If you have ever seen Tom Cruise in "Risky Business", you will remember two things. The first being the most famous scene from that movie, the one where he comes sliding into the living room dancing in his underwear, and the second, how good he looked in those sunglasses. Cruise sported Ray Ban sunglasses in this movie and they became as big a hit as the movie itself. By the time this movie was made in 1983 however, Ray Ban had already been making popular sunglasses for 46 years.
The optical firm Bausch and Lomb launched the first Ray Ban sunglasses in 1936, which were anti-glare aviator sunglasses. They were the first to use polarized technology, which was developed by Edwin H. Land, the founder of the Polaroid Corporation. These dark glasses had large lenses, about two or three times the size of the eye socket, in the shape of an oblique teardrop. Instead of being flat, these glasses were slightly convex. The goal of these large, curved glasses was to protect the eyes from every angle for optimal protection from the sun. In the 1940's, Ray Ban was hired by the US Air Force to develop these glasses even further for use by air force pilots. The Aviator glasses soon became popular with the other branches of the US military as well and when General Douglas MacArthur was photographed landing on a beach in the Philippines during World War II, he was wearing a pair of Ray Bans.
Ray Ban has relied on photographs of celebrities to promote their eyewear throughout the years. The Blues Brothers, Miami Vice's Don Johnson, Michael Jackson, and Madonna are just a few of the people who join Tom Cruise as Ray Ban wearers and promoters. Ray Ban Aviators have remained in style for decades but this company also moved with the times in terms of its other models. There were bright, colorful frames to reflect the style of the 60's, big flashy shades in the 70's, and sportier designs of the 80's.
From the beginning, Ray Ban sunglasses have been at the forefront of eye protection technology. These glasses stay in style not only because of their celebrity appeal but also because they are well made and practical.