These sunglasses have been a household name for over 60 years to date. They have been staple eyewear in Hollywood, the mainstream and even in the military for near the entirety of their existence. The Ray-Ban name couldn't have begun with a better association than the allied-troops during World War II. Creating Anti-Glare Aviator style sunglasses for pilots in 1936, it was only a matter of time before the general public would want to associate themselves with the name Ray-Ban.
The limiting factor for Ray-Ban's popularity was not just getting their name out there, but rather creating a general acceptance of sunglasses as fashionable or even useful. The fifties saw their acceptance as a fashion statment, and also provided future generations with plenty of material with which to mock their parents. However, it was the sixties that ensured the dominance of Ray-Ban sunglasses. After Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy O'Nassis darkened their vision in front of the camera, the world followed suit. The insistence of Hollywood to continue using the Ray-Ban eyewear further cemented their success. Though an integral player in sunglass design, their $50 and up price tag keeps them from ever donning this consumer's face.
1936 - Anti-Glare Aviator style
1937 - Ray-Ban launches after the success of military design
c.1940 - collaboration with US Air Force brings about Gradient Mirror Lenses
c.1950 - Ophthalmic glasses, colorful and strange shaped frames
c.1960 - shatterproof lenses
c.1980 - Wayfarer, Wings models
Hollywood films and the model worn :