Don’t Get Lost in the College Crowd – Find Your Style Identity, One Sunglass at a Time

Jordan Manfredi
October 12, 2016

I often find myself daydreaming about college- Thursday night outfit planning and afternoons talking about our far-off futures while eating soft serve. But I am usually whipped out of these long lost moments by a barrage of “mom”, “mom” “mommy” cries from my 2 year old. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t, for a moment trade my present for the past but sometimes, just sometimes, I wouldn’t mind a trip in a good ‘ol time machine.

When I was asked to write a piece about designer eyewear and college kids, I jumped at the opportunity. I was able to head back to my alma mater to chat up some students and to present them with the latest and greatest fashion eyewear trends from Cohen’s Fashion Optical, courtesy of the very awesome Dr. Kim and her staff at the Walt Whitman CFO store.

I handpicked extra glitzy, fashion-forward designer eyeglasses that I was almost certain students would covet and have to have. Why? Because I did. But, boy, was I proven wrong. I was amazed as students, from undergrad to graduate, gravitated towards timelessly chic glasses that perfectly suited their style and personality.  I, in fact, was not smarter than a college kid.

Some loved the always-enduring tortoise stylings of Oliver Peoples and Kate Spade, noting that the simple eyewear shapes didn’t overwhelm their face or their personalities. Rather, like a good boyfriend, the shades complimented both in all the right ways.

Another popular pairing was that of a somewhat bolder but still classic cat-eye frame from Dolce + Gabbana. These underwhelming statement shades showcased a garden of floral on the inside of each arm, a design meant only for the wearer to enjoy. And that was the deciding factor for her- that the extra wow factor was for her viewing pleasure alone. To me, that statement oozed maturity and a sense of self-worth coupled with a philosophy of “owning it.” Talk about sophistication. My inner college student was blown away.

As the eyewear was shared, I soon realized that the brands mattered less than what the piece meant to the wearer. The eyewear had to tell a story-their story.  The words “minimal” and “natural” were repeated throughout our conversations. Rose-colored Tom Ford shades were talked about for all the right reasons- their soft pink tone and lack of flashy hardware made them the perfect choice for a red-haired beauty that wants to become an Art Therapist.  Vintage style coupled with a sense of duty? Woah. Can we be friends?

And what’s more- these “kids” had their priorities straight. With lofty loans on the mind, the students demanded value. And Cohen’s delivered. In true Cohen’s Fashion Optical style, I was able to offer them all big savings on their next local in-store purchase, through CFO’s Eye Campus program that entitles all college students 30% off any designer frame.
So what did I learn from my trip back to college?  That the next generation is going to be smarter, kinder, and much cooler than the generation before. And, you know what?  I couldn’t be happier.

Shot on location at CW Post University, Long Island NY