Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images
Ray-Ban, a popular brand of sunglasses, became something of an American icon over the course of the past 70-plus years. Although originally devised for function, Ray-Ban quickly became a must-have amongst fashion mavens.
Developed in 1937 under the company Bausch & Lomb, Ray-Ban aimed to aid U.S. aviators from being blinded by the sun during flights. In fact, the first model of sunglasses simply became known as Ray-Ban Aviators.
Ray-Ban sunglasses not only shield the eyes from potentially dangerous glares, but they help protect the wearer from harmful rays. The lenses themselves also boast an effective scratch protective shield.
Other popular Ray-Ban models followed the Aviators, including the plastic but sturdy Wayfarers sunglasses of the 1950s and Balorama, a sleeker more elegant type of Ray-Ban developed in the 1960s.
In 1999 Bausch & Lomb sold Ray-Ban to the Italy-based Luxottica Group for $1.2 billion.
Ray-Ban features a number of famous ties, including Tom Cruise who famously wore a pair in the blockbuster films “Risky Business” and “Top Gun”, as well as General Douglass MacArthur who frequently wore Ray-Ban during World War II.
- Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images