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Fashion

History of: Ray Ban

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It’s almost the norm to see students wearing a pair of the iconic shades on campus, and while many can attest to the “cool factor” of the Bans, a much smaller number actually know the history behind one of the world’s most popular fashion items.

The high-end Ray Ban eyewear brand has been protecting eyes–and keeping them classy–across the globe for over 70 years. In the early 1930’s US Air Lieutenant John MacCready returned from a balloon-flying journey and claimed that the sun had destroyed his eyesight. He then reached out to Bausch & Lomb, asking them to manufacture sunglasses that could provide protection while simultaneously maintaining a sense of elegance.

In 1937, the duo of Bausch & Lomb and MacCready patented the Ray Ban Aviators. The prototype had an extremely lightweight frame and was made of gold-plated metal with green mineral glass lenses. Pilots in the United States Army Corps immediately adopted the sunglasses and became popular with mainstream culture after the famous LIFE Magazine photos of General Douglas MacArthur landing on the beach of the Philippines in World War II, showed him in the now trademarked Aviators.

Throughout the years, Ray Ban has expanded its clientele and its variety of glasses. Brandon Andrew, a Ray Ban sales representative said, “Ray Ban has a wide target range, as far as our consumers. It started for pilots in the military, then movie stars and upper class individuals, and now everyone from every background buys Ray Ban, especially the middle class.” 

Ray-Ban has several main lines in their sunglass collection including: Icons, Active Lifestyle, High Street, Fast and Furious, and Tech and Craft. Each family of Ray Ban glasses has something for all different ages and types of people. Many designs are traditional and appropriate for older individuals who are searching for a more serious look, while others come in powerful solid colours and bold prints.

The Icon family is perhaps most popular. It includes the Aviator, the Wayfarer, the Predator, and the Shooter. With its durable frame and swanky silhouette, the Wayfarer is the obvious most popular choice for UCD students.

Ray Ban sunshades appeal to everyone, from young to old, because of the brand’s classic and universal style. Though the fashionable construction of each model of frames Ray Ban has to offer is something for customers to be excited about. The intensity of eye protection that the sunglasses provide is remarkable.

The lenses of some Ray-Ban sunglasses are polarized, which means that they eliminate glare from reflective surfaces, which result in a drastic reduction in the brightness of shiny surfaces, like chrome and large bodies of water.  These sophisticated, durable lenses are popular because they are scratch-resistant, provide clarity and offer complete protection from the sun’s dangerous rays.

Other Ray Ban sunglasses feature G-15 lenses that are effective in reducing eyestrain and squinting. The B-15 lenses provide clarity and comfort by blocking out a large percentage of blue light. Some would recommend these sunglasses for driving, playing sports, and other activities in which clear vision important.

Ray Bans are simply iconic. They’ve been protecting people’s eyes and making it look good for decades. A more specific historical quantifier can be found on the Ray Ban website: “With over 70 years in the business, Ray Ban continues its mission of pioneering innovative eyewear with Ray Ban Tech sunglasses and frames.”

 

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