The Story of Ray Ban
0 0 0
Share
Article

The Story of Ray Ban

The Story of Ray Ban
  There are perhaps only a few brands in sunglasses that have positioned themselves as the leaders in this segment and Ray Ban is undoubtedly a brand that has a very special place in the American culture and even history.  These iconic sunglasses have been sported by popular personalities such as pop starts, movie stars, Presidents, models, artists and so many others.  Although Ray Bans are the ideal accessories for fashionistas and trendsetters, which can perhaps turn around a look so significantly- the fact is that they had a very humble start. Ray Bans were founded by Bausch & Lomb in the year 1937 and were specially made for the U.S. Army Air Corp. as they were looking out for glasses that would protect the aviators from the harmful rays of the sun, but would also simultaneously look elegant too.  Thus were born the official ray Bans and Bausch & Lomb received a patent on the Ray Ban aviator sunglasses on 7th May, 1937.  The “Aviator Glasses” that are the hottest Ray Bans resembles the original Ray Ban that was worn by the US Army Air Corps pilots at that time.   Ray Ban Aviator glasses were hugely popular during the Second World War and that is reminiscent of the effect that General Douglas MacArthur created when he was photographed wearing aviator glasses. From a practical beginning, Ray Bans started getting popular exponentially and slowly invaded American popular and fashion culture with their new plastic frame creation called "The Ray-Ban Wayfarer"  which came out in 1952.  This style got a mass acceptance across socio-economic strata and these glasses which were originally meant for men, became a hot favorite with the ladies as it seemed to flatter any face shape.  These sunglasses were worn by Audrey Hepburn in the movie ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and the Wayfarers received even more fame.  From Marilyn Monroe and John Lennon to Bob Dylan and James Dean and even the average American- no one could escape the charismatic Ray Ban Wayfarers through the 1950s and 60s. However, come 1970s and the Ray Bans started dimming in terms of popularity as the new ‘Disco era’ ushered in more extravagant sunglasses from designers like Yves St. Laurent and Dior who created a buzz in the sunglasses market.  In order to keep pace with the demand, Ray Ban introduced a new variety which was inspired by the ongoing ‘Disco fever’- however, the design was not received well.  However in 1982, Ray Ban got a boost when their sunglasses were worn by the protagonists John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd in the movie ‘The Blues Brothers’.  Despite this, the sales were still meagre.  Later during that year, Ray Ban went in for a 50 thousand dollar annual contract in which their sunnglasses would be featured in over 60 television shows and movies.  This paid off as Tom Cruise wore the Wayfarer in “Risky Business”and ‘Top Gun’ which put Ray Bans back to the forefront and they were back to business as in 1983, they sold a whopping 360 thousand pairs of Wayfarers and subsequent hit movies surged sales to 1.5 million pairs of sunglasses which was phenomenal! In the 80s, Wayfarers were a hot property as everyone was donning them from Michael Jackson, Madonna, Morrissey, Elvis Costello, U2 to other popular celebrities like Anna Wintour, Vogue-Editor and Jack Nicholson. However, by the 1990s, the popularity of Ray Bans again nosedived as wrap-around glasses from Oakley gained huge popularity and even though Ray Bans did try to match up with a similar design- it again fell flat. Ray Ban decided to add more pizzazzz so it reinvented the original Ray Ban Wayfarer design in 2007 and came out with funky colour options besides the traditional ones like navy, red, blue, turquoise, white, camouflage and checks as well as multi-color frame combinations which worked wonders.  It soon became a favorite and was on the faces of the ‘who’s who’ everywhere.  An original Wayfarer (depending upon the lenses) can cost anything between US$ 150-200 whereas original Aviator glasses would cost anything between US$ 145-195.
Share With The World
0 0 0

Facebook Conversation