Few sunglasses have occupied this kind of storied place in American culture and history as Ray Bans.
From Presidents to celebrities, rock stars to artists, designers to runway models, there’s not much of a generation alive that can’t remember owning (or wanting to own) a pair of these iconic sunglasses.
While Ray Bans now can be seen 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 very first Ray Ban sunglasses are created for your U.S. Army Air Corp. The Army wanted a sunglass to safeguard aviators in the damaging rays of your sun, but in addition a sunglass that would look elegant about the dashing airman of the day.
On May 7, 1937 Bausch & Lomb officially took out of the patent on the ray ban canada sale.
The 1st sunglass to include an anti-glare lens, the metal frame was extremely lightweight and created from gold-plated metal with two green lenses that filtered out Ultra violet rays.
The U.S. Army Air Corps pilots instantly took to the sunglasses, earning Ray-Bans the moniker “Aviator Glasses” — an expression which now describes all sunglasses with designs that act 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 inside the Philippines.
From the pragmatic beginnings offering airman defense against direct 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 an innovative moment in eyewear design, the Wayfarer quickly gained popularity among both fringe as well as the well-heeled — crossing socio-economic and cultural borders — and popular with a mass market that included debutantes and beatniks.
Ironically, the initial Wayfarers were supposed to have been marketed to men … until women fell in love with the sleek, shiny design that seemed to flatter any model of face.
Soon the sunglasses begun to turn up on everyone from Presidents and stylish 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 Wayfarers inside the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
During the entire 50s and 60s, Ray Ban Wayfarers were the sunglass of choice for 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 in the beach.
Ray-Bans popularity waned within the Seventies since the disco era ushered in more extravagent eyewear, and designers like Dior and Yves St. Laurent entered the eyewear market.
Within the mid-70s, Ray-Ban introduced a collection of “disco” inspired sunglasses inside the mid-seventies, but it really fell flat. However, a resurgence in popularity was only around the corner.
In 1982, Ray-Ban appeared to be in the cusp of any revival. Their ray ban 90 off created a not-so-subtle appearance on John Belushi and Dan Akroyd from the The Blues Brothers movie. Despite wearing Ray Bans for nearly all of the movie (Belushi actually only removes them once — when Carrie Fisher features a rocket launcher directed at him), sales were still a paltry 18,000 pairs in 1980.
That most changed in 1982 when Ray-Ban signed a $50,000 per year contract to position Ray-Bans in movies and television shows. Between 1982 and 1987, Ray-Ban had placed their sunglasses in more than 60 movies and tv shows.
Your time and money paid back when Ray-Ban received their first big return due to Tom Cruise donning the classic Wayfarer from the 1983 coming-of-age movie Risky Business.
Suddenly, Ray-Bans were cool again as well as the company could hardly keep its Wayfarers in stock.
In 1983, the business sold a wonderful 360,000 pairs from the sunglasses. Inside the future years, Ray-Bans would happen in a number of 80s hits, including Miami Vice, Moonlighting, and The Breakfast Club. Sales reached 1.5 million.
In the Eighties, Ray-Bans and Ray-Ban Wayfarers could possibly be seen on everyone from Madonna to Michael Jackson, Elvis Costello, Morrissey, The Ramones, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, individuals U2, and also other celebrities like Jack Nicholson and Vogue-Editor (and “The Devil Wears Prada” muse) Anna Wintour.
Through the 1990s, Ray-Ban again faced a slump as Grunge ditched the trends of your 80s and wrap-around sunglasses from manufacturers like Oakley became in-vogue. The organization tried to kick-start sales by updating the frame’s styling, yet they fell flat.”
In 2007, Ray-Ban re-introduced the very first Ray-Ban Wayfarer design, but expanded colour options beyond the traditional palette to add patterns like checks and camouflage and colors like navy, white, turquoise, red, and blue.
Additionally they made a brand of multi-colored Wayfarer frames that combined colors like gold on black, white on black and red on tortoise-shell.
The strategy worked, and when again, cheap sunglasses online seemed to stare you inside the face each and every time you opened a fashion magazine or a copy of People.
After having a 10 year hiatus, Ray-Ban was dexjpky53 again and also the very first Aviator-style, longtime associated with cops and pilots, began arriving on celebrities.
As the Ray-Band revival took hold, other designer eyewear manufacturers took notice and tried to rush out their versions in the classic aviator and Wayfarer.
While their efforts brought a clearly retro-flair to 2009 eyewear, the real thing that was started way back in 1937 and epitomizes the classic sunglass style persists.