Introducing, Meet & Greet Monday!

By Mid-Coast Optical | Feb 03, 2014
Photo by: ©Rachel Campbell

Please let me introduce you to the Aviator!

AVIATOR: the story of a Ray-Ban icon

From up in the sky to the silver screen, from pop music to fashion. All you wanted to know about Ray-Ban Aviators.


Legends do not spring from a single original event. They are made of layers of elements which bring new life to the story and make it worth of being told over again. This is true for one of Ray-Ban most iconic sunglasses, the Aviators. In 2013 they were spotted on celebrities and movies stars all over the world and worn by millions of everyday people.  The Aviator is now almost 80 years old.

The origin, as you can tell from the name, was functional. They were meant to serve as sunglasses for US aviators. The frame was made out of light metal  and had green lenses, a color which would become symbol of the Aviators. The brand was registered in 1937 with the name, Ray-Ban, literally a ban for sun rays and light glare.

Their extremely good performance qualities made them the official Us Air Force Pilots sunglasses during World War II. Thru this, they traveled to Europe and Asia expanding their “American Dream” attitude. Thanks to cinema (Gregory Peck and Clark Gable wore them), they crossed the military borders and reached a wider audience. The oldest variations of the Aviators were the Outdoorsman and the Shooters which were meant for people who loved the open air activities (and needed a sun-screen for their eyes).

In the 60’s, the borders of functionality was definitely overcome. An entire generation of musicians and rock stars adopted the sunglasses, from Jim Morrison to Lou Reed, so Aviators took a new rebellious “aura” crossing genres and personal tempers. And they were born to serve the Army!

Following the fame brought by stars and influential people, Aviators became a fashion accessory and were re-interpreted in shape, colors, lenses and finishing. In the 80’s the film “Top Gun”revamped their status and fame: pilots Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer were opposite in every aspects, except for their Aviators! It was in the 2000’s that Aviators became available as eyeglasses breaking their own DNA: from screen for sun-rays to optical support for sight.  Very few design objects or fashion accessories can overcome decades, cross fields and change from the inside like Aviators. That can explain why Aviators were celebrated in 2013 with a 18kt gold frame. A model of long life and unique shape ready to face the next era.


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