Responsible for some of the most widely-recognised eyewear shapes on the market, if one was to mention timeless sunglasses, a brand that immediately springs to mind is probably Ray-Ban. The iconic brand, which was born out of a desire to fill a niche in the optics market nearly a century ago, has firmly established itself as one of the world's most popular eyewear brands, worn and adorned by celebrities and other famous celebrities for decades. The American brand continues to be acclaimed for its timeless designs, advanced technology and unparalleled sophistication, establishing itself as a frontrunner in the eyewear industry. Ray-Ban is the eyewear of choice for those who aren't afraid to express their most authentic selves.
Founded in Rochester, New York, in 1937, Ray-Ban was created by American company Bausch & Lomb, which were the first company in the US to produce optical glass. During the First World War, the demand for optical instruments increased, and the company began to diversify its products by using the knowledge gained by its founders through their research into optics for the military. Having already created special lenses designed to limit glare experienced by pilots in the Army Air Corps, Bausch & Lomb began to create similar glasses for the use of the general public. In 1937, the aviator-style metal sunglasses were introduced to the market, later renamed the Ray-Ban Aviator.
The brand's surge in popularity was due to a little help from Hollywood, where classic Ray-Ban shapes frequented famous films of the time like Breakfast at Tiffany's and Rebel Without a Cause. Ray-Ban became an emblem of Hollywood, pop culture and a reflection of the American spirit and continued to play a part in elevating famous characters' elusive coolness. After a brief decline in the 1970s, Ray-Ban once again propelled into popularity in the 80s by Tom Cruise wearing the Wayfarer in Top Gun and again in Risky Business. The iconic Wayfarer style continues to be a go-to for off-duty shades, appearing in more recent films like The Wolf of Wall Street and spotted frequently on modern celebrities like Taylor Swift and Kanye West. If Ray-Ban's rich history is to suggest anything, it's that the brand will remain a prominent influence in fashion and pop culture.
Where are Ray-Ban sunglasses manufactured?
Ray-Ban sunglasses are hand made in Italy and are of exceptional quality due to the premium materials used in craftsmanship. Despite originating in the USA, Bausch & Lomb sold Ray-Ban to the Italian eyewear group Luxottica, the largest company in the eyewear industry that manufactures other premium brands like Oakley and Oliver Peoples.
Why are they called Ray-Ban?
The inspiration behind the name, Ray-Ban, is fairly straightforward. As the brand started out developing eyewear for pilots wanting to reduce glare without obscuring vision while flying, the brand's name was derived from the ability to ban ray's of light, hence the name, Ray-Ban.