Top 10 Iconic Sunglasses - Actors & Movies That Started Fashion Trends

Top 10 Iconic Sunglasses - Actors & Movies That Started Fashion Trends

Before social media took over the world, movies used to be the number one fashion trendsetter in the world. If you had the latest heartthrob actor sporting a new style of sunglasses you knew it would likely become iconic sunglasses for decades to come. Here is a list of the top ten sunglasses and the actors and movies that made these sunglasses famous.

Sunglasses are not just a fashion statement; they have become an iconic accessory that has been featured in many movies. From Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's to Tom Cruise in Risky Business, sunglasses have become an integral part of the movie experience.

In this article, we will be looking at some of the most iconic sunglasses worn by actors and actresses throughout the years. We'll explore how these styles have started fashion trends and made their way into popular culture. We'll look at some of the most memorable performances from actors such as Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Jean Reno, Matthew Broderick, Tom Cruise, Robert de Niro, Johnny Depp and Susan Sarandon who all wore iconic sunglasses that shaped fashion history.


Audrey Hepburn grabbed the spotlight for her role as Holly Golightly in the movie version of Truman Capote's novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This movie also popularized the "Manhattan" style sunglasses designed by Oliver Goldsmith. Audrey selected a pair of sunglasses for herself, then continued to collaborate with OG to create additional styles.


In North by Northwest, Cary Grant is seen sporting a distinctive pair of tortoiseshell sunglasses with his signature assortment of sharp suits. The moment encompassed the classic Hitchcock feel with its elegance and magnetism. Arnell Sunglasses have been a popular style for years and are still widely loved today. It's not hard to understand why this trend has stuck around for so long.


White Rimmed Cat-Eye Sunglasses made a timeless impact when featured in Alfred Hitchcock's classic film, To Catch A Thief. This style has been around for a long time and still remains fashionable today. Grace Kelly stars as Frances Stevens, a rich American tourist in the movie. Her outfits are made up of classic swimwear, chic sunhats and notably the white-rimmed cat-eye sunglasses which became iconic later on. Oliver Goldsmith's designs have stood the test of time - one such pattern is still sought-after even today. It is among the most widely renowned styles in the design world.



Round sunglasses have been popular right from the start, with the likes of John Lennon and  Diana Ross leading the way. Even though there are many excellent performances in Luc Besson's Léon (The Professional), Jean Renon's role stands out the most, making it the best of its kind. One of the most memorable scenes from the movie Leon: The Professional is when Jean Reno, wearing round glasses, turns to look back at Mathilda (Natalie Portman) before going on his mission. Round sunglasses are a timeless classic that can be seen on people of many genders today. They remain one of the most popular eyewear styles in the fashion industry.

Reno's outfit in the film was specially designed by Jean Paul Gaultier. However, there are plenty of alternatives available now that resemble the same style.



Matthew Broderick's portrayal of the mischievous school-skipper Ferris Bueller remains memorable to this day. His iconic style, complete with a pair of sunglasses, continues to be celebrated. The well-known character caused all kinds of mayhem during his one-day escapade in Chicago..

Ray-Ban first launched their Clubmaster Sunglasses in the 1980s, however, it was thanks to the movie "Broderick" when the style went viral. The popular actor was seen sporting a pair of classic black and titanium frames in the movie which made it very trendy.


Tom Cruise is a classic example of the iconic Aviator Sunglasses style that he popularized in Top Gun. He made this particular style of sunglasses very famous, and many people continue to wear them as a tribute to him. It's possible that he also received an endorsement deal for it.

Contrary to common misconception, the sunglasses seen in the film were not Ray-Ban but Randolph Handcrafted American Eyewear. These original glasses continue to be manufactured in the USA and are regularly donned by pilots of all ages.


The storyline of this movie is quite similar to that of 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off', where a teenager hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, goes wild after his parents leave for vacation. His desperate need for money leads him to take an ungramented ride in his father’s Porsche and come up with wacky ideas. Wayfarer Sunglasses from Ray Ban have been popularised by celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn, but Tom Cruise in Risky Business has arguably put them even further on the map. These sunglasses are today considered to be the quintessential shades for any outfit.


During the early stages of his acting career, Robert De Niro was widely known for playing characters such as unstable Vietnam War veterans. He had become a popular pick for any role that required critically acclaimed performance.

Martin Scorsese's classic film, starring Robert De Niro as a vigilante taxi driver in New York City, is considered by many to be one of the greatest films ever made. The corrupt and lawless culture of the city provides fuel for De Niro's violent behaviour.


Blow, a movie released in the early 2000s, features the remarkable story of George Jung, a notorious drugs trafficker in the 1970s. It is an addition to many classical sunglass films of its time. Johnny Depp's take on the character brings the 1970s to life through Jung's outfits, which include thickly lapeled jackets and shirts. Additionally, he wears a pair of sunglasses that are modeled after classic aviators - featuring a Triple Nose Bar and Large Squared-off Style Frame.

This frame is the only one our list that was solely produced for a movie and isn’t readily available in stores today, mainly due to the fact that the movie was produced in the 2001 and set in the 70’s.



The 1991 film Thelma & Louise is iconic. It features Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis on a road trip, running from the law. Brad Pitt made his famous film debut as an extra in this movie. Susan wears brown Ray-Ban Cat Eye Sunglasses as Thelma. The sunglasses are paired with flying 60's style scarves. This movie is a must-see.

That pair was also handmade for the film, but was soon followed by an exact replica of Von Zipper's "Zed".

For as long as we can remember, actors have done their best to look cool in front of the cameras, and to do so, they have worn sunglasses. Arguably one of the most versatile props used in film sunglasses can add style and menace. And while social media has taken the world by storm, movie characters can change fashion trends for decades.