For these gen z creatives, personal style goes way deeper than good clothes

Styled in classic Ray-Ban frames from Sunglass Hut, three young people reveal how their passions intermingle with their fashion.

by Chelsea Peng
|
06 April 2021, 7:57pm

In February 2021, TikTokers proclaimed side parts and skinny jeans passé, thereby creating a sartorial Great Schism between millennials and Gen Z that not even months of FYP diplomacy could fix. But despite these differences, there’s one thing both groups can agree on: the power of a classic pair of sunglasses. 

While its 50th birthday this year ages Sunglass Hut out of either group (sorry), the international eyewear retailer holds timeless appeal for all, thanks to its stock of iconic Ray-Ban styles, such as the Wayfarer and Jack glasses seen below. To celebrate both frames, we’ve invited three zoomers with strong personal style to build their biggest, most expressive ‘fits around them. See how they wear their Sunglass Hut finds, where they stand on that online beef, and how a mutual appreciation of identity-affirming clothes might just be what we need to move toward détente.

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Photo by David Mollé

Deon Hinton, 22, Model & Creative

How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style shifts depending on how I’m feeling and viewing myself. However, most times, I lean towards a mix of Western, streetwear, and minimal.

On social media, TikTok specifically, we've seen an alleged generational divide when it comes to style. How does your personal style reflect your generation?
Something I’ve come to really love about my generation is that Gen Z has really catapulted a love and true reflection of fluidity into fashion, as well as other aspects of life. Being a very fluid person, it’s often reflected with the women’s pieces I wear, along with my fascination with blurring the lines with masculine, feminine, and gender-fluid silhouettes.

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Photo by David Mollé

You're wearing both the Wayfarer and Jack Ray-Ban styles here. What does their history mean to you, and how does it fit in with your personal style?
This style of Ray-Ban is special to me because I constantly saw it growing up watching TV with my grandfather and just thinking, Those guys are so cool. They fit in now with my personal style as a final touch that can completely pull any look together.

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Dustin Vuong, 18, YouTuber

How would you describe your personal style?
I don’t like restricting myself to a certain aesthetic. Recently, I’ve been trying to experiment and branch out of my comfort zone, especially when it comes to “feminine” clothing. I don’t like the idea of gender roles holding someone back from wearing what they want. Some days, I’ll wear something basic and comfortable like a sweater or graphic tee and baggy jeans, and other days, I like to dress up and wear eccentric, vintage clothing with lots of layers. My end goal is always to feel confident and hot. I take a lot of inspiration from the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘90s.

On social media, TikTok specifically, we've seen an alleged generational divide when it comes to style. How does your personal style reflect your generation? 
My generation enjoys being unique and that’s reflected in our clothing. In the past, people just wore what everyone else was wearing for the sake of “blending in” and being “normal.” But now, more people let their personalities shine through their individual styles. We’ve normalized thrifting and embraced experimenting with fashion. My personal style reflects my generation because most of my clothes are secondhand, and I’m not afraid to wear absolutely whatever I want.

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You're wearing both the Wayfarer and Jack Ray-Ban styles here. What does their history mean to you, and how does it fit in with your personal style?
Growing up, I remember seeing my cooler, older cousins wearing Ray-Ban, so now I always correlate Ray-Ban with “cool.” Ray-Ban are always classic and sleek, so they match with everything. I adore adding sunglasses to any of my outfits, whether you wear them normally, like a headband, or hanging from your pocket.

How else would you style these Ray-Ban frames, or any other you could find at Sunglass Hut?
I’d style this tortoise Wayfarer with a brown top and brown fitted dress pants. I love monochromatic outfits. For the Jack style, they remind me a lot of the ‘60s or ‘70s, so it would look good with a funky patterned top and some tight pants or flared bell-bottom. 

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Alex Gowon, 20, Artist and Content Creator

How would you describe your personal style? 
My style fluctuates based on my mood that day. I don’t think I could describe my style in just one word, but if I had to, I would say it’s…uncomplicated. At the moment, it’s heavily influenced by my grandfather's style. A simple button-up paired with work pants is my go-to.

On social media, TikTok specifically, we've seen an alleged generational divide when it comes to style. How does your personal style reflect your generation? 
My style reflects my generation in the way that it's true to who I am and what I’m feeling. It may be simple sometimes, but it is still unique to who I am. I love the fluidity clothes give me to express myself. When I want to feel pretty, I’m not shy about styling women's pieces—that’s something that has become important to a lot of people in my generation.

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How else would you style these Ray-Ban frames? 
There are no limits to how I could style these frames—if there was, it wouldn’t be a classic, am I right?

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Tagged:
style
Ray-Ban
Sunglasses
Gen Z
straight ups