It makes sense that athletes like Boldon and Swedish golfer Jarmo Sandelin wear the pair, but the glasses have also recently become a hit in the fashion world. Last week street style sensation and talk show host Kerwin Frost recently wore a pair on my Instagram show, #Never worn, which he was planning to get rid of. (I told him not to!) He bought them on eBay after seeing rapper Flavor Flav wear the sunglasses to concerts in the early 2000s. , trying to find them,” says Frost, who also owns another extravagant Oakley creation: the 2002 Medusa Helmet, a steampunk-looking leather cap with goggles. “Oakley always takes a chance here and there and sometimes does something really random like the Medusa helmet. It was another one of those things they did just for fun that I ended up finding and wearing every day for two months.The Overthetops were, and still are, ahead of their time.
Boldon agrees. When he wore them at the Olympics, commentators referred to them as space-age goggles. Boldon was friends with both an Oakley representative and company founder James Jannard, who had told Boldon about wearing glasses. Olympians can’t show sponsors on their uniforms, but, according to Boldon, they can wear whatever they want on their faces, which he calls “prime real estate”. At the 1996 Olympics, Boldon wore an Oakley earring, and by the time 2000 rolled around, Oakley reps asked him if he wanted to wear the Overthetop sunglasses. “Oakley was a fun company to be associated with because they were always trying to push the boundaries, catch the eye, and get people to think differently about what eyewear might look like,” says Boldon.
He compares Oakley’s cyborg sunglasses to a car manufacturer. “They’re not mainstream, but that’s kind of the point. An automaker will build typical cars for their normal consumers, and then they’ll build a prototype to show what they can do,” says Boldon. “It was Oakley showing a glimpse of what they can do.”