Few sunglasses have occupied this kind of storied area 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 much of a generation alive that can’t remember owning (or planning to own) a set of these iconic sunglasses.
While Ray Bans now is seen about the next generation of Hollywood style setters, the famed sunglasses had a more practical and humble beginning.
Founded in 1937 by Bausch & Lomb, the first Ray Ban sunglasses were created to the Usa Army Air Corp. The Army wanted a sunglass to safeguard aviators through the damaging rays in the sun, but in addition a sunglass that would look elegant on the dashing airman of the day.
On May 7, 1937 Bausch & Lomb officially took out of the patent around the cheap ray bans.
The first sunglass to incorporate an anti-glare lens, the metal frame was extremely lightweight and produced 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” — an expression which now describes all sunglasses with designs that are exactly 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 about the beach from the Philippines.
From the pragmatic beginnings offering airman defense against the sun, Ray-Bans quickly became component 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 become popular among the two 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 in love with the sleek, shiny design that appeared to flatter any form of face.
Soon the sunglasses begun to show up on everyone from Presidents and trendy women to folk musicians and East Village Hipsters. Wayfarers were got a PR boost in when Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly practically lived in her 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 wished to look cool around the beach.
Ray-Bans popularity waned within the Seventies since the disco era ushered in extravagent eyewear, and designers like Dior and Yves St. Laurent entered the eyewear market.
From the mid-70s, Ray-Ban introduced a collection of “disco” inspired sunglasses from the mid-seventies, but it really fell flat. However, a resurgence in popularity was only nearby.
In 1982, Ray-Ban appeared to be around the cusp of your revival. Their ray ban 90 off made a not-so-subtle appearance on John Belushi and Dan Akroyd within the The Blues Brothers movie. Despite wearing Ray Bans for most of the film (Belushi actually only removes them once — when Carrie Fisher has a rocket launcher targeted at him), sales were still a paltry 18,000 pairs in 1980.
That most changed in 1982 when Ray-Ban signed a $50,000 each year contract to position Ray-Bans in movies and television shows. Between 1982 and 1987, Ray-Ban had placed their sunglasses in additional than 60 movies and tv shows.
The investment repaid when Ray-Ban received their first big return thanks to Tom Cruise donning the classic Wayfarer inside the 1983 coming-of-age movie Risky Business.
Suddenly, Ray-Bans were cool again along with the company could hardly keep its Wayfarers available.
In 1983, the corporation sold a fantastic 360,000 pairs from the sunglasses. From the coming years, Ray-Bans would show up in several 80s hits, including Miami Vice, Moonlighting, and 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, 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 the 80s and wrap-around sunglasses from manufacturers like Oakley became in-vogue. The organization aimed to kick-start sales by updating the frame’s styling, however they fell flat.”
In 2007, Ray-Ban re-introduced the first Ray-Ban Wayfarer design, but expanded the colour options beyond the traditional palette to add patterns like checks and camouflage and colors like navy, white, turquoise, red, and blue.
In addition they made 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 possibly a copy of People.
Right after a 10 year hiatus, Ray-Ban was dexjpky53 again as well as the very first Aviator-style, longtime associated with cops and pilots, began arriving on celebrities.
Because the Ray-Band revival took hold, other designer eyewear manufacturers took notice and attempted to rush out their versions in the classic aviator and Wayfarer.
While their efforts brought a clearly retro-flair to 2009 eyewear, the genuine article that had been started way back in 1937 and epitomizes the classic sunglass style persists.