Rarely does a sunglass brand manage to transcend decades and stay on trend. The name Ray-Ban has not only become synonymous with sunglasses and style, but the company, who is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, is more popular than ever. Seen on John Lennon, JFK and Robert Redford in the 70’s, the stylish frames are now a days worn by trendsetters Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Rachel Bilson, the Olsen twins and Scarlett Johanssen.
Ray-Bans were originally designed in 1937 for pilots who were developing migraines from the harsh glare faced during flying. The design was adapted for public sale, and so the Aviators were born. Originally known as ‘Anti-Glare’ by pilots, the brand was given a catchier name to emphasise how the product could effectively block (Ban) sunrays (Ray). Over the years, the brand has developed trademark styles, many of which are still worn today. In the 1950’s, Ray-Ban introduced the Wayfarer, which featured in cult movie Rebel Without a Cause.
During the 60’s and 70’s, Ray-Bans began to feature more heavily in movies, with Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Peter Fonda in Easy Rider and Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry all donning Ray-Bans for their iconic roles.
In the 80’s, The Blues Brothers and Risky Business featured the now iconic Wayfarers and Tom Cruise’s turn as Maverick in Top Gun helped bring the Aviators back into fashion.
Today, the brand continues to develop and grow, with improvements in technology continue to inspire new models for the future. To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Ray-Ban has re-introduced the AMBERMATIC lens available in four iconic shapes, Ray-Ban Classic Aviator, Ray-Ban Classic Aviator with curved temple tips, Ray-Ban Shooter and Ray-Ban Outdoorsman. AMBERMATIC is a special yellow lens that darkens depending on light and temperature conditions. By transitioning from yellow to brown, the lens technology blocks glare and highlights outlines and shapes.
The brand that has helped shape popular culture, continues to goes from strength to strength, and while fashion styles continue to come and go, Ray-Bans remain an enduring classic.
Images courtesy of AWPR