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
Christopher TaylerLondon Review of Books (subscription), April 27th
'Everybody wants to own the end of the world,' he says, and for Jeff the moment is made complete by Ross's vintage sunglasses ('polarised, with swoop lenses and variable tint'), which he's wearing indoors, at night. Soon Ross surprises him by growing a ...Read more
A Year in NoMad: Salon Ruggeri N.Y.C. Celebrates One Year in Mid-ManhaVanity Fair, April 22nd
In addition to well-chosen hair-care products from brands such as Christophe Robin, Evo Hair, and R & Co., one should peruse the vintage-sunglasses selection, the Fornasetti candles, and more. Yes, you can buy a charming chair, a table, framed ...Read more
Where To Buy: May 2016W Magazine, April 15th
Page 18: Emilio Pucci gown, $5,515, Emilio Pucci, New York, 212.752.4777; Sonia Rykiel headband, $290, Sonia Rykiel, New York, 212.396.3060; Marc Jacobs vintage sunglasses, $395, similar styles at marcjacobs.com; Larkspur & Hawk rhodium-washed ...Read more
Sheikh Zayed's style inspires shades of successThe National, April 9th
ABU DHABI // Minutes after sharing a photo of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid on Instagram, Ahmed Al Aqeeli was inundated with public interest in the Vice President's vintage shades. “Are they for sale?" a follower asked about the pair of Guy Laroche...Read more
LUNETIER VINTAGE EYEWEAR JOINS MODES AND MOREResponseSource (press release), April 8th
fans of original garments and accessories can now choose iconic vintage sunglasses and eyeglasses to complement their designer outfit. Leading vintage fashion boutique, Modes and More, has been joined by Lunetier Vintage Eyewear at its Moreton Street ...Read more
LOOK: Miriam Santiago shows off vintage sunglassesInquirer.net, February 11th
TWO days after the start of national campaign for the 2016 elections, presidential candidate Senator Miriam Santiago posted on Facebook a photo of her vintage sunglasses that she used when she first ran for president in 1992. In the then and now photo, ...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
Rethink Your Frame Game: Vintage Sunglasses May Be Damaging Your EyesElite Daily (blog), July 7th
A pair of vintage cat-eyes might be your best thrift store find of the summer, but that doesn't mean they're good for your health. Although those 50s frames go well with your wardrobe, they probably don't protect your eyes from the sun's UV radiation...Read more