Euroinsights – Cat-eye Silhouettes – Frame Purr-fection

Euroinsights - Optical Journal

One cat just leads to another – Ernest Hemingway

Writer, fisherman, and hunter, Ernest Hemingway was very keen on cats, and he was often pictured looking fondly into feline eyes – softening his tough-guy image.  In the eyewear world, frames silhouetted into cat-eye shapes were introduced in the 1930s. However, it was in 1961 when Audrey Hepburn wore cat-eye shaped sunglasses, designed by Oliver Goldsmith in the iconic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, that launched the worldwide trend for cat-eye sunglasses and similar optical designs.

To paraphrase Hemingway, since that time, one cat-eye shape has definitely led to a multitude of seductive, alluring, and sophisticated styles coveted by a wide range of wearers. With advanced technology, cat-eye curves are now defined in luxurious materials, and beautifully crafted in wondrous colors.

Tarian Passion

Jeremy Tarian’s flirtatious design Passion radiates magnetic charm with its beguiling black curves accented with fiery red – a color symbolic with passion, love, and joy. A multiple winner of Silmo D’Or awards, the Parisian designer creates and produces his frames in France in the Jura region, renowned for its tradition of spectacle making since the 18th century.

Caroline Abram Papillion

Paris and its environs are headquarters for Caroline Abram as well. Since the inception of her company, the cat-eye has been Abram’s signature style statement, and her desirable shapes capture the mystery and diversity of feline independence and beauty. Her latest frames are creatively tiered and subtly reflect both a winsome butterfly and a slinky cat. Papillion is available in a variety of tempting colorations.

SALT Hillier

After a year of lockdowns and radical changes in everyday living, many people are already thinking of – and certainly in the mood for – summery holidays particularly in the northern hemisphere. Sunglasses set into motion dreams of beach escapades, poolside parties, and outdoor living. SALT. Optics – the California brand with offices in France and clients throughout Europe – suggests custom sun style Hillier, which captures the cat-eye spirit – whether a docile house kitty or a powerful jaguar, leopard or lynx. Generous lens shaping and polarized CR39 lenses add to the timelessness of this cat-eye, avant-garde beauty.

NEUBAU Barbara

NEUBAU Eyewear takes its cue for edgy, trendy frames from the dynamic NEUBAUdistrict in Vienna. The area is known for its array of markets and retro shops in the area, along with great cafes and Viennese historical landmarks. Sophisticated, graceful contours highlight Barbara, a captivating and enticing feminine design from NEUBAU’s latest sunglass collection, in stunning matte teal and gold.

Look Combi

Design, technology, and craftsmanship are among the strategic assets in LOOK eyewear frames, which are created and produced in Italy. For over forty years, the company has featured innovative materials that are then sculpted to ensure high-performance frames.

The latest success is Xinox, high-tech steel reduced to minimal thickness while maintaining its unaltered mechanical qualities, but with 30% more flexibility compared to generic steel. Look Combi 10773 dramatizes the cat-eye elongation with glamorous tones, and slim Xinox highlighting the brow line.

The cat-eye silhouette continues to enchant and appeal, even more so nowadays with the amazing variety in materials, colors, and beautiful designs. For cat-eye enthusiasts, 2021 just might be the cat’s meow!

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Joan Grady
Euroinsights is a contributory column created and written by Joan Grady. Joan is Owner/Director of JG Creative Expressions, a solely independent editorial service supporting the eyewear sector, music, and the arts. She is fashion editor of Vision Now magazine in the UK; was originally co-founder of; and has written for international publications, including 2020Europe.