Ray-Ban Wayfarers - A brief overview.

Over 60 years ago, Ray-Ban launched a frame design that would go on to define American style for the rest of the 20th century. In the post-war era new materials were becoming more readily available to designers for consumer goods. Ray-Ban started experimenting with plastic frames to offer cheap and easy-to-make glasses for civilian consumers. In 1956 they created the Wayfarers: a dynamic trapezoidal black frame that captured mid century style.

Wayfarers were immediately a ‘classic’ and part of their success lies in how they work for so many people and pair well with so many styles. Like a good pair of blue jeans, Wayfarers are so versatile that they elevate almost any person's style, and it has been that way since almost day one.

When Bob Dylan went electric, he did it with wayfarers on. They made him look mysterious and a touch aloof, giving him that extra something to distance himself from his folk roots.

On the other hand, another JFk consistently sported Wayfarers, which helped him look sporty and modern; perfect for the leader of the free world taking the United States into the space age. Since wayfarers were accessible to nearly everyone, the Ray-Bans also helped the President look accessible and relatable to everyday Americans.

However Wayfarers weren’t just for men as Aviators typically were. The frames were also a success for ladies. Images of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Marilyn Monroe in a Wayfarers and fur coat are burned into our pop culture memory. Wayfarers presented as classy, with flashes of both a mix feminine and masculine style.

Skip ahead further to the 80’s when Wayfarers found a resurgence in popularity through Tom Cruise and Risky Business. Wayfarers went on to represent something new again: a bold, daring new age of big suits, fast cars and money.

Today Wayfarers are part of our cultural lexicon. The style has been endlessly copied and riffed on making wayfarers feel almost ubiquitous nowadays. However, even though there are many imitations, there’s nothing quite like a classic pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers.

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