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The latest “it” item wasn’t on the runways in New York, Paris or Milan this past month. It was in the streets — and it’s only an “it” item because Black folks made it so.

While luxury brand Loewe debuted its spring/summer 2023 collection during Paris Fashion Week, the streets were ablaze with the recently released inflated cat-eye sunglasses from the brand’s fall 2022 collection.

Content creator Pierrah Hilaire, speaking from Milan Fashion Week, said she doesn’t usually buy into anything too trendy given how fast trend cycles move on TikTok. 

“I was really surprised when I finally decided to make the purchase a few months into the hype that it was going to be popular. But I was like, ‘Oh, I’m not going to see a lot of people wear it.’ Because maybe that was just people who came to visit New York and left,” she said. “I think if it was maybe non-Black people I wouldn’t know how to feel. But I loved seeing Black creators wearing the shades.”

It reminded Hilaire of the early days of Telfar and seeing Black folks with the brand’s signature shopping bags. 

“It felt like the first wave of Telfar when you first saw us wearing it,” she said. “The community is like, ‘Oh, yeah, we’re wearing it well.’ So it felt like I’m a part of this close-knit Loewe community.”

Content creator Armiel Chandler says accessories were the gateway to developing his personal style, a gumbo of fashion journalist André Leon Talley, designer Jeremy Scott, and artist Andy Warhol.

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“Accessories opened the door for me when it comes to fashion because growing up a lot of things weren’t as accessible to me being plus-size,” Chandler said. “When I get dressed, I normally think about a shoe, or some glasses, or how I want to pair an outfit based around that, rather than a full fit. Then the full fit comes together.”

Chandler attended New York Fashion Week as a brand ambassador for After Pay, a digital payment platform and a sponsor of fashion week. 

“They sponsored my outfits, so pretty much everything that I wore was pretty much what they covered and bought for me,” Chandler said. 

Except for the Loewe inflated rectangle glasses. 

“The glasses I bought myself,” he confirmed. “When I went into the store I was, like, these are cool. I wanted to see if I could create an outfit centered around that. When it comes to New York street style, a lot of people want to see color.”

Chandler is attracted to pieces he considers “showstoppers.” The Loewe rectangle and cat-eye glasses are just that to him. He says he now has three pairs and “​​I’m probably going to buy more.”

The glasses are becoming popular even as they help purchasers stay true to their personal style — a trend that Beth Goldstein, fashion accessories analyst at The NPD Group, attributes to the viral nature of fashion.


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