Few sunglasses have occupied such a storied spot in American culture and history as Ray Bans.
From Presidents to movie stars, rock stars to artists, fashion designers to runway models, there’s not a generation alive that can’t remember owning (or seeking to own) a couple of these iconic sunglasses.
While Ray Bans now can be viewed about the next generation of Hollywood style setters, the famed sunglasses had a much more practical and humble beginning.
Founded in 1937 by Bausch & Lomb, the 1st Ray Ban sunglasses were created for your United states Army Air Corp. The Army was looking for a sunglass to shield aviators through the damaging rays from the sun, but in addition a sunglass that might look elegant on the dashing airman during the day.
On May 7, 1937 Bausch & Lomb officially took out the patent in the ray ban canada sale.
The initial sunglass to add an anti-glare lens, the metal frame was extremely lightweight and created from gold-plated metal with two green lenses that filtered out UV rays.
The U.S. Army Air Corps pilots instantly took for the sunglasses, earning Ray-Bans the moniker “Aviator Glasses” — an expression which now describes all sunglasses with designs that are similar to 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 about the beach inside the Philippines.
Using their pragmatic beginnings offering airman protection from the sun, Ray-Bans quickly became element 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 revolutionary moment in eyewear design, the Wayfarer quickly became popular among the fringe and the well-heeled — crossing socio-economic and cultural borders — and popular with a mass market that included debutantes and beatniks.
Ironically, the original Wayfarers were intended to be marketed to men … until women fell crazy about the sleek, shiny design that did actually flatter any form of face.
Soon the sunglasses began to arrive on everyone from Presidents and stylish women to folk musicians and East Village Hipsters. Wayfarers were got a PR improvement in when Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly practically lived in their Wayfarers in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Throughout the 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 desired to look cool around the beach.
Ray-Bans popularity waned inside the Seventies as the disco era ushered in more extravagent eyewear, and designers like Dior and Yves St. Laurent entered the eyewear market.
From the mid-70s, Ray-Ban introduced a type of “disco” inspired sunglasses from the mid-seventies, however it fell flat. However, a resurgence in popularity was only around the corner.
In 1982, Ray-Ban seemed to be around the cusp of a revival. Their ray ban 90 off crafted a not-so-subtle appearance on John Belushi and Dan Akroyd in the The Blues Brothers movie. Despite wearing Ray Bans for nearly all of the film (Belushi actually only removes them once — when Carrie Fisher has a rocket launcher aimed at him), sales were still a paltry 18,000 pairs in 1980.
That changed in 1982 when Ray-Ban signed a $50,000 per year contract to set Ray-Bans in movies and television shows. Between 1982 and 1987, Ray-Ban had placed their sunglasses in more than 60 movies and television shows.
The investment repaid when Ray-Ban received their first big return because of Tom Cruise donning the classic Wayfarer inside the 1983 coming-of-age movie Risky Business.
Suddenly, Ray-Bans were cool again and the company could hardly keep its Wayfarers available.
In 1983, the business sold an incredible 360,000 pairs in the sunglasses. In the future years, Ray-Bans would can be found in several 80s hits, including Miami Vice, Moonlighting, as well as the Breakfast Club. Sales reached 1.5 million.
Inside the Eighties, Ray-Bans and Ray-Ban Wayfarers could 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.
By 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 corporation 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 hue options past the traditional palette to add patterns like checks and camouflage and colors like navy, white, turquoise, red, and blue.
They also launched 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 when again, cheap ray ban sunglasses seemed to stare you within the face each and every time you opened a fashion magazine or possibly a copy of men and women.
Right after a 10 year hiatus, Ray-Ban was dexjpky53 again and also the very first Aviator-style, longtime connected with cops and pilots, began showing up on celebrities.
Because the Ray-Band revival took hold, other designer eyewear manufacturers took notice and tried to rush out their versions of your classic aviator and Wayfarer.
While their efforts brought a clearly retro-flair to 2009 eyewear, the genuine article that had been started in 1937 and epitomizes the classic sunglass style persists.