Fashion Histories

Fashion history has become a popular pursuit in the past decade. Let’s take a look back at the history of some of our favorite designer watch brands. Festina watches have an illustrious history. Festina is a shortening of the company’s original name Festina Lente (Latin for “hasten slowly”). The company was founded in 1902 but the modern Festina watches weren’t born until 1984. In 1984 Festina was merged with Lotus watches of Spain to create the modern Festina watches we know and love. Festina watches are popular among athletes. This is because they have long sponsored the Tour de France, Tour de Suisse, and Tour de Romandie. If you know someone who is a fan of bicycle racing, I would suggest getting them a Festina watch. They will appreciate the gesture and they will have something to use when they are measuring their own bicycling times.

Guess watches have had a slightly more troubled history. Since the company’s founding in 1981, Guess watches and Guess clothing have been plagued by consistent reports and citations for use of sweatshop labor. They have paid large sums of money in 1992, 1997, and 2005 as a result of court settlements regarding unfair labor practices. It seems like as one set of allegations fades more come to light. The most embarrassing incident came in 1997 after Guess watches and Guess Clothing ran several full page advertisements claiming that sweatshop labor was in the past of the Guess Corporation. Later, however, the US Labor Bureau found these statements to be untrue, unrepresentative, and misleading. Guess was forced to retract the statements. Although Guess watches are beautiful, some people will not wear them for political reasons. This is something to consider when giving one as a gift.

Fossil (the creators of Fossil watches and recreational goods) is fairly new in the watch industry, having formed in 1984 and not beginning production of Fossil watches in the 1990s. Early on Fossil had an established corporate identity as a producer of adventure gear, so their first watches were designed with the outdoorsy woodsman in mind. As the company grew in the 1990s, they teamed up with other designers to create more conventional fashion watches. Fossil was smart in that it did not try to become something it was not. When it came time to make Fossil watches more fashionable, they weren’t afraid to hire known and established design talent, even if those designers were seen as outside the Fossil watches aesthetic. The company is valued at over one billion dollars, so whatever they do certainly works.

Wigs – Making Fashion History

Wigs have been in fashion for thousands of years. From as far back as ancient Egypt, to as recent as the Jessica Simpson wig and hair piece line, wigs have been popular. They are used to disguise the loss of hair and to better the appearance. In the 16th century it was more common to wear a wig than to wear one’s own natural hair.

Royalty throughout the ages have worn wigs and hair pieces as a symbol of wealth and power.

Actors and actresses have worn wigs for hundreds, even thousands of years to help in their costumes and in ‘setting the stage.’

In more recent years, actresses such as Raquel Welch have popularized the fashion of wigs in America by creating their own line of products.

Wigs are now worn for many different reasons such as convenience. A wig can be styled ahead of time and does not take as long to style.

Wigs are also commonly worn by those suffering from a medical condition such at cancer but they are also worn by individuals who have had genetic hair loss because they are more affordable than hair replacement systems. The American Hair Loss Association says that about 40% of their cases are women; (this includes about 90 million women) and over 50% of these women’s hair loss is genetic.

In modern times wigs are also being worn for style’s sake. With a wig or a collection of wigs, a person has the choice of wearing a different style everyday and they can choose between colors, lengths and style, (curly, wave or straight).

A Tour of Eyeglass Fashion History

We have all heard the saying, “The suit makes the man.” But, what about the eyewear? With styles changing as quickly as the weather one can be hard pressed to find just the right style. As you will quickly see, in the end the only thing that matters is what you like. But if you want a quick lesson in how it can effect the way others perceive you… take a look at some famous faces that set eyewear trends yesterday and today.

You have come a long way, baby! Or have we? We often tend to think that we have stumbled upon the latest greatest thing when it comes to fashion trends, including eyewear. But if we take a walk back through history just a few years we may find our choices today pale in comparison.

Let’s take stroll down memory lane through to our present day. As we look at people in history who, regardless of their careers, set the standard for eyewear in their own eras we will find styles as different, compelling as anything we can find today. In the 1950’s Grace Kelly was the picture of class and flawless style in eyewear that was never outlandish, yet stood out above the crowd for sophisticated design. Audrey Hepburn put Ray-Ban on the map in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (and you thought it was the Blues Brothers?). The Beatles enthralled us all with their small, rimless shades. Janice Joplin in turn appalled us all in her ghastly, large round shades that, despite everything, caught on quickly in the 70’s. Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis hid behind similar shades, large and dark with thick plastic frames. Nothing could have prepared us for The Fly, no wait! That was just Bono. No, wait again! It’s still Bono wearing the same ungodly shades, obviously stolen straight off the movie set.

The 80’s saw the revival of the Ray-ban shades that cost just enough to make any teen feel cool. The early 90’s are certainly to blame for Bono’s poor taste with the inception of Oakleys. No one was cool if they weren’t wearing those face hugging shades that cost entirely too much but made those working the Kiosk at the mall smile big. Today we have seen a resurgence of the big 70’s shades that not only protect our eyes, but our cheeks, ears and noses. Perhaps I am exaggerating, but not by much. I would be remiss to leave out the ever-popular prescription eyewear reminiscent of the Beatniks of the 60’s that I, admittedly, find quite appealing on any man! Today it is all about individual taste. Vintage, classic or futuristic – it is purely a matter of taste. There is a style for any mood, any price, and any trend you wish to follow.