Ray-Ban sunglasses have been trending since their innovation over 80 years ago. Their popularity has been pushed further by celebrities and athletes who donned these sunglasses as a fashion statement. Ray-Ban sunglasses are not the cheapest option out there, but their top quality is worth every penny. Apart from sophisticated looks and UV protection, here are some interesting facts you didn’t know about Ray-Ban sunglasses.
The original idea behind the famous Ray-Ban Aviators was born from the concern that pilots could damage their eyesight from the blue and white hues of the sky during their flights. This was after General John Macready permanently damaged his eyes during a high altitude flight. The prototype, which was known as “Anti-Glare”, featured plastic frames and green lenses. They later underwent major changes in 1938 to become what we now know as the Ray-Ban Aviators, which have been worn by famous people like Tom Cruise.
Ray-Ban sunglasses were not just loved for their looks. They offer superior quality, thanks to the reliable materials used to make them. The lenses protect the eyes from harmful UV rays while providing eye comfort. The brand manufactures both plastic and glass lenses. The plastic lenses are relatively a new concept and are made from polyamide. They are lightweight, durable, and resistant. The glass lenses, on the other hand, are heavier and expensive. They offer better visibility but can break quite easily. Customers can choose from a variety of quality lenses coating options, including classic, mirrored, polarized, etc., that come with a huge selection of high-quality frames, featuring different styles.
Iconic Sunglasses in Pop Culture
Ray-Ban sunglasses have featured in popular movies, such as Top Gun, Terminator, Risky Business, Rebel Without a Cause, Reservoir Dogs, and Natural Born Killer, to mention a few. It has also been a fashion statement for historical figures like US President John F. Kennedy, to celebrities like Michael Jackson, Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Megan Markle, and Chris Hemsworth. So popular were these sunglasses that between 1982 and 1987, they appeared in over 60 movies and television shows per year.
The Brand with the Most Fakes
The real vintage Ray-Ban Wayfarers can be hard to come by in today’s market flooding with fakes. The brand is even on the list of the most counterfeited brands in the world. That’s why you ought to be careful when buying a pair of these iconic sunglasses. Considering that there are many varieties of Ray-Ban sunglasses, it's not an easy task to differentiate an authentic one from a counterfeit one. Some of the earmarks of an original Ray-Ban include:
- They are heavier since they are made from acetate.
- They use monoblock hinges, meaning the hinge is not welded like in counterfeits. Most fakes do not have the seven-prong hinge that genuine Ray-Bans have.
- Ray-Ban frames are made from durable carbon fiber that makes them strong and water-resistant.
- Ray-Ban screws will be anodized. If they are painted over, the paint should be enamel. If you notice cheap-looking paint, they are likely fake. In essence, it's in the tiny details that you can spot a pair of fake Ray-Ban sunglasses. In 2014, The UAE busted an optics company for selling fake Ray-Bans. They confiscated over 140,000 fakes and destroyed them, much to the delight of Ray-Ban.
Tom Cruise Single-Handedly Saved the Ray-Bans from Extinction
1981 was one of the worst years for Ray-Ban when it managed to sell only 18,000 pairs. Luckily for them, two years later, in 1983, as part of a $50,000 placement deal, Tom Cruise wore Wayfarers in the film Risky Business, re-boosting sales of the vintage sunglasses to 360,000 pairs that year. Three years later, in 1986, he swapped the Wayfarers for Aviators, taking it back to its fighter plane roots and boosting sales by around 40 percent. The company also saw a 15 percent increase in sales from yet another Tom Cruise movie, Rain Man.
Ray-Ban Owe Their Popularity to General Douglas MacArthur
A picture of General Douglas MacArthur landing in the Philippines during the Second World War gave the shades their first global exposure. Soon, they became popular with the French army, and the rest is history. They have since had a permanent place in the aviation industry, saving pilots from the bright sunlight, which hindered their vision and left them with throbbing headaches. Ray-Ban sunglasses can be customized to suit your moods, weather, or fashion. Wayfarers have been a hit for so many years since they tend to go well with most outfits. They are not as flashy or big to draw unnecessary attention. But they are, and will always remain, stylish.
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