American Icons: Ray-Ban

Perhaps no sunglass manufacturer is more iconic to American culture than Ray-Bans. The brand dates back to the 1930s when Army pilots wore them as a way to reduce headaches and nausea created by the blue and white hues in the sky. That led to the Aviator which was soon followed by the Outdoorsman, intended for hunting, shooting and fishing enthusiasts.

Then came the Wayfarer, which became synonymous with Hollywood thanks to film icon James Dean who wore them in the 1955 movie “Rebel Without a Cause.” Dean would pave the way for Peter Fonda in “Easy Rider,” Clint Eastwood (aka Dirty Harry) in “Magnum Force” and Tom Cruise in “Risky Business,” who all donned Ray-Bans in their signature roles.

Marilyn Monroe, Jack Nicholson and Audrey Hepburn were other A-listers who brought the Wayfarer into the American consciousness.

But the Wayfarers extended beyond film: Bob Dylan, President John F. Kennedy, Roy Orbison, The Ramones and Debbie Harry all helped Ray-Bans reach iconic status more than a half century ago.

Today, Ray-Bans’ place in history is secure. They are as American as apple pie, John Wayne, hot dogs and hamburgers, Levis and Bugs Bunny, but with an edge. They have not only withstood the test of time; they have become a symbol of rebellion and individuality, all while maintaining an aura of coolness and confidence.

So what can we learn from this icon?  As Ray-Ban says, “Never hide.”

Embrace who you are and always remember to stick with what brought you success.

Check out our line of Ray-Ban sunglasses and find out why after 78 years they are more popular than ever.