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”)
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Sunglasses
Source: Google News
5 Modern Takes on The Classic White ShirtD Magazine, January 24th
We asked our favorite celebrity stylist, Carlos Alonso-Parada, to take time off from his busy schedule and play dress-up with us. The proposition: five modern takes utilizing the classic white dress shirt. Carlos showed us several combinations that...Read more
This Shoppable Vault of Vintage Sunglasses Dates Back to 1969Observer, January 7th
This Shoppable Vault of Vintage Sunglasses Dates Back to 1969. There's no need to visit a vintage store to score old Cutler and Gross frames. By Dena Silver • 01/07/16 10:00am. The Cutler & Gross Vintage Vault (Photo: Courtesy Cutler & Gross). The...Read more
Montblanc launches limited-edition reinterpreted vintage sunglassesSouth China Morning Post (subscription), August 6th
Retro sunglasses are all the rage and Montblanc is tapping into the trend with its latest limited-edition sunglasses. Inspired by vintage designs but given a fresh modern look thanks to a sleek silhouette, the sunglasses feature gunmetal-brown lenses...Read more
A New York Style Blogger Takes Us Around Brooklyn For A Sweet Summer WeekendBustle, June 16th
My favorite part about dressing for NYC is the balance between being trendy but still comfortable. You can be whoever you want to be in New York, and that's OK! It is refreshing to be able to wear whatever I want without a single person even batting an ...Read more
Pop-up shop: Vintage fashion frames and sunglassesNewsOK.com, June 3rd
eyewear from the 1940s through the 1980s. The frames are reminiscent of a glamorous and sophisticated era. And they're fun. The collection also includes rare vintage sunglasses that are out of production and plucked straight from old factory...Read more
Vintage sunglasses – a sense of mysterySydney Morning Herald, December 4th
Breakfast at Tiffany's, with Audrey Hepburn, was as memorable for her distinctive sunglasses as for her pearls and chic black dresses. Hepburn's wide-brimmed straw hat and oversized tortoiseshell glasses added a sense of mystery. The Hepburn look...Read more
Vintage Sunglasses: 3 Timeless Styles To Start Wearing NowGuestofaguest.com, August 29th
When it comes to the fashion world and recycling trends, sayings like "what's old is new again" are words to live by. Whether it's the reemergence of the beloved '90s overall or '70s-inspired, wide-leg trousers making a comeback, recycling trends is...Read more
15 Unique Vintage SunglassesCare2.com, July 15th
So this week, I wanted to roundup the best of the best vintage sunglasses! If you dig the list but want to buy local, try scooping out your local thrift shop for options or Googling your town name + “vintage sunglasses” to see if you happen to have a...Read more