Few sunglasses have occupied such a storied area in American culture and history as Ray Bans.
From Presidents to movie stars, rock stars to artists, designers to runway models, there’s not just a generation alive that can’t remember owning (or planning to own) a set of these iconic sunglasses.
While Ray Bans now can be viewed about 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 1st Ray Ban sunglasses are intended for your Usa Army Air Corp. The Army needed a sunglass to protect aviators from the damaging rays of the sun, and also a sunglass that could look elegant around the dashing airman through the day.
On May 7, 1937 Bausch & Lomb officially took out the patent in the cheap ray bans.
The initial 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 United states Army Air Corps pilots instantly took to the sunglasses, earning Ray-Bans the moniker “Aviator Glasses” — a term which now describes all sunglasses with designs that are like the very first Ray-Ban.
The Ray-Ban aviator achieved broader popularity during WWII, when General Douglas MacArthur was photographed in Ray-Ban aviator glasses landing in the beach from the Philippines.
Using their pragmatic beginnings offering airman protection from sunlight, 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 progressive 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 attractive to a mass market that included debutantes and beatniks.
Ironically, the first Wayfarers were intended to be 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 began to turn 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 own Wayfarers in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Through the 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 planned to look cool around the beach.
Ray-Bans popularity waned from the Seventies as being the disco era ushered in extravagent eyewear, and designers like Dior and Yves St. Laurent entered the eyewear market.
Within the mid-70s, Ray-Ban introduced a brand of “disco” inspired sunglasses in the mid-seventies, however it fell flat. However, a resurgence in popularity was just around the corner.
In 1982, Ray-Ban seemed to be on the cusp of a revival. Their ray ban sale canada created a not-so-subtle appearance on John Belushi and Dan Akroyd in the The Blues Brothers movie. Despite wearing Ray Bans for almost all of the film (Belushi actually only removes them once — when Carrie Fisher includes a rocket launcher directed at him), sales were still a paltry 18,000 pairs in 1980.
That all changed in 1982 when Ray-Ban signed a $50,000 annually contract to put Ray-Bans in movies and TV shows. Between 1982 and 1987, Ray-Ban had placed their sunglasses in than 60 movies and television shows.
Your time and money paid off when Ray-Ban received their first big return thanks to Tom Cruise donning the classic Wayfarer in 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 company sold a wonderful 360,000 pairs from the sunglasses. Within the future years, Ray-Bans would can be found in some 80s hits, including Miami Vice, Moonlighting, and The Breakfast Club. Sales reached 1.5 million.
From the Eighties, Ray-Bans and Ray-Ban Wayfarers might 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.
With the 1990s, Ray-Ban once more 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, however they fell flat.”
In 2007, Ray-Ban re-introduced the very first Ray-Ban Wayfarer design, but expanded the color options past the traditional palette to include patterns like checks and camouflage and colors like navy, white, turquoise, red, and blue.
Additionally, they developed 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 once again, ray bans 90 off did actually stare you in the face every time you opened a fashion magazine or perhaps a copy of People.
After a 10 year hiatus, Ray-Ban was dexjpky53 again and also the first Aviator-style, longtime linked to 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 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.