A Brief History of Ray Ban Sunglasses – Classic, Sophisticated, Sexy

Ray Ban sunglasses have been around since 1937, when the Aviator style was developed by Bausch & Lomb for the U.S. Army Air Corps. Designed to be not only functional, but stylish, Ray Bans have never gone out of style and probably never will.

The list of actors who have worn classic Ray Ban Wayfarers or Aviators in movie roles is practically endless. Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Tom Cruise in Risky Business, Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi in The Blues Brothers, and Will Smith in Men in Black are just a few. Other famous faces caught wearing Ray Bans include Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Andy Warhol. President Barack Obama has been seen sporting Ray Bans, too.

The Aviator style is practically synonymous with the name Ray Ban, and the style has evolved into many subcategories. The Shooter design’s nose piece is famous for its “cigarette holder” center circle. The classic Aviator style is now available with rims of gold, black, or silver. There are even junior sized aviators, loved by kids, and perhaps even more loved by adults with small faces who have a hard time finding fashionable sunglasses that fit. The junior styles come with standard gunmetal frames, and your choice of classic dark green or violet lenses. One of the junior styles even features pink frames with pink lenses!

Nearly as famous as its aviator sibling style, the Ray Ban Wayfarer was introduced in 1952 and became wildly popular in the 1950s and 1960s. President John F. Kennedy wore a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarer II L1725s with mock tortoiseshell frames. Though the L1725 and the classic Wayfarer 2140 were not as popular during the 1970s, they came roaring back to prominence when Tom Cruise wore them in the hit movie Risky Business in 1983. The iconic Wayfarer design is thought by some to be the best selling design in sunglasses ever.

In 1999, the Italian design and manufacturing group Luxottica bought Ray Ban and has remained committed to the classic styles that make Ray Ban sunglasses so beloved around the world. Luxottica has also taken Ray Bans in a more fashion-forward direction with new styles and colors. There’s no doubt about it. Whether you call them your “desert island” sunglasses, or your “if I could only buy one pair” sunglasses, Ray Bans are the sunglasses that will look great regardless of what the latest fashion trend dictates