Few sunglasses have occupied this kind of storied place in American culture and history as Ray Bans.
From Presidents to celebrities, rock stars to artists, fashion designers to runway models, there’s not really a generation alive that can’t remember owning (or looking to own) a pair 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 very first Ray Ban sunglasses were made for that United states Army Air Corp. The Army was looking for a sunglass to guard aviators from your damaging rays from the sun, but additionally a sunglass that would look elegant about the dashing airman of the day.
On May 7, 1937 Bausch & Lomb officially took out the patent in the cheap ray bans.
The very first sunglass to incorporate an anti-glare lens, the metal frame was extremely lightweight and made from gold-plated metal with two green lenses that filtered out UV 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 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 from the Philippines.
From the pragmatic beginnings offering airman defense against direct 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 became popular among both the fringe and 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 intended to be marketed to men … until women fell crazy about the sleek, shiny design that did actually flatter any model 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 increase in when Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly practically lived in her Wayfarers within the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Through 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 in the beach.
Ray-Bans popularity waned in the Seventies as being the disco era ushered in extravagent eyewear, and designers like Dior and Yves St. Laurent entered the eyewear market.
Inside the mid-70s, Ray-Ban introduced a collection of “disco” inspired sunglasses from the mid-seventies, nevertheless it fell flat. However, a resurgence in popularity was just nearby.
In 1982, Ray-Ban seemed to be around the cusp of a 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 movie (Belushi actually only removes them once — when Carrie Fisher carries a rocket launcher directed 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 put 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.
A purchase paid back when Ray-Ban received their first big return because of Tom Cruise donning the classic Wayfarer within the 1983 coming-of-age movie Risky Business.
Suddenly, Ray-Bans were cool again and the company could hardly keep its Wayfarers in stock.
In 1983, the organization sold an amazing 360,000 pairs of the sunglasses. In the future years, Ray-Bans would happen in some 80s hits, including Miami Vice, Moonlighting, and The Breakfast Club. Sales reached 1.5 million.
Within 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, along with other celebrities like Jack Nicholson and Vogue-Editor (and “The Devil Wears Prada” muse) Anna Wintour.
From the 1990s, Ray-Ban yet again faced a slump as Grunge ditched the trends of 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, yet they fell flat.”
In 2007, Ray-Ban re-introduced the very first Ray-Ban Wayfarer design, but expanded the colour options beyond the traditional palette to include patterns like checks and camouflage and colors like navy, white, turquoise, red, and blue.
Additionally, they launched a line 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 seemed to stare you inside the face each and every time you opened a fashion magazine or perhaps a copy of People.
After having a 10 year hiatus, Ray-Ban was dexjpky53 again as well as the original Aviator-style, longtime related to cops and pilots, began turning up on celebrities.
As being the Ray-Band revival took hold, other designer eyewear manufacturers took notice and attempted 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 which had been started way back in 1937 and epitomizes the classic sunglass style persists.