Advertisements of eyewear has change alongside the evolution of glasses themselves. in this 1912 ad for eyeglasses, the glasses are being promote for their “minimalistic look.” this advertisement is important to the evolution of glasses in popular culture because it shoes that eyeglasses were mainly advertised for their practicality and convenience. Whereas people in the early 1900s wanted glasses that were subtle and understated, people in the 21st century prefer bigger and more flamboyant glasses.
Today, advertisements are characterized by their boldness and fashion. For example, the advertisements below from the Tom Ford eyewear line focus on sexuality and style. In the advertisement with the topless woman and sitting man, it’s interesting to note that the eyeglasses are at the same level as the woman’s breasts and thereby sexualizing eyewear. Additionally, the male is dressed in chic, refined clothing, which adds to the fact that glasses are now deliberately worn in order to add to a wardrobe or specific look. This advertisement, unlike the one from the 1920s, is focused less on practicality of eyeglasses and more on the fashion of them. Instead of promoting glasses that are subtle and comfortable, this Tom Ford advertisement is selling sex and fashion, two things that are increasingly put together in order to sell merchandise.
The advertisement below is also from a Tom Ford line of eyewear, but instead of sexualizing glasses, this advertisement focuses on the elegance of glasses. The young man is well-dressed and well-groomed; he’s wearing a clean white suit sitted with a button-down shirt, tie and handkerchief. He’s stylish yet looks incredibly intelligent with his Tom Ford glasses. Though these glasses look simple and pragmatic, this advertisement suggests that they are anything but those things; the model in this print advertisement is aloof and extremely fashionable.
It’s interesting to compare eyewear advertisements from the past and the present because it has changed in order to accommodate what people demand. While in the past people may have thought that glasses were nerdy and anything but chic, today people look to make a statement with the piece of metal or plastic that balances on the top of their noses. Eyewear is no longer about seeing properly, but rather about standing out and attracting attention.