You wear your retro wayfarer sunglasses every day, but do you ever think about how much history is behind the style? Probably not. The very popular retro sunglasses style has been years in the making…
In 1937, Ray-Ban was founded, the company to debut the wayfarer style. Ray-Ban is most known for their iconic aviator sunglasses, which were famously photographed on General Douglas MacArthur.
In 1952, Raymond Stegeman designed wayfarer sunglasses for Ray-Ban. The first wayfarers were the black frames that became iconic through celebrities of the time, such as Bob Dylan. Wayfarer sunglasses were very popular through the 1950s and 1960s.
After a lull in sales, Ray-Ban wayfarers were nearly discontinued in 1981. However, the retro sunglasses made a comeback through a significant investment in product placement.
You might recognize Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi in “Blues Brothers” (1981).
Wayfarer sales escalated significantly thanks to Tom Cruise in “Risky Business” (1983).
Don’t forget Don Johnson in “Miami Vice” (1984-89).
And we all recognize a young Michael Anthony Hall in “The Breakfast Club” (1985).
Sadly, our favorite retro style sunglasses became unpopular in the 1990s. But as we all know, retro wayfarer sunglasses made a comeback when Ray-Ban revived them in 2007. To this day, they are available in many styles, colors and patterns.
Many of today’s stars like Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon wear them.
And the rest is history!
Resources on The History of Wayfarer Sunglasses