Few sunglasses have occupied this kind of storied spot in American culture and history as Ray Bans.
From Presidents to movie stars, rock stars to artists, designers to runway models, there’s not really a generation alive that can’t remember owning (or wanting to own) a set of these iconic sunglasses.
While Ray Bans now is visible around the next generation of Hollywood style setters, the famed sunglasses had a far more practical and humble beginning.
Founded in 1937 by Bausch & Lomb, the 1st Ray Ban sunglasses are intended for that United states Army Air Corp. The Army was looking for a sunglass to guard aviators in the damaging rays of the sun, and also a sunglass that will look elegant about the dashing airman throughout the day.
On May 7, 1937 Bausch & Lomb officially took the patent around the cheap ray bans.
The first sunglass to incorporate an anti-glare lens, the metal frame was extremely lightweight and made out of gold-plated metal with two green lenses that filtered out Ultra violet rays.
The Usa 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 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 in the Philippines.
From their pragmatic beginnings offering airman defense against 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 revolutionary moment in eyewear design, the Wayfarer quickly gained popularity among the fringe along with the well-heeled — crossing socio-economic and cultural borders — and appealing to a mass market that included debutantes and beatniks.
Ironically, the initial Wayfarers were supposed to have been marketed to men … until women fell crazy about the sleek, shiny design that seemed to flatter any shape of face.
Soon the sunglasses started to arrive 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 the Wayfarers in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Through 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 wanted to look cool around the beach.
Ray-Bans popularity waned from the Seventies because the disco era ushered in additional extravagent eyewear, and designers like Dior and Yves St. Laurent entered the eyewear market.
In the mid-70s, Ray-Ban introduced a type of “disco” inspired sunglasses in the mid-seventies, however it fell flat. However, a resurgence in popularity was only nearby.
In 1982, Ray-Ban seemed to be around the cusp of the revival. Their ray ban sale canada made 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 movie (Belushi actually only removes them once — when Carrie Fisher features a rocket launcher aimed at 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 put Ray-Bans in movies and TV shows. Between 1982 and 1987, Ray-Ban had placed their sunglasses in than 60 movies and tv shows.
An investment paid off when Ray-Ban received their first big return as a result of Tom Cruise donning the classic Wayfarer within 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 company sold a wonderful 360,000 pairs of your sunglasses. Within the coming years, Ray-Bans would happen in several 80s hits, including Miami Vice, Moonlighting, along with 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, 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 once more faced a slump as Grunge ditched the trends from the 80s and wrap-around sunglasses from manufacturers like Oakley became in-vogue. The corporation made an effort 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 colour options past the traditional palette to include patterns like checks and camouflage and colours like navy, white, turquoise, red, and blue.
In addition 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 as soon as again, ray bans 90 off appeared to stare you within the face every time you opened a fashion magazine or possibly a copy of individuals.
After a 10 year hiatus, Ray-Ban was dexjpky53 again and also the first Aviator-style, longtime associated with cops and pilots, began turning up on celebrities.
Because the Ray-Band revival took hold, other designer eyewear manufacturers took notice and tried to rush out their versions from the classic aviator and Wayfarer.
While their efforts brought a clearly retro-flair to 2009 eyewear, the genuine article that was started in 1937 and epitomizes the classic sunglass style persists.