Aleut eyewear was worn by those in the frozen north for hundreds of years before the concept was re-introduced as fashion in the 1930’s, the 1950’s, the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s and into the 2000’s. Aleutians and or Eskimos wore what slits to protect their eyes from snow blindness. They were made of wood, walrus, leather and whatever materials were available. Some even had a visor over the lenses . This look is still alive today.. with fashion designers.
How did that evolve? The same type slit/eye protectors showed up in safety and protective eyewear. Used For motorcycle riding and driving. The vision was relatively good and saved the eyes from dust and winds.
We see again a similar look with slits and visors. Called Sun Visors, these sunglasses shaded the eyes. Obviously you couldn’t put a prescription in the lenses. This was just one type of driving glasses.
This was 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.
The 1950’s through the 1970’s the trend re-emerged as Mod Fashion or Space Age Fashion. Courreges, Oliver Goldsmith, Neostyle and other companies came out with their version of now know as Space Age Fashion.
The single lens slit evolved to a Futuristic look. Sea and Ski Sunglasses from the 1960’s.
Pierre Cardin’s, a little more unusual and non-functional look, put the slit at the eyebrows
Revitalizing the swinging 60’s look of Futuristic Fashion, companies such as Uncover showed Jetson type of fashionable Future Frames.
Vivienne Westwood, always re-vamping, launched her version of Aleut Fashion in 2009.
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.
Pierre Cardin jumps back into the futurist game his his ‘Jetson’ look
Alain Mikli in one of his Special Addition artistic rendering of Eskmino eyewear complete with ice skaters.
2012 continues to showcase Eskimo Fashion: As seen in Marie Claire Russia
Louise Grey Runway 2013 adds a graffiti touch
Traction Products created their own look including a round sun-disc.
Back on the runway in 2015
Black Eyewear relaunched their Eskimo version in three colors in 2015.
Nuitt Eyewear launched in 2015 a horn version that is still available today
Alexander Hi-Tk the steampunk, futuristic eyewear also currently offers and option in stainless steel.
Here is IGAAKs that launched on Kickstarter in 2016. Unfortunately they did not make their goals.
I pronounce Aleut Eyewear as Fashion Classic, the style has been around for hundreds of years. It has multi-functionality, looks, trends and health, saving our eyes. Another great example of looking good and feeling good.