Aviators – A Historical Icon
Ray-Ban Aviator is the original aviator style sunglass, invented by Ray-Ban in
1936 and originally available only to fighter pilots of that era. The model
that is closest to the original design is the RB3025 but Ray-Ban has a range of
styles to fit different face sizes and shapes, as well as personal taste. Other
designers also have adopted the aviator design and added their own touches to
it. The Aviator has been one of the most popular and enduring styles of
sunglasses for the past 75 years.
distinctive oblique teardrop shape was designed to match the smoked-lens flying
goggles which Ray-Ban was selling to the military in the 1930’s. The goggles
tended to create a mismatched tan (darker on the face, lighter around the eyes)
that pilots understandably did not like). Military pilots found that sun
and glare protection would be helpful to aid them during day missions
large lenses bulge out slightly to cover the entire range of the eye and
prevent as much light as possible from entering the eye. Aviators remain
popular with military and civilian aviators, and law enforcement officers
have also like them for many reasons including their excellent cancellation of
glare when polarized lenses are mounted in them, and prevention of eye contact.
general public first noticed the Aviator when General Douglas MacArthur landed on
the beach at Inchon in the Philippines. Several pictures of him wearing them
appeared in newspapers, and Americans instantly fell in love with them.
popularity of Aviators really took off as many celebrities began wearing them,
especially in the 1960’s. Such stars as James Dean, Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer (Top Gun) and most actors who ever played
a cop or a pilot has been seen in them.