Ray-Ban Aviators and Wayfarers, two American legends

Celebrities Wearing a few iconic Ray-Ban models.
Celebrities Wearing a few iconic Ray-Ban models.

Famous around the world for designing America's best sunglasses, the Ray-Ban brand is a pop culture symbol of the 20th century. Wayfarers and Aviators are worn by astronauts, presidents and celebrities. Ray-Ban glasses are a true fashion emblem and gives remarkable to the wearer.


Ray-Ban's Origins


The Ray-Ban company was founded in 1937 in Rochester, NY. At the time it was a division of Baush & Lomb. The Ray-Ban division was mandated to produce “anti-sun glasses” that were supposed to “ban” the sun's rays. Ray-Ban were the first to sell polarized glasses, and the only ones at the time to be able to produce it.  

A military pilot wearing Ray-Ban Aviators in the 1940'
A military pilot wearing Ray-Ban Aviators in the 1940' | Source

The Aviator Sunglasses


The famous Ray-Ban aviators were designed after a command from the U.S Air force. With the development of aviation in the 1930', pilots were starting to experience discomfort caused by the light's reflection on the clouds. To solve this technical problem, the Air Force asked Bausch & Lomb to deliver eyewear capable of protecting the pilot. The company's answered the military's request in 1937 when the Aviators model was officially commercialized. It was an instant hit among the militaries but the sale's number to the civilian population remained low.

It was latter discovered by the general population when photojournalist followed and snapped pictures of the U.S Navy at work in the pacific, during the Second World War. Douglas MacArthur is generally attributed for promoting the glasses, unofficially in the 1940's.  

Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Megan Fox all spotted wearing Ray-Ban Aviators
Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Megan Fox all spotted wearing Ray-Ban Aviators

This increase in media visibility made the Aviators -and Ray-Ban- very popular trough the 1950' and 1960'. The style was latter adopted by pop star Michael Jackson in the 1980', contributing to the glasses' fame. Tom Cruise also wore them in the 1986's cult movie Top Gun. The model is still one of the favorite among many celebrities.  

President John F. Kennedy sailing and wearing Ray-Ban Wayfarers
President John F. Kennedy sailing and wearing Ray-Ban Wayfarers

The Wayfarer Sunglasses


Created by Ray-Ban in 1952, the Wayfarer model was an immediate success in the 1950' and 1960'. Endorsed by Marilyn Monroe, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy the model was an instant hit. Promoted by Micheal Jackson in the 1980' and starring on the 1983 movie “Risky Business” the Wayfarers were a cult symbol of the 1980'. Recently redesigned by the Ray-Ban team this historic eyewear was commercialized again in 2007 and was immediately adopted by many Hollywood's celebrities.  

Audrey Epburn and Andy Warhol, both Wearing Wayfarers
Audrey Epburn and Andy Warhol, both Wearing Wayfarers
Jacqueline Kennedy wearing Ray-Ban Wayfarers
Jacqueline Kennedy wearing Ray-Ban Wayfarers
Tom Cruise in 1983
Tom Cruise in 1983

Ray-Ban glasses are an iconic landmark of the 20th century, with an almost never ending popularity among old and new audiences.  

More by this Author


Comments

No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working