Ray-Ban are responsible for some of the most iconic sunglasses shape of of all time. The Wayfarer was designed in 1952 by Raymond Stegeman, an inventor responsible for many earlier Ray-Ban styles. The design was a radically new shape, 'a mid-century classic to rival Eames chairs and Cadillac tail fins.' Favoured by some of the century's snappiest dressers, from John Lennon and Bob Dylan to Hunter S Thompson and Jack Nicholson, Ray-Ban have become an American classic. In 2001, the Wayfarer underwent a significant redesign, with the frames made smaller and less angular, and changed from acetate to a lighter injected plastic making them easier to wear. Exceptional value for money, especially as the build quality is so high, and their heritage is so vast.
Founded in 1937 after lieutenant John MacCready had returned from a balloon flying adventure, complaining that the sun had done permanent damage to his eyes. He contacted Bausch & Lomb asking them to create a type of sunglasses that would not only provide superb protection, but also look elegant. On May 7, 1937, Bausch & Lomb officially took out the patent.
By 1941, the sunglasses had become popular with Naval aviators. Army Air Force aviators preferred the smaller, more-squarish, American optical, straight-temple glasses, which can be put on and removed even while wearing a flying helmet. The design was also popular as the bar across the bridge of the nose allowed them to keep a cigarette on it.