Rock stars, Hollywood celebrities and style influencers wear Ray-Ban. But do people know how the eyewear brand rose to fame?
Bausch & Lomb, an American company of one of the largest suppliers of eye care products, took out a patent in May 1937 for the first sunglasses to use a green antiglare lens that filtered out UV rays.
United States Army Air Corps pilots wore these sunglasses during World War II, giving them the name Aviators. General MacArthur was photographed wearing Ray-Ban Aviators while landing in the Philippines, giving rise to the eyewear’s popularity.
In 1938 Bausch & Lomb refashioned its original frame from plastic to gold metal and branded the Aviators Ray-Ban, meaning to ban the rays of the sun.
When the military trend caught on with the public, Ray-Ban likewise transitioned from military function to a pop culture fashion statement.
In 1952 Ray-Ban launched the Wayfarers, which James Dean wore in the 1955 movie “Rebel Without a Cause,” and in 1961 Audrey Hepburn immortalized it in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Bob Dylan made Wayfarers his signature look in the ’60s.
Ray-Ban launched the Caravan in 1957, a squarer version of the Aviators; the following year, the brand launched a women’s range of eyewear featuring different colors and design flourishes.
Olympian I and II were introduced in 1965, frames featuring a gently curving metal bridge and rounded rectangle lenses. Actor Peter Fonda wore the Olympian in Easy Rider.
Actor Robert de Niro wore Caravans in “Taxi Driver” and Clint Eastwood wore Baloramas in “Dirty Harry” in 1971.
More than ever, Ray-Ban has chalked up appearances in cinema. Denzel Washington wore Clubmasters in “Malcolm X,” Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones sported Ray-Ban Predators in “Men in Black.”
In 1999, Bausch & Lomb sold Ray-Ban to the Luxottica Group, which brought innovation to the brand with new materials such as lightweight carbon fiber and more sophisticated lens technology. The brand currently uses new materials such as metal, leather, denim and wood to update its originals. Today Ray-Ban remains a global leader by staying true to its DNA while applying technological innovation.
Vision Express Philippines is a proud retailer of Ray-Ban in the Philippines.