While shades have existed in some form since the 1300s, it wasn't until the 1930s that the sunglasses craze took hold, as more and more Americans and Europeans went on beach vacations. In fact, Sam Foster sold the first modern-day shades, a pair of Foster Grants, on the Atlantic City Boardwalk in 1929. This trend exploded in the following decades as Hollywood stars and fashion icons such as Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis hid behind glamorous sunglasses, made by the likes of Persol and Emilio Pucci.

Men, meanwhile, took to wire-framed Ray-Ban "aviator" sunglasses favored by World War II heroes such as George S. Patton, Dwight Eisenhower, and Douglas MacArthur—this straight-laced military look was later popularized by counter-culture rockers such as Bob Dylan and Lou Reed. In the 1930s, the U.S. military commissioned Bausch & Lomb to make UV-blocking shades, and the company's Ray-Ban aviator glasses debuted in 1936, with anti-glare polarized-lens technology, invented by Edwin H. Land, of the Polaroid Corporation. In 1948, the first mirror-faced aviator sunglasses hit the scene, offering even greater protection from the sun, as well as the ability to watch people in secret.

Thanks to their air of mystery, dark shades became a symbol of cool detachment for beatniks and '50s jazz musicians. Perhaps the most iconic sunglass design is Ray-Ban's Wayfarer, launched in 1952, with its signature chunky frame. Mod and hippie fashions of the '60s demanded more whimsy, and John Lennon favored tiny tinted wire-framed spectacles called "teashades." Depending on the style, sunglasses came to signal urban sophistication, nefarious intent, or inscrutable intellect. Later fashionable looks like those by Alpina, Vuarnet, and Oakley originated as protective gear for athletes. Coveted vintage sunglasses include designs by Neostyle, Paloma Picasso, Oliver Peoples, Revo, Cazal, Matsuda, and Carrera Porsche.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Ventagli.org

Ventagli.org

Anna Checcoli's homage to the beauty and art of hand fans ('ventagli,' in Italian). Use the left-hand nav to browse… [read review or visit site]

Antiquespectacles.com

Antiquespectacles.com

Dr. David Fleishman's comprehensive spectacles site (over 3500 images), in collaboration with museums around the wo… [read review or visit site]



Most watched eBay auctions    

B&l Ray Ban *wayfarer Max Ii* W1272 Sunglasses & Case70's Bl5022 *wayfarer* B&l Ray Ban Usa & Case 90's B&l Ray Ban Outdoorsman 58mm Aviator Large Metal L0216 & CaseVintage Italian Persol Meflecto Ratti 649 Flat Case Tortoise Acetate Sunglasses **new Vintage Ray-ban By B&l Antique Silver G-31 Mirrored **nos Sunglasses&caseB&l Ray Ban L1725 Wayfarer Ii, 54mm Lens + CaseVintage Cazal Mod.951 Great Rare Design Unisex Sunglasses / In Case Rare Spotted Tortoiseshell Bl5022 *wayfarer* Rb-3 Lens, B&l Ray Ban Usa & Case Ray Ban *balorama* Rb4089 Wraps + CaseRare Yellow Tortoiseshell Bl5022 *wayfarer* B&l Ray Ban Usa & Case Ray Ban *clubmaster Aluminium* Rb3507 & CaseVintage 1980s Ray-ban Bausch&lomb Aviators Black Frame Sunglasses70's B&l Ray Ban *shooter Changeables* Photochromic 62mm Aviator Large MetalRay Ban *wayfarer* 50mm Rb2140 955 & CaseVintage Ray-ban Amber Aviator Shooting Sun Glasses 1/10 12k Gf Arco Bausch LombBox Of 25 Vintage Sunglasses Rayban, Vuarnet, Cat Eye,90's Dgm Lens *traditionals Style A* Aviator Bausch & Lomb Ray Ban Usa & Case**new Vintage Ray-ban B&l Aviator Arista 58mm Gold Frame *nos 1990s Sunglasses++Vintage Ray-ban B&l Wayfarer *rare Rb-50 "cats" 5000 Matte Black Sunglasses&caseVintage Cazal Mod.644 Rare Model Brown Tortoise Ladies / Unisex Sunglasses Vintage Ray Ban Aviator Driving Sunglasses B&l Lens SmokeRay Ban Rb3447 Polarized Round Metal 50mm Sunglasses & CaseRay Ban *clubmaster* Rb3016 W0366 51mm Lens & CaseRay Ban Rb3025 001/51 Gold 58mm Aviator Large Metal & CaseRay Ban *wayfarer* 50mm Rb2140 902 & CaseRay Ban *signature Clubmaster* Rb3016 1016 51mm Lens & CaseVintage 80s Ray-ban Ambermatic B&l All Weather Sun Glasses 62mmRay Ban Olympic 96Ray Ban Rb8313 Tech Carbon Fibre 58mm Aviator & CaseVintage Ray-ban Aviator Sunglasses Tortise Shell Color Accents And Gold FrameVintage Randolph Engineering U.s.a. Aviator Gold Sunglasses Pilot Af VersionRay Ban Rb3194 Flight Wraps Sunglasses & Case**new Vintage Ray-ban B&l Predator Series "cats" **nos Matbk Sunglasses&catscaseVintage B&l Ray Ban Aviator Sunglasses 62 14Vintage Rayban U.s.a B&l Lenmses Round Metal 49 Gold Plated Sunglasses Vintage Jean Paul Gaultier 56-6106 Unusual & Rare Model Men's Sunglasses 1980's B&l Ray Ban Vagabond AviatorsB&l Ray Ban *olympian Iii* W0742 Sunglasses & Case Vintage Bausch & Lomb Ray Ban Outdoorsman Aviator Leathers 62 14 With CaseVintage Oakley Minute Matte Gray Green Iridium SunglassesVintage Persol RattNos 90's *traditionals Premier E* W0868 Bausch & Lomb Ray Ban Cazal Vintage 901 Sunglasses Blue - Col 313 Authentic New Old StockVintage Carrera Porsche Design Black Grey Sunglasses Made In Austria 5620Nice *orbs Oval* W2177 Ray Ban Wraps & CaseRay Ban *camouflage Clubmaster* Rb3016 1069 51mm Lens & CaseVintage Ray-ban B&l *clubmaster~wayfarer Ebony&gold **excellent Sunglasses&caseVintage American Optical Ao Pilot Aviator Sunglasses Cartier Panthere Paris Beautiful Design Leopard Head Unisex Sunglasses / In CaseRay Ban Olympic 96An Image Of Gianni Versace Mod 424 Black Medusa Vintage SunglassesAntique Civil War Look Steel Sharpshooters Amber Sunglasses Spectacles W/caseVintage Italian Persol Ratti Matte Gold Metal Aviator Sunglasses / Very Rare **new Vintage Ray-ban B&l Aviator Arista 58m Black Chrome *nos 1990s Sunglasses+Bausch&lomb Ray-ban Vintage Aviatar Sun Glasses With Case Ray Ban Rb2030 Predator Viii Wraps Sunglasses & Sunglass Hut CaseVintage Black Vuarnet Pouilloux 002 Sunglasses France V Ski Mark Lenses CateyesRetro Steampunk/motorcycle/ski Sunglasses Goggles Side CupsRare B&l Ray Ban *gatsby Style 7* W1528 & CaseVintage Ray-ban B&l Aviator Outdoodrsman 58m Black Chrome 1990s Sunglasses+case

Recent News: Sunglasses

Source: Google News

Top Shops: Artful menswear shopping options from Keanan Duffty
SFGate, September 18th

Time Frame “The ideal outpost for completing an authentic 'American Hustle' fashion statement,” Time Frame stocks iconic and ironic vintage sunglasses from the 1960s, '70s and '80s. Owner Curtis Hawes rounds out the collection with hard-to-find...Read more

Style on the streets at New York Fashion Week
mySanAntonio.com, September 9th

Carson Street Clothiers co-founder Brian Trunzo wears a Carson Street Clothiers suit, Salvatore Piccolo shirt, Missoni bag, Reebok classic sneakers, and vintage sunglasses on Day 1 of New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 on September 4, 2014 in ...Read more

Today in Toronto: Sloan, Brett Despotovich, Filthy Dirty Retro Bingo ...
blogTO (blog), September 8th

Today in Toronto catch indie-rockers Sloan at the HMV Underground at 6pm. You can get a copy of their new album Commonwealth signed, or just push your vintage sunglasses up your nose, cross your arms, and bask in the past. At the Drake Hotel, Rich ...Read more

Yarn bombing proves therapeutic when mobility is limited
The Grand Rapids Press - MLive.com, August 24th

I would love to tell you that my new ride is a turquoise Vespa that I tool around on while sporting a pair of vintage sunglasses and a really cool head scarf, but the truth is I've settled for a much less sporty rental, a pair of discounted yoga pants...Read more

'To Life' ('A la vie'): Locarno Review
Hollywood Reporter, August 20th

(Benjamin Wangermee, with an appropriate puppy-dog look) who's eager to have sex with her (something her husband can't do since he was castrated in Auschwitz), while the shopping-addicted Clement, with huge (now vintage) sunglasses and ditto hair, ...Read more