A Brand Above the Rest Ray-Ban began its business life as a high-end manufacturer of designer sunglasses in 1937 when Lieutenant John MacReady contacted Bausch & Lomb in a bid to get them to craft eye wear that protects better. He had suffered permanent eye damage due to a recent hot air ballooning trip. His desire was to have a pair of sunglasses that offered great eye protection as well as a stylish and elegant look.
The first patent for the Bausch & Lomb anti-glare proprietary product took place not long after. Ever since then the company began to grow and thrive on the concept of high-end eye protection with aesthetic appeal. The Army Air Corps, precursor military branch of the army before the Air Force was formed, favoured them heavily. Their line of Ray Ban Aviator glasses became quite popular and were worn by many individuals, civilian and solider alike.
The popularity of Ray Ban’s Aviator sunglasses sky rocketed when General Douglas MacArthur wore them during a beach landing in the Philippines during World War II. The company Bausch & Lomb continued to maintain a well deserved portion of all sunglasses sales throughout the rest of the century until they sold Ray Ban to the world’s largest eye glass sales company Luxottica based in Italy.
Ray Ban has a long history of utility in the US military as well as civilian enterprise. Recently, as of 2004, Ray-Ban became partners alongside the BAR Honda F1 Team. In 2006 their logo began to appear on the cockpit of the formula one racing vehicles that were designed and used during the partnership. In 2009 that partnership would be shifted over to the Brawn GP racing team due to Honda’s exit from the racing circuits.
Another interesting item of note about Ray Ban and their high end sunglasses is that the brand has an almost cult following. They are also the sponsors of an award at the yearly Sundance film festival entitled the Ray-Ban Visionary Award. It is granted to directors of outstanding acclaim, vision, originality, and imagination. Quentin Tarantino is one of a handful of individuals that have won this award, a bonus for an avid wearer of Ray Ban sunglasses.
Not sure whether to buy online or in-store? Why not read our buying guide. With us you can buy on line but you also have the added benefit of knowing that we are a full service opticians so you can always come to see us for an eye exam, a contact lens check or just to try on the frames we have on display.