History of Eyeglasses: Wayfarer Sunglasses

Wayfarers are not just sunglasses. They are an American icon. When Ray-Ban introduced them in 1956, they embodied an entirely new look in eyewear, making the familiar metal rims of other glasses outdated overnight. The molded plastic frames set them apart as modern and innovative.

The trapezoidal shape was also unique, earning them design patent #169,995.
Wayfarers were instantly recognizable, presenting a look that was subtly powerful, with a touch of the maverick. They entered the hallowed hall of American design classics beside Eichler homes and Eames chairs.

Over the decades, they have experienced repeated surges in popularity as new generations discovered them. They dominated the market in the 1950s and 1960s, and they were embraced across social levels, from the beatnik to the celebrity.

In the 1980s, Wayfarers rode a new swell of interest when Ray-Ban began a campaign of product placement in television shows and movies. From sales … Read the rest