A good pair of sunnies, as we all know, is meant to shield our eyes from the glare of, well… the sun. Under the most unforgiving dog days of summer, these trusty shades are what we turn to for squint-free accessories. So when teeny, tiny, barely balancing-on-the-nose Matrix sunglasses became the predominant eyewear trend of 2017 — as seen on the likes of Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and the millennial rest — we couldn’t help but ask, why?

As most trends tend to be now, the ultra-skinny frames were first stamped with the seal of Demna Gvasalia’s approval during the start of the year. Their inaugural appearance at Balenciaga’s Fall 2017 show led to their next frenzied sighting: Perched on the face of who else but Kendall. As it transpired, the style soothsayer had on an all-black ensemble that was not unlike Neo or Trinity’s uniforms in 1999’s sci-fi flick Matrix — earning the futuristic specs their unofficial moniker after the movie.

kendall jenner
Kendall Jenner vs. Matrix’s Trinity, played by Carrie-Anne Moss.

It was Rihanna, though, who marked the advent of the Matrix shades as fashion’s au courant must-haves, as the bad gal broke red carpet’s tacit rule of “no sunglasses” at Cannes Film Festival in May. After that, all hell broke loose. An endless list of Insta-girls Bella, Selena Gomez, Zoë Kravitz, Emily Ratajkowski, et al. laid their takes on the trend table, purveying their preferred renditions of it.

Stripped of their protective purpose — more so when we’re wearing them low on the bridge of our nose — why should we wear these useless, miniature sunnies? The answer can be found in the pap photos of said “It” girls: To still be seen. Coyly chic, at that.

As the Matrix-style shows no sign of fading, below find and shop your now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t favourite.

(Main image: Getty; featured image: Kendall Jenner)