Ray-Ban Wayfarer Collection
Ray Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses - A Brief HistoryOverview
From its design, very few would have guessed that the Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses were designed and manufactured by Ray-Ban way back in 1952 by optical designer Raymond Stegeman. The Ray Ban Wayfarer eyeglasses design was considered a revolutionary break from the metal eyewear of the past. The Wayfarer style sunglasses enjoyed early popularity in the 1950s and 1960s. The popularity of the Wayfarer Ray Ban sunglasses seemed to wade in the 70s but it regained it popularity after a lucrative product placement deal in 1982. The design has been enjoying a revival ever since the mid 2000s.
The Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses are regarded by some as being one of the best-selling designs of sunglasses in history. This should be taken with a pinch of salt as the Ray-Ban Aviators have also been acknowledged with the same achievement.
In the 80s, celebrities could be seen wearing Wayfarers in movies, popular television series like Miami Vice and Moonlighting, music videos and even mentioned in lyrics ie. Don Henley's 1984 song "The Boys Of Summer" contained the lyric "You got that hair slicked back and those Wayfarers on, baby".
Design And Manufacture
The design of the Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses was a radically new shape, "a mid-century classic to rival Eames chairs and Cadillac tail fins." Design critic Stephen Bayley said that the "distinctive trapezoidal frame spoke a non-verbal language that hinted at unstable dangerousness, but one nicely tempered by the sturdy arms which, according to the advertising, gave the frames a 'masculine look.'"
The Wayfarers, which made full use of new plastic molding technology, marked the transition between a period of eyewear with thin metal frames and an era of plastic eyewear.
In 2001, the Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses underwent a major redesign. The new Ray Ban original Wayfarer sunglasses design had smaller and less angular frames. A lighter injected plastic was used in place of acetate. All of these changes were made to make the Ray Ban Wayfarer eyeglasses easier to wear. The new design allowed wearers to perch the Wayfarers on top of one's head.
After realizing that vintage Wayfarers were commanding very high prices on eBay, Ray-Ban reintroduced the Ray Ban original Wayfarer sunglasses design in 2007.