3 classic Ray-Ban sunglasses every man should know

If you are buying just one pair of sunglasses to complete your wardrobe, chances are you are considering a pair from Ray-Ban, one of the most popular and influential eyewear brands. And if you are thinking of a popular style of sunglasses, chances are you are imagining a style developed by Ray-Ban. But have you ever wondered where the name Ray-Ban came from, or for how many decades have stylish men worn the brand’s sunglasses? If not, here’s your crash course on all things Ray-Ban, and a helpful rundown of classic styles you should take a look at the next time you pick up a new pair of sunglasses.

1. Aviator

Ray-Ban Aviators | Nordstrom

Ray-Ban got its start in the 1930s, when US Air Force pilots needed sunglasses to reduce glare (and prevent headaches and altitude sickness). American lens maker Bausch & Lomb was approached for a pair of sunglasses that would reduce glare at high altitudes, and in 1936 introduced green lens that cut glare without obscuring pilots’ vision. According to the story of Ray-Ban by Luxottica (which acquired the Bausch & Lomb frames business in 1999), the prototype featured a plastic frame in the now classic aviator shape, which followed the outline of the orbit to reduce light exposure.

When the glasses were introduced to the public in 1937, they featured a metal frame and bore the Ray-Ban Aviator branding. In 1938, Bausch & Lomb launched a variant of the style, called Ray-Ban Shooter, with the now emblematic central circle “cigarette holder”. Ray-Ban continued to expand its catalog of styles and lenses, and although they were designed for military use, the original Aviator and WWII innovations that followed – like the degraded mirror lens in the 1940s – have become popular among civilians as a military issue. clothing and accessories influenced fashion. Aviators are still a popular choice today, and we have a soft spot for the original aviator’s gold and green colourway.

2. Traveler

Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses

Ray-Ban Wayfarer | Nordstrom

In the aftermath of WWII, Hollywood had an increasingly powerful impact on what people wore. The Ray-Ban Wayfarer model was introduced in 1952, and after James Dean wore the new style in the 1955s Rebel without cause, the Wayfarer has become one of the most recognizable accessories. The style, which was designed by Raymond Stegeman of Bausch & Lomb, was revolutionary in both form and method of manufacture, according to JackThreads. Wayfarers were made from molded plastic, instead of metal, which made bolder and brighter frames possible.

By 1969, the Ray-Ban catalog had grown to 50 different styles, and celebrities and stars of all stripes continued to wear them. Bob Dylan, for example, was rarely seen without his Wayfarers. In the 1980s, the Ray-Bans continued to feature prominently in movies, such as the 1980s. The blue brothers and 1983 Risky business for the traveler (and the years 1986 Top Gun for the Aviator). Michael Jackson wore Wayfarers for his Bad tour from 1987 to 1989, which became the busiest tour in history. While Ray-Ban has introduced a ‘new Wayfarer silhouette’, we still recommend the classic Wayfarer in black and green.

3. Club leader

Ray-Ban Clubmaster Sunglasses

Ray-Ban Clubmasters | Nordstrom

The Clubmasters, introduced by Ray-Ban in the mid-1980s, were actually a response to the resurgence of a silhouette that had been popular in the late 1950s and early 1960s: the so-called Browline eyewear, named after from the bold top line of the frames. The style made up half of the eyewear sold and worn in the 1950s, but their popularity waned in the 1970s with the backlash of 1950s and 1960s fashion and culture.

The style abruptly returned to demand between 1978 and 1980, when an anti-disco backlash sought an alternative to the Aviators and Teashades that were popular on the dance floors. Ray-Ban capitalized on the trend with the introduction of its own Browline style, the Clubmaster, which became one of the brand’s best-selling silhouettes of all time, along with the original Ray-Ban Aviators and Wayfarers. .

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