Few sunglasses have occupied this sort of storied devote 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 looking to own) a couple of these iconic sunglasses.
While Ray Bans now is visible around the next generation of Hollywood style setters, the famed sunglasses had a more practical and humble beginning.
Founded in 1937 by Bausch & Lomb, the 1st Ray Ban sunglasses were created to the U.S. Army Air Corp. The Army needed a sunglass to guard aviators from your damaging rays of the sun, but in addition a sunglass that could look elegant on the dashing airman of the day.
On May 7, 1937 Bausch & Lomb officially took out the patent around the cheap ray bans.
The first sunglass to feature an anti-glare lens, the metal frame was extremely lightweight and made from gold-plated metal with two green lenses that filtered out Ultra violet rays.
The United states 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 first 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 defense against the sun, 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 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 popular with a mass market that included debutantes and beatniks.
Ironically, the very first Wayfarers were intended to be marketed to men … until women fell in love with the sleek, shiny design that seemed to flatter any form 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 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 wanted to look cool about the beach.
Ray-Bans popularity waned within the Seventies because the disco era ushered in more extravagent eyewear, and designers like Dior and Yves St. Laurent entered the eyewear market.
Inside the mid-70s, Ray-Ban introduced a line of “disco” inspired sunglasses in the mid-seventies, but it fell flat. However, a resurgence in popularity was just nearby.
In 1982, Ray-Ban appeared to be in the cusp of your revival. Their ray ban canada 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 features a rocket launcher geared towards him), sales were a paltry 18,000 pairs in 1980.
That every changed in 1982 when Ray-Ban signed a $50,000 a year contract to set Ray-Bans in movies and television shows. Between 1982 and 1987, Ray-Ban had placed their sunglasses in than 60 movies and television shows.
A purchase paid back when Ray-Ban received their first big return thanks to Tom Cruise donning the classic Wayfarer from 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 an incredible 360,000 pairs of the sunglasses. From the coming years, Ray-Bans would appear in a series of 80s hits, including Miami Vice, Moonlighting, along with the Breakfast Club. Sales reached 1.5 million.
In 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, members of U2, and other celebrities like Jack Nicholson and Vogue-Editor (and “The Devil Wears Prada” muse) Anna Wintour.
Through the 1990s, Ray-Ban yet again faced a slump as Grunge ditched the trends from the 80s and wrap-around sunglasses from manufacturers like Oakley became in-vogue. The business tried to kick-start sales by updating the frame’s styling, but again they fell flat.”
In 2007, Ray-Ban re-introduced the initial Ray-Ban Wayfarer design, but expanded the hue options beyond the traditional palette to feature patterns like checks and camouflage and colours like navy, white, turquoise, red, and blue.
In addition they made a type 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 appeared to stare you in the face each time you opened a fashion magazine or perhaps a copy of individuals.
After having a 10 year hiatus, Ray-Ban was dexjpky53 again and also the initial Aviator-style, longtime linked to cops and pilots, began appearing on celebrities.
Since the Ray-Band revival took hold, other designer eyewear manufacturers took notice and made an effort to rush out their versions of your classic aviator and Wayfarer.
While their efforts brought a clearly retro-flair to 2009 eyewear, the real thing that had been started back 1937 and epitomizes the classic sunglass style persists.