Through The Peeping Glass

Sunglasses, the ultimate practical accessory, has been a hallmark of style longer than we’ve had any reason to fear UV rays. Although some of the most iconic trends, like aviators and wayfarers, may come for military use, everyone who’s been anyone over the last 6 decades understands that the distance provided by shading over your eyes instantly up your cool factor.

Sunglasses have come a long way since their invention in the 1200s, but in the 20th century, their sartorial appeals were finally realized and shades became a mass-produced style statement. This then opened the door for a plethora of trends over the next decades from easy beach looks to oversized, long plastered creations.

For media outlets chronicling the beginning of the tiny sunglasses, the historical origin of said glasses has been placed in the 1990s. Turns out we might be a century off. Peepers go back centuries but as far as wearing them as a fashion statement, that didn’t start until around 1885, becoming increasingly popular in the ’90s and more so through the early twentieth century. Before its brief hiatus.

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The current resurgence of micro-frames reflects an infatuation with everything ’90s. Like, chunky white athletic sneakers, washed-out jeans and rugby shirts, peepers are making a statement in the Nigerian fashion scene once again building its recognition from the alté scene.

The initial popularization of the tiny sunglasses via hippies like John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the ‘60s made comebacks in the ‘70s, the ‘Matrix’ era in the late-’90s and again via influencers like Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid.

After a few decades of giant lenses, the sunglass zeitgeist was decidedly tinier to cap off the millennium. Both in embracing new sport styles and returning to vintage inspiration with round frames, celebrities and trendsetters were wearing smaller shades than ever before.

When tiny sunglasses first emerged as a trend, they were mocked on social media, easy meme fodder. But the trend was also refreshing — a much-needed switch up. Fashion is cyclical, after all. In this rejuvenation, the alté scene has brought about an unexpected array of individuals who don’t seem to care at all about being mocked for their looks and ‘odd’ yet cool style which has been popularized by the likes of Wavy the Creator, Santi, Odunsi etc.

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The scene mostly focused on music is in itself, known to many as a subculture possesses its own distinct style like the 90’s grunge-inspired style. Retro, it is. In order to seal all things alté, you’ll need a pair of peepers sunglasses. Although you might have to constantly look over them if you have any hopes of seeing the road.

Alté isn’t about catering to the mass audience; it is rather an alternative. So if you have a problem with people wearing tiny shades, maybe you just might like to change your mind.

Keep being an Altéist.

Amara is an introvert who likes to write about anything that catches her attention. Being observant and 'weird' has helped shape her writing. You'll probaby find her stalking one twitter handle or the other when she isn't writing.

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The magazine for the culture