Few sunglasses have occupied this type of storied spot in American culture and history as Ray Bans.
From Presidents to celebrities, rock stars to artists, fashion designers to runway models, there’s not much of a generation alive that can’t remember owning (or seeking to own) some these iconic sunglasses.
While Ray Bans now can be viewed on the next generation of Hollywood style setters, the famed sunglasses had an infinitely more practical and humble beginning.
Founded in 1937 by Bausch & Lomb, the first Ray Ban sunglasses are intended for the United states Army Air Corp. The Army was looking for a sunglass to guard aviators from your damaging rays of your sun, but also a sunglass that could look elegant around the dashing airman during the day.
On May 7, 1937 Bausch & Lomb officially took the patent on the cheap sunglasses canada.
The 1st sunglass to include an anti-glare lens, the metal frame was extremely lightweight and made from gold-plated metal with two green lenses that filtered out UV rays.
The U.S. Army Air Corps pilots instantly took towards the sunglasses, earning Ray-Bans the moniker “Aviator Glasses” — a term which now describes all sunglasses with designs that are like the original Ray-Ban.
The Ray-Ban aviator achieved broader popularity during WWII, when General Douglas MacArthur was photographed in Ray-Ban aviator glasses landing around the beach within the Philippines.
From the pragmatic beginnings offering airman defense against sunlight, Ray-Bans quickly became part of American fashion and popular culture when, in 1952, Ray Ban broke from traditional metal frames and created hard plastic frame called “The Ray-Ban Wayfarer.”
Now considered a progressive moment in eyewear design, the Wayfarer quickly become popular among both fringe as well as the well-heeled — crossing socio-economic and cultural borders — and fascinating to a mass market that included debutantes and beatniks.
Ironically, the very first Wayfarers were supposed to have been marketed to men … until women fell deeply in love with the sleek, shiny design that appeared to flatter any form of face.
Soon the sunglasses started to turn up on everyone from Presidents and trendy women to folk musicians and East Village Hipsters. Wayfarers were got a PR surge in when Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly practically lived in her own Wayfarers in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
During the entire 50s and 60s, Ray Ban Wayfarers were the sunglass preferred by everyone from Bob Dylan, to Andy Warhol, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Roy Orbison, John Lennon and countless average American teenagers who just wished to look cool about the beach.
Ray-Bans popularity waned inside the Seventies since the disco era ushered in more extravagent eyewear, and designers like Dior and Yves St. Laurent entered the eyewear market.
In the mid-70s, Ray-Ban introduced a collection of “disco” inspired sunglasses inside the mid-seventies, however it fell flat. However, a resurgence in popularity was only around the corner.
In 1982, Ray-Ban seemed to be about the cusp of your revival. Their ray ban 90 off created a not-so-subtle appearance on John Belushi and Dan Akroyd in the The Blues Brothers movie. Despite wearing Ray Bans for most of the movie (Belushi actually only removes them once — when Carrie Fisher has a rocket launcher aimed at him), sales were a paltry 18,000 pairs in 1980.
That most changed in 1982 when Ray-Ban signed a $50,000 per year contract to place Ray-Bans in movies and TV shows. Between 1982 and 1987, Ray-Ban had placed their sunglasses in additional than 60 movies and television shows.
A purchase paid back when Ray-Ban received their first big return as a result of Tom Cruise donning the classic Wayfarer within the 1983 coming-of-age movie Risky Business.
Suddenly, Ray-Bans were cool again along with the company could hardly keep its Wayfarers in store.
In 1983, the company sold a fantastic 360,000 pairs of the sunglasses. In the coming years, Ray-Bans would can be found in several 80s hits, including Miami Vice, Moonlighting, along with the Breakfast Club. Sales reached 1.5 million.
From the Eighties, Ray-Bans and Ray-Ban Wayfarers may be seen on everyone from Madonna to Michael Jackson, Elvis Costello, Morrissey, The Ramones, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, people in U2, along with other celebrities like Jack Nicholson and Vogue-Editor (and “The Devil Wears Prada” muse) Anna Wintour.
By the 1990s, Ray-Ban yet again faced a slump as Grunge ditched the trends of the 80s and wrap-around sunglasses from manufacturers like Oakley became in-vogue. The business aimed to kick-start sales by updating the frame’s styling, but again they fell flat.”
In 2007, Ray-Ban re-introduced the original Ray-Ban Wayfarer design, but expanded the color options past the traditional palette to incorporate patterns like checks and camouflage and colours like navy, white, turquoise, red, and blue.
In addition they developed a collection of multi-colored Wayfarer frames that combined colors like gold on black, white on black and red on tortoise-shell.
The strategy worked, and once again, cheap sunglasses online appeared to stare you in the face every time you opened a fashion magazine or a copy of People.
After having a 10 year hiatus, Ray-Ban was dexjpky53 again and even the initial Aviator-style, longtime associated with cops and pilots, began arriving on celebrities.
As being the Ray-Band revival took hold, other designer eyewear manufacturers took notice and aimed to rush out their versions from the classic aviator and Wayfarer.
While their efforts brought a clearly retro-flair to 2009 eyewear, the genuine article which was started back in 1937 and epitomizes the classic sunglass style persists.