The initial years of the Ray Ban brand brought ultimate grandeur — grandeur that would formulate a glamorous, luxurious optic company for the following nearly eighty years. The initial year was 1936 when an American test pilot John A. Macready felt he had permanent eye damage from the bright sun during one of his balloon flights. He asked Bausch & Lomb to create a sort of sunglass protection that held all of the sophistication of a handsome uniformed man — like himself.
The following year, Bausch & Lomb followed up on Macready’s request. They created the very first Ray Ban model: an “Aviator.” Gold-plated metal frames wrapped around a deep green, anti-glare glass lens. The lens was specifically designed to filter out ultraviolet and infrared sunrays, thus protecting the eyes.
In these initial years before Michael Jordan wore Oakley’s or Victoria Beckham sported dark framed nerd glasses, a man named General Douglas MacArthur donned the Ray Ban model and became a sort of war hero endorsement. He stood on the shores of the Philippines mid-World War II and rendered himself as an icon of sophistication. And thus: the Ray Ban brand was born.
The Ray Ban Wayfarer brought a different frame material, turning away from the metal frames in the 50s to a more of-the-age thick plastic. These styles are quite popular now in optic glasses, and the Wayfarer’s deep, engrained culture during this time is much of the reason for that.
Think of Audrey Hepburn in her iconic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s: she dons Wayfarer’s and currently blinks out from beneath them in every college dorm room in the world. An iconic symbol! And this dramatic grandeur continued throughout the century. Find Ray Bans on James Dean, John Kennedy, Bob Dylan, Bono, John Lennon, Buddy Holly and Marilyn Monroe — some of the biggest names in the history of the world. As they stand in their très chic Ray Bans, they emit every formation of cool.
In 1999, an Italian company Luxottica Group bought the Bausch & Lomb frame business, bringing Ray Ban into its mix. Afterwards, major expansions began to assimilate into the company. In 2003, Ray Ban Optical was formed, providing a specific inspiration for prescription lenses. Its mission was to bring the culture and sophistication of the sunglasses into the optical sphere.
Ray Ban Glasses: A Room for Personalization
Ray Ban’s current status as center of attention in the optic universe is apparent. Look to their marvelous selection: the classic, inspired shapes in their optic collection Legends, and their clean, sharp lines in their Tech collection. Ray Ban Kids boasts funky, energetic colors and shapes that bring a bit of pep to the young children’s style. Various Ray Ban frames are offered with bizarre and wonderful textures; they include touches of fine art tweaks and bits of leather.
The Ray Ban optics collection allows you to personalize your eyewear. It allows you to choose from four broad styles: Active Lifestyle, Highstreet, Icons, and Tech. Each broad style seems representative of a different part of Ray Ban’s elaborate history. The icons style, for example, brings you back to Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Some of the Icon style rims are romantic, Hollywood-esque. Several promote browlines fashion, reminiscent of the 50s, a lost era. The Aviator optic glasses are absolutely represented here, bringing the entire realm of Ray Ban’s historical years at the forefront of glasses fashion. A perusal through the Tech style section renders Carbon Fibre glasses: glasses that bring high technology in order to formulate better utilization. Ray Ban understands that while the icon styles are beautiful, they no longer hold as much utility. Therefore, they’ve assimilated themselves into the changing times and created the Tech styles.
The Active Lifestyle styles are sleek, sharp, and modern, while the Highstreet styles are fashion-forward, bringing modernized, present-day touches to current hipster trends. Each style allows you to choose from ten different colors and two different frame materials: metal or plastic.
Furthermore, Ray Ban’s extensive technology has brought five different frame innovations, each formed from a different material. Carbon fibre, light-ray, light-force, titanium, and memo ray are available. Memo fiber is both strong and flexible, while carbon fibre provides utmost comfort. The light-ray holds no screws and is hypoallergenic, while the light-force is both light and durable. The final frame, titanium, promotes itself as the lightest, strongest frame.
New Day Technology and Partnerships
These days, Ray Ban has partnered with a brand new eyewear industry: Google Glass, which provides a computerized mechanism on your glasses; it allows you to utilize it like a smart phone — without your hands. The only trouble is, Google Glass brings no beauty, no fashion-forward thinking, and certainly no iconic brand. They’re a technology brand, first and foremost. However, this partnership could have the world singing a different tune.
After all, celebrities throughout the decades have donned Ray Ban. They felt the necessity to feel completely cool while protecting their eyesight. Therefore, people could find reasons to have computers in their immediate eyesight if Ray Ban provides them with a cool, chic reason to do so. With Ray Ban as the Google Glass partner, we may find a different, more technologically-focused fashion future.
Photo Credit: mressentialist.com