As someone who wears glasses everyday, I came to appreciate different designs and styles of reading and sunglasses available in the market. An iconic line of sunglasses that I’ve seen and that’s so ubiquitous today is Ray-Ban’s Aviator and Wayfarer lines. I normally see these sunglasses, especially the Aviator line, on my uncle’s ancient pictures.
Ray-Ban sunglasses were initially meant for military use, specifically for the U.S. Army Air Corp. Ray-Ban’s sunglasses were created to shield the eyes of aviators from the sun when they are in flight. As the story of its creation goes, Lt. John Arthur Macready came from a balloon flying adventure and complained that his eyes were permanently damaged by the sun. He then contacted Bausch & Lomb to create sunglasses that would look elegant and protect the wearer’s eyes.
The Ray-Ban Aviators would receive public attention when Gen. Douglas MacArthur landed in the Philippines in the Second World War. During the landing different photographers and journalists took pictures of a victorious Gen. MacArthur wearing a pair of Aviator sunglasses.
Much of the marketing campaign of Ray-Ban focused on its appeal to the public as a practical yet stylish pair of sunglasses. It’s also known to appear in multiple movies during the 1980s, making it the preferred eye wear during that decade. Much of Ray-Ban’s popularity came from the hip and stylish appeal it provided to people who wore it. Here are some vintage poster and flyer ads promoting Ray-Bans:
Due to a vintage renaissance today, Ray-Ban’s two flagship product lines came into mainstream use again – the classic Aviators and Wayfarers. Since the marketing campaign during the ‘80s that placed the Wayfarers in any movie possible, there have been a lot of young and up-coming artists and personalities that have been wearing these sunglasses today.