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

Shades of Seventies as Jamie Dornan reveals his new moustache and sunnies
Belfast Telegraph, May 22nd

The Northern Ireland heart-throb debuted his newly-acquired facial hair on his Instagram page - which has a million followers - and first impressions were that the 'tache, along with the vintage sunglasses, made him look like a Seventies porn star...Read more

Photos: Riis Park Beach Bazaar Quietly Opens in Rockaway
Bedford + Bowery, May 20th

Saturdays and Sundays will also feature multiple pop up merchant vendors along the boardwalk displaying their arts and crafts, antiques, new and vintage clothing, vintage sunglasses, records, jewelry, and prints. In addition, there will be service...Read more

Beach bums or bummers?
Daily News & Analysis, May 16th

Our idea of loafing around on a beach is akin to stills from classic American movies such as Beach Party (1963), or How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965). Think high-waisted bikini bottoms in polka-dotted spandex, bouffant, vintage sunglasses and a sepia...Read more

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and husband return to Cannes – 12 months after first ...
hellomagazine.com, May 15th

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and her husband Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini have arrived in sunny Cannes – the place where they first met 12 months ago. The couple arrived in France for the annual film festival on Thursday, and looked as loved-up as ever ...Read more

After 50 Years, Frida Kahlo's Wardrobe Unlocked
Chinatopix, May 13th

The items found in her belongings are old Revlon nail polish, gloves, swimsuit, vintage sunglasses, her shoes, indigenous apparel and regalia which she uses to mask her condition and other simple things with significant values. She even turned some of...Read more

Helena Bonham Carter dresses conservatively in a black sheer blouse
Daily Mail, May 12th

She's known for her very ecclectic sense of style - but actress Helena Bonham Carter pared down her look for a stroll in the sunshine on Tuesday. The 48-year-old was pictured walking around London's trendy Primrose Hill in an all-black ensemble which ...Read more

Now Trending: Retro Summer Shades
ABC News, May 11th

Old Hollywood retro sunnies are making a comeback as summer accessories. Whether it's a bold shape or color, these familiar styles will have you channeling your inner bombshell. "The dominance of this trend really speaks to our sense of style and ...Read more

Banksy and the sound of rain divert eyewear designer Bengogh Chung
South China Morning Post (subscription), May 9th

What I'm reading: this summer I will launch a series of modern vintage sunglasses, and I've been getting in the retro mood by reading Eyewear – A Visual History of Eyewear Design from the 1950s to the '80s. What I'm watching: the recent film Little Big...Read more