People that made Eyewear Famous

See and be seen. That is a suitable motto for celebrities who wear glasses.


And there are many famous people who made their eyewear an integral part of their show. Two such entertainers come to mind: Elton John and, a generation later, Lady Gaga.


Elton John, who obviously needed spectacles from a young age, turned his into part of his fashion statement…and, for a man of his talent and creativity, he certainly wore his heart on his eyes!  


Throughout more than five decades, John has played with the frame size and shape and the lense colors, as well as incorporated his frames into words and numbers and decorated them with rhinestones, glitter and other embellishments. Along with his elaborate costumes, Elton John´s glasses have been part and parcel what have made him an iconic showman.




Lady Gaga was inspired by artists from various media, including the musical theatrics of David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, the unconventional designs of pop artist Andy Warhol [the source of inspiration for The Haus of Gaga, which designs her look and sets], and the sensual entertainment of New York neo-burlesque.  


Although eyewear is not the necessity for Gaga that it is for Elton John, it is essential as a prop in her overall look and message. Most of her costumes rely on outlandish eyewear that is made especially for each outfit or song – even if there are no lenses at all – just rims or a mask. Her everyday sunglasses are sold under her brand name, although the ones she wears are anything but every day! The bottom line is that Lady Gaga, will be remembered for expressing herself through her eyewear and sunglasses, in addition to her music and performances.




While glasses often make the "look”, sometimes the person wearing the glasses inspires the "look”, as in the case of John Lennon. His round-framed glasses were so identified with him that the frames became known as "John Lennon glasses”. And yet, in an online pictorial of Famous Eyeglasses  by Italian multimedia designer and art director Frederico Mauro, there are photos of three round eyeglass frames that otherwise look the same, but when worn are distinctly identified with their owners: John Lennon, Harry Potter and Elton John.

This clearly reinforces the idea that the person makes the glasses…which is a great relief to those of us who treasure our individuality and the role our spectacles play in completing our look.



Finally, it must be acknowledged that celebs love hiding behind their sunglasses. Or, as American radio comedian Fred Allen said, "A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become well known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized!”


This can be attributed to the need to protect one´s eyes from the camera-flashing paparazzi and the spotlights, as well as to maintain a certain distance from the fans…after all, eye-contact is an intimate experience and can become overwhelming – particularly  for those celebrities who are actually shy individuals.  


Interestingly, more men than women go for the very dark shades, as women dress their eyes with mascara, liner, shadows and glitter to accentuate their peepers, preferring to attract attention with or without their glasses on!


In addition to Secret Service agents, famous people hiding behind dark sunglasses are:



Karl Lagerfeld…who sells dark sunglasses under his own fashion brand.  



The late John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as the Blues Brothers.



Stevie Wonder…who doesn´t need to see to reach his audience!