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Sunglasses That Changed The World

James Dean was a cultural icon of the 1950’s best known as a troubled teenager in Hollywood’s motion picture ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ and widely acknowledged for his work as an actor and a pin up for many women being a highly desired celebrity. Dean commonly wore a pair of wayfarer sunglasses which subsequently became associated with his style, leading to the popularisation of Ray Ban and this new shape of sunglasses which at the time were deemed radical. This style of sunglasses has not been out of style for over 60 years and is still seen on celebrities such as Kate Moss and George Clooney among others.  The good news is you can get his look this summer with Ray Ban’s Clubmaster.

Audrey Hepburn was an actress, model and humanitarian among other things who emerged during the time of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is the film which gave Hepburn her greatest claim to fame describing her as the ultimate fashion icon of the 1960’s being the pin up girl of high society glamour.  The cat eye frames seen on Hepburn in this film caused the style to become the frames of the moment seen regularly on the catwalks of most haute couture houses. Today you can still find many variations in colour and embellishment of this shaped frame, season upon season through a range of designers’ collections. Find yours here.

Jackie Kennedy, the wife of former USA president John F Kennedy took the nation by storm with her pure elegance and fashion forward style. She was first and foremost America’s first lady from 1961 until 1963 when John Kennedy was assassinated. During those brief years she was also known as America’s sweetheart and became a household name, well recognised for wearing very round oval shaped oversized sunglasses. Ray Ban later designed and named a pair of sunglasses after her due to consumer demand for this style.


John Lennon an English singer songwriter was continuously pictured wearing wire framed teashade sunglasses. These became incredibly trendy around the globe due to the widespread popularity of the Beatles and their music and also a key feature of the hippie movement being a symbol for peace and love. As with most trends these died a death to be replaced by something more modern. In recent years, they have regained popularity amongst street stylists and bloggers deemed as retro featuring a colourful array of lenses similar to this pair from Emporio Armani below.

Men in Black (1997) featuring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones took the box office by storm. The film was a particular hit among science fiction comic book fanatics and was so popular merchandise of all kinds was developed during the film’s promotion. It even took the fashion industry by storm seeing an acceptance and trend for men to wear head to toe black outfits. The film also featured Ray Ban’s iconic Balorama sunglass. I would be lying if I said this style was still very popular today since it is more seen as a suitable running or sporting shade but it certainly did change the sunglass industry forever.

Top Gun is deemed as a classic among American military action drama films. Tom Cruise’s daredevil charm paired with Ray Ban’s classic aviator style sunglasses sent this film straight to the top of the charts. This heightened his popularity, not only making him famous but also causing the Ray Ban classic aviator style to fly off the shelves. Due to the continued popularity for this frame Ray Ban have increased the variation in frame and lens colours and even offer personalisation of sunglasses to match your every desire and need. Most designers now offer similar styles and variations.