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.


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Recent News: Sunglasses

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A smorgasbord of gastronomical proportions
Torch - St. John's University, March 24th

records to vintage sunglasses to jewelry made out of typewriter keys. However, the main. attraction of the Brooklyn Flea is undoubtedly the food. With a variety of cuisines and choices available to the vegan and vegetarian friendly, a trip. to this...Read more

19 things you'll only know if you've dated your personal trainer
Metro, March 11th

19 things you'll only know if you've dated your personal trainer “Let's treasure this moment always, even though it's all we ever do.” (Picture: Getty Images). They're buff, with boundless energy and a deep affection for Lycra. But if you want to pump...Read more

Vintage Style
Valley Advocate, March 11th

I had a friend in high school who refused to let Mother Nature be the boss of his wardrobe. Matt sported jean shorts into December, refused to wear anything sturdier on his feet than sneakers, and didn't like how he looked in hats. Warmth is a state of...Read more

VINTAGE STYLE: Add flair with accessories
Lancashire Telegraph, March 11th

The vintage sunglasses Nothing sets off a vintage outfit like an amazing pair of retro shades and the more unique they are, the better! Cat's eye styles are eternally chic, while coloured rims add a touch of vintage glamour. Perfect for sunny days at...Read more

Little Mix's Jesy Nelson pouts while Leigh-Anne Pinnock flaunts her bikini body
Daily Mail, March 10th

A second image showed her and her boyfriend, 25-year-old footballer, Jordan Kiffin as they drove around in a convertible car. Leigh-Anne looked particularly summery in a monochrome floral dress which was topped off with reflective vintage sunglasses...Read more

What to Do in Rome
New York Times, March 4th

For a more satisfying market experience, head to MercatoMonti, where about two dozen vendors — an upstart collective of young designers, artisans and vintage dealers — sell everything from felt fedoras and vintage sunglasses to striped sweaters and ...Read more

Dress Up for Disneyland's Dapper Day This Sunday
OC Weekly (blog), February 26th

Ladies, dig up your grandma's vintage sunglasses and high-rise pencil skirts. Men, get groomed and put on your best bow-tie. It's time to bring Sunday's best to Dapper Day this Sunday on March 1, which will fill Disneyland with old-timey fashionistas...Read more

Luke James Hits the Stage at the Highline Ballroom
BET, February 26th

Around 10:15 p.m., Luke James, donning a white button-down and vintage sunglasses, made his way to the main stage with the backdrop of a full moon glowing behind him. He opened with a stripped down cover of the Michael Jackson classic "The Way You ...Read more