Certain eyewear styles could be considered classics that endure the test of time. The aviator style is among them. Since first being introduced more than 80 years ago, consumers have consistently purchased aviators in decent numbers. These days, they have plenty of choices – including the choice between plastic and metal frames.
In our search to keep ahead of the current trends in sunglasses, we ran across an Elle piece discussing the hottest trends in women's sunglasses right now. We were not surprised to see aviators on their list. But the magazine discussed aviators with both metal and plastic frames. What do you think? Is one style more popular than the other when it comes to wholesale aviator sunglasses?
Metal Frames Were the Original
As a distributor of wholesale aviator sunglasses, we can testify to the fact that the original aviators developed by Bausch + Lomb sported metal frames. Very few eyewear manufacturers were dealing with plastic way back then. But even when plastic was introduced to designer sunglasses, a lot of manufacturers stuck with metal frames for their aviators. That's not so true anymore.
Our wholesale sunglasses inventory includes both. That being said, we do have a soft spot in our hearts for metal frames. They were the original. Not only that but there’s also something curiously unique about metal-framed aviators that have never been replicated with plastic or wood frames. Maybe it's a cultural thing. Perhaps films like Back to the Future and Top Gun have forever cemented in our minds that aviators need to sport metal frames.
Customers Want Plastic Frames
Despite metal-framed aviators being the originals, retail is all about giving customers what they want. And these days, they want plastic frames. That's fine with us. One of our goals is to be the premier bulk supplier of sunglasses throughout the U.S. If that means supplying retailers with an adequate supply of plastic-framed aviators, we will do it.
So, what is it with plastic frames? It could be any number of things. People might prefer plastic frames because they are lighter and more flexible. Maybe they like the look better. It's possible that some consumers just think metal frames are old-school. It is what their parents and grandparents wore.
The reasons are less important than the fact itself. And the fact is that aviators with plastic frames sell. That's what you really need to know as an eyewear retailer. Your customers want them, so you should sell them.
Other Hot Styles
Incidentally, the Elle article mentioned a couple of other styles for women that are hot right now. If you have been in the designer sunglasses business for any length of time, you will not be surprised by the other styles mentioned:
- Classic Wayfarers – If any other eyewear style is as enduring as the aviator, it would have to be the classic wayfarer. Wayfarers in black are as popular with women as they have ever been. Make sure you stock a healthy supply by purchasing wholesale aviators.
- Subtle Cat Eyes – Cat eyes are always popular with women, but Elle specifically mentioned more subtle versions. This is to say the same cat eye shape but with less definition and more rounded corners.
By the time late winter arrives, we should be getting a sense of what the summer season will demand. Rest assured we will keep an eye on things. We want our inventory to reflect what you are going to need over the next six months or so.
As for aviators, which do you prefer: metal or plastic frames? Metal frames are the original, but plastic frames are in demand as well. Chances are your customers will want both.