1965. From left to right, Liberty inverted triangles, Riviera (inspired by the shape of TV screens), May Co ovals, Boy Watchers solid plastic band with a strip of see through plastic, Courreges white plastic goggles, Harlequin circular op art frames, and aviator goggles by Riviera.

London Daily Mirror April 1968

London Daily Mirror April 1968

A Myriad of Choices

A Myriad of Choices

The classic colors seemed to be white, ivory and yellow for some reason.

1960 Sun Ra on Cover of Rolling Stone wearing Yellow Aleut Eyewear

1960 Sun Ra on Cover of Rolling Stone wearing Yellow Aleut Eyewear

Bobby Womack wearing Oliver Goldsmith

Bobby Womack wearing Oliver Goldsmith

Andre Courreges: Forefront of Space Age Fashion in the 60's.

Andre Courreges: Forefront of Space Age Fashion in the 60’s.

Oliver Goldsmith 1960's

Oliver Goldsmith 1960’s

1965 Oliver Goldsmith Union Jack

1965 Oliver Goldsmith Union Jack

Believe it or not,I have a pair of the Neostyle Playmate in white .

1965 Neostyle Playmate Sold on ebay

1965 Neostyle Playmate Sold on ebay

Yellow Eskimo sunglasses. Made in Italy by Samco

Yellow Eskimo sunglasses. Made in Italy by Samco. Available 

1980's Michele Lamy Seen on Madaleine C Vintage

1980’s Michele Lamy Seen on Madaleine C Vintage

1986 Big Trouble in Little China :American action comedy film directed by John Carpenter. It stars Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun and James Hong. The film tells the story of Jack Burton, who helps his friend Wang Chi rescue Wang's green-eyed fiancee from bandits in San Francisco's Chinatown.

1986 Big Trouble in Little China :American action comedy film directed by John Carpenter. It stars Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun and James Hong. The film tells the story of Jack Burton, who helps his friend Wang Chi rescue Wang’s green-eyed fiancee from bandits in San Francisco’s Chinatown.

1991 Theirry Mugler

1991 Theirry Mugler

Helmut Newton Thierry Mugler Campaign, 1990s

Helmut Newton Thierry Mugler Campaign, 1990s

Revitalizing the swinging 60’s look of Futuristic Fashion, companies such as Uncover showed Jetson type of fashionable Future Frames.

Undercover Spring Summer 2008

Undercover Spring Summer 2008

Undercover 2008

Undercover 2008

Hussein Chalayan 2009

Hussein Chalayan SS2009

Hussein Chalayan SS2009

Vivienne Westwood, always re-vamping, launched her version of Aleut Fashion in 2009.

Vivienne Westwood Runway 2009

Vivienne Westwood Runway 2009

Slanties were launched in 2009 and unfortunately we can’t find them anywhere

inuitinspiredeyewearslanties- wooden-eyewear_1

Jun Takahashi Spring Summer 2010

Jun Takahashi Spring Summer 2010

KTZ, who else takes the Eskimo look and updates to a look like you would going on the Crusades! Perfect look for a swap team member or a driver of an amoured car.

2011 KTZ x Linda Farrow

2011 KTZ x Linda Farrow

Pierre Cardin jumps back into the futurist game his his ‘Jetson’ look

Ready_to_wear_spring_summer_2011_PIERRE_CARDIN_

Pierre Cardin Spring Summer 2011

Alain Mikli in one of his Special Addition artistic rendering of Eskmino eyewear complete with ice skaters.

2012 Alain Mikli Special Edition

2012 Alain Mikli Special Edition

2012 Pierre Cardin Sunglasses

2012 Pierre Cardin Sunglasses

2012 continues to showcase Eskimo Fashion: As seen in Marie Claire Russia

Nadine Naue Sun Bathes for the Lens of Jamie Nelson in Marie Claire Russia August 2012

Nadine Naue Sun Bathes for the Lens of Jamie Nelson in Marie Claire Russia August 2012

Nini Ricci SS13

Nini Ricci SS13

Louise Grey Runway 2013 adds a graffiti touch

Louise Grey Runway 2013

Louise Grey Runway 2013

2013 Jean Paul Castlebajac

2013 Jean Paul Castlebajac

Michael Kors FW13

Michael Kors FW13

Image Credit unknow

Image Credit unknow

Jean Charles de Castelbajac RTW Spring Summer 2014 Paris Fashion Week

Jean Charles de Castelbajac
RTW Spring Summer 2014 Paris Fashion Week

Traction Products created their own look including a round sun-disc.

Traction Productions 2014

Traction Productions 2014

2014 Chilli Bean Smile Inspired Aleut Eyewear

2014 Chilli Bean Smile Inspired Aleut Eyewear

Back on the runway in 2015

Satu Maaranen Spring Summer 2015

Satu Maaranen Spring Summer 2015

Black Eyewear relaunched their Eskimo version in three colors in 2015. Available in Red, White and Yellow.

Nuitt Eyewear launched in 2015 a horn version that is still available today

Nuitt Eyewear 2016

Nuitt Eyewear 2016

Alexander Hi-Tk the steampunk, futuristic eyewear also currently offers and option in stainless steel.

Alexander Hi-Tek Stainless Steel

Alexander Hi-Tek Stainless Steel

ijaak Sungoggles

ijaak Sungoggles still available

Here is IGAAKs that launched on Kickstarter in 2016. Unfortunately they did not make their goals.

IGAAKS on Kickstarter 2016

IGAAKS on Kickstarter 2016

Acne Studios Spring Sumer 2016

Acne Studios Spring Sumer 2016

JPlus x Costume National For Spring Summer 2016

JPlus x Costume National For Spring Summer 2016

Miley Cyrus Wearing Eskimo White

Miley Cyrus Wearing Eskimo White

As you can see, the style is timeless and been worn for hundreds of years for both functionality and fashion. That makes is a Fashion Classic

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