Lasting Looks from Maui Jim, Ray Ban and Spy
Can’t Live Without the Suns
Sunglasses have come a long way since their debut nearly 2000(!) years ago! Believe it or not, the first use of sunwear dates back to around 60 AD, when Roman emperor Nero observed gladiator fights through polished gems to reduce the sun’s glare. In the 14th century, Chinese judges wore smoke-colored lenses during trials, as they helped to hide their emotions when interrogating witnesses. And in the 18th century, sunglasses with vision correction were developed by English optician and designer James Ayscough, who recommended that lenses be tinted blue or green to treat some vision problems.
The Official Debut
The film industry played a major role in the mass production of sunglasses in the 1920s, as many Hollywood stars and starlets used them to block out stage light and blinding camera flashbulbs. But it wasn’t only celebrities who benefited from the shade of suns: the Army Air Corp. helped the sunglass industry continue its progression. Major optical companies were established to develop sunglasses for pilots suffering high altitude glare. In the mid-1930s, sunglasses designed to block out UV rays were first introduced to the public and quickly gained popularity. In fact, the ever-popular aviator-style sunglasses were first introduced in 1936!
In the 1970s, the sunglass industry truly took off as designers and celebrities turned this functional device into a fashionable, must-have accessory. Through the years, many, many iconic superstars have had a signature sunglass look: from Jackie O’s oversized frames and Elton John’s over-the-top styles, to John Lennon’s round sunspecs and Tom Cruise’s classic Wayfarers. (By the way, the Wayfarer-style sunglass was introduced in 1953 – and is said to be the best selling sunglass style in history!)
Today, you can find a sunglass style in every shape, size and color imaginable. Ask your eye care professional today about how to get these great styles!