Before and after Wayfarer
When the popularity of their Aviator sunglasses peaked, the American Ray-Ban brand, by Bausch & Lomb, launched a new model of sunglasses in 1952 which would forever revolutionise the eyeglass industry: Wayfarer, the first plastic sunglasses are square and are a complete departure from the Aviator’s rounded shape and metal frames similar to other sunglasses available on the market at the time. Thanks to their unique style, they were immediately adopted by the general public and became the glamorous and refined must-have fashion accessory for Hollywood’s brightest stars, a symbol of Hollywood’s golden age. They were the highest-selling sunglasses in the United States during the 50s and 60s.
Wayfarer, friend to the stars
However, sales declines rapidly in the 70s. Appropriately, Hollywood would save the Wayfarer from certain doom in 1981: they were the sunglasses of choice of the famous Blues Brothers, Jake and Elwood Blues, which catapulted them back into stardom! Tom Cruise in Risky Business, Don Johnson in Miami Vice and Bruce Willis in Moonlighting all adopted the Wayfarer rock look, as did Michael Jackson, Elvis Costello, Madonna and Bono of U2.
Over the years, the famous sunglasses would have fallow periods but would always rise from the ashes, each time thanks to celebrities reviving the trend. Nowadays, they are the favourite accessory of the likes of Kirsten Dunst, Bruno Mars and Katy Perry, and remain a legendary model.
A constantly renewed fetish model
Of course, the model that was famous in the 1950s and the model of today are not entirely the same. The Wayfarer has been able to adapt to each era and keep their essence and signature look relevant over the years. Classic, Limited, Colorblock, Original, Folding ... they come in more than thirty models. One thing is certain, the famous vintage Ray-bans are never out of style! They remain a reference in terms of style and eye protection, adopted by men and women alike, the young and not-so-young, Hollywood stars and ordinary people! And they remain the highest-selling and best-known brand around the world to this day.