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    

Vtg Lot B&l Ray Ban Frames Lenses Arms Amber Gradient Mirror Kalichrome Rb-3 Nos1990's B&l Ray Ban L1724 Wayfarer Ii, 54mm80's Small 46mm Wayfarer W0487 B&l Ray Ban Usa80's *traditionals Premier D* W0861 Bausch & Lomb Ray Ban & Case1990's B&l Ray Ban L1725 Wayfarer Ii, 54mmVintage Ray-ban Bausch & Lomb Wayfarer Black Sunglasses 5024 Green Neutral GrayRay Ban B&l Usa 1/10 12k Gf Aviator Sunglasses VintageVintage Rare B&l Ray Ban Usa 58mm Leather Aviator Bausch & LombRay Ban Rb3136 001 58mm Caravan Sunglasses & CaseRay Ban Rb3447 112/85 Round Metal 50mm Unisex Sunglasses & Case80's B&l Ray Ban Gold Street Neat W0495 Wayfarer Ii, 54mm Lens + CaseRay Ban Wayfarer Made In Usa B&l 5022 With Original Vintage Case '80sVintage 50s Original Lucite Winged Cats Eye French Sunglasses Sparkly!Vintage B&l 5022 Bausch & Lomb Rayban Wayfarer Usa Tortoise Brown G15 W CaseVintage Bausch & Lomb Ray-ban Sunglasses B&l 1/10 12 K Gf - Aviator StyleExcellent Vintage Bausch & Lomb Ray-ban Shooters Aviators Sunglasses 12k Gold FNice Vintage Ray Ban Aviator Sunglasses Bl Etched Free ShippingB&l Ray Ban Rb-3 62mm Lens Aviator Large Metal Ii L2849 & CaseRay Ban 50mm Wayfarer Rb2140 954 & CaseVintage Ray Ban Wraparound Sunglasses B & L Usa Balorama Black Framed Wraps CoolVintage Ray-ban B&l Aviator "precious Metals" W0708 *tgm B-20* Driver SunglassesVintage Ray-ban Bausch & Lomb Wayfarer 5022 L2052 Tortoise G-15 Exlnt SunglassesRay Ban L2052 B&l G15 Lenses Original Vintage Tortoise Wayfarer NosVintage Ray Ban Caravan Bausch & Lomb Sunglasses W Case Pilot Aviator GfEarly Ray Ban Driving Series Chromax W1663 Wyas W/case Ray Ban Rb2140 Large 54mm Wayfarer 901 & CaseVintage '70s Ray Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses B & L Black Shell Gold Wo365/ ExcellentRay Ban Rb4186 Dylan Wayfarer Sunglasses & CaseVintage B & L Ray Ban Ladies Sunglasses Black Cat Eye Bausch & Lomb OldVintage Ray Ban Wayfarer Tortoise Shell Sunglasses B & L 5022Vintage Ray Ban Usa Wayfarer B&l 5024 Tortoise SunglassesVintage B & L Bausch Lomb Ray Ban Shooting Deep Freeze Sunglasses Bullet HoleOlympic Ray Ban B&l Usa Albertville 92 SunglassesVintage New Old Stock Ray Ban Bausch And Lomb White Wayfarer 5022 Sunglasse90's B&l Ray Ban *the Terminator* Predator Ps2 W1847 Wraps Sunglasses & CaseVintage B&l Ray Ban Wayfarer Ii W2054 Made In UsaVintage Gold Toned Bausch And Lomb Ray Ban Aviator Sunglasses With Case Ray Ban Ltd Ed Logomania Clubmaster Rb3016 1016 51mm Lens & CaseVintage U.s.a Rayban Wayfarer Black Acatate Sunglasses / Great!Cartier Paris 1663484 All 18k Gold Plated Rimless Eyeglasses - Sunglasses Rim Vintage Ray-ban B&l Sunglasses Wayfarer Ii Bausch LombRay Ban Rb2140 Large 54mm Wayfarer 902/51 & CaseVintage Ray-ban B&l Wayfarer 5022 L2008 G-15 "blues Bros" Exnt Iconic SunglassesVtg Cazal 1980s Sunglasses 951Vintage Sunglasses Frame Cartier Vendome Santos Nice Condition.Vintage Ray-ban Diamond Hard AviatorsVintage B & L Ray Ban Usa Aviator Pilot Sunglasses W Case 1/10 12k GfAlpina M1 Vintage Sunglasses Ray Ban Rb3447 Flash Lens 167/1m Round Metal 50mm Sunglasses & CaseVintage Persol Polarized Sunglasses 649 Made In ItalyRay Ban Rb2132 6054/85 55mm New Wayfarer Color Mix & CaseVtg Ray Ban Bausch & Lomb Aviator Driving Shooting Bullet Hole Sunglasses W/caseVintage B&l Ray Ban Clubmaster Sunglasses W1116 Gold/tortoise 1980's B&l Ray Ban *wayfarer Max* W1270 SunglassesVintage American Optical Ao Flexi-fit Safety Glasses / Sunglasses Usa Made NiceVintage Vietnam Era American Optical 12k Gf 5 1/2 Pilot Sunglasses Never Worn!!!Vtg Rayban B&l Aviator 58()14 Sunglasses Black W/ Green Lenses Pliable Tips RareVintage American Optical 1/10 12k Gf, 5 1/2 Aviator Sunglasses Vietnam Era Ray Ban Rb8304 Rimless Tech Carbon Fibre Wrap Sunglasses & CaseRare Vintage 1960's Pierre Cardin Sunglasses Made In France Blue Lenses

Recent News: Sunglasses

Source: Google News

Laid-back lounge next on to-do list for local entrepreneur
Winnipeg Sun, August 29th

The Blacklist Boutique offers urban street wear and accessories for men and women, and an on-site barber. It also specializes in vintage eyewear at affordable prices with the support of Corey Shapiro, a designer of vintage sunglasses, Takis said...Read more

10 online scams to watch out for
Irish Times, August 23rd

You are in the market for vintage sunglasses but just miss out on the pair of your dreams. You are understandably gutted. Then minutes later an email draped in Ebay's logos arrives. The winner of the sunglasses has pulled out and as underbidder you...Read more

Spruce up your looks for long weekends
Inquirer.net, August 20th

Its unprecedented range of vintage sunglasses includes 2,000 original designs from the '70s and '80s, with uncompromisingly luxurious 18-karat and luxe lines. (Available at City of Dreams Manila). 6) An Hermes parasol is the ultimate travel accessory...Read more

Kourtney Kardashian gets fashion face off from Kris Jenner as they don same ...
Daily Mail, August 17th

Her hair was worn styled in a spiky fashion and she didn't forget to glam it up with vintage sunglasses and lipstick. Khloe was playing good auntie as she carried Penelope, who was cute in a white dress. The girlfriend of NBA star James Harden had on a ...Read more

Street Style Copenhagen Fashion Week Day 3
Nordic Style Magazine, August 8th

Andres Artilles: Cap: Upfront Company. T-shirt: H&M. Socks: Weekday. Shoes: Adidas Neo Label. Bag: Vintage. Kimono: Vintage. Sunglasses: Kaibosh X A Question Of. Nico Glad Golden: Tank top: Jean//Phillip. Shorts: Asger Juel Larsen. Shoes: RAF Simons ...Read more

The Best Sunglasses Of 2015 Are From Greece
Press Release Rocket, August 6th

Urban Owl campaign will until September 12, 2015 and will fund the production of uniquely designed vintage sunglasses with HD sun lenses. “Urban Owl: HD sunglasses handcrafted in Greece” campaign is featured on The Gadget Flow as a Staff Pick...Read more

Montblanc launches limited-edition reinterpreted vintage sunglasses
South 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

Share “Pop-up shop: Vintage fashion frames and...”
NewsOK.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