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”)

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Recent News: Sunglasses

Source: Google News

In the closet with Graham Norton's Radio 2 co-host Maria McErlane
Express.co.uk, October 18th

Also shown are vintage sunglasses by Ellery and Rayflector 265 – both bought from Rockoptika in St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex. Graham Norton, presenter, Maria McErlane, fashion, style, secret, Sarah Smith Maria loves these Vivienne Westwood patent ...Read more

China's most seductive rock band comes to NYC, Boston, DC, Philly
Music Talkers, September 30th

-[Liang Long's] trademark flowery jacket, bright red lipstick and round vintage sunglasses naturally conjure up waves of screams from the audiences. Holding a pair of cymbals, he shakes them slightly, while asking the crowd, "Shall we start?" -Xinhua...Read more

Skiing? Holidaying on the beach? Here's what to pack
Mid-Day, September 27th

Whether it's a beach holiday in Goa, a road trip in the countryside or a skiing vacation in the Alps, pack in the right apparels and accessories to make an impression. Shreyanka Mazumdar talks to designers, stylists and fashionistas to compile capsule ...Read more

Gifts in the desert: the psychology of Burning Man
The Guardian, September 25th

Walking around the city, you might receive: a neck massage; a shot of absinthe; your portrait, taken by a professional photographer; a snow cone; a pancake breakfast; a pair of vintage sunglasses; a pot of crème brulée; a yoga lesson. Subtracting money...Read more

Keanan DufftyDuffty is a member of the Council of Fashion...
Mynextfone, September 19th

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

Power Women of DC Tech: Part IX
Bisnow, September 19th

You can be entrepreneurial without being the one in the biggest cube. (Who sits in a corner office anymore?) This next set of Trending 40 profiles proves it. Don't forget to sign up for our Oct. 15 event to honor all 40 entrepreneurs. Early bird price...Read more