When it comes to sunglasses, there’s really one name you think of over all others: Ray-Ban. Developed for pilots who needed to block out the sun’s flare at high altitudes, Ray-Bans have maintained a long history of practicality and style. The glasses have also earned a significant place in pop culture. Throughout their history, the popularity of Ray-Bans has been boosted by celebrities and fictional characters. We’ll take a look at a few of the most prominent Ray-Ban “ambassadors” below.
General Douglas MacArthur was one of the first “celebrities” to be spotted wearing the iconic sunglasses. Of course, the photograph of MacArthur that sparked public interest in the brand came from the Philippines during World War II. He certainly wasn’t just wearing them because they looked cool. But, no one can say that the popularity of Ray-Bans was diminished by one of America’s most prominent war generals.
Although the sunglasses had a distinctive masculine flair, Audrey Hepburn certainly proved that the shades would look good on almost anyone. In the 1961 film classic, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Hepburn rocked a pair of Ray-Bans black shades. The iconic starlet put Ray-Bans on the map for an entirely new demographic.
Perhaps the most prominent pop music artist ever, Michael Jackson had a definitive flair for fashion trends and styles. In the 1980’s, he further improved the popularity of Ray-Bans by donning a pair of black shades seemingly everywhere he went. Obviously, no one associates the King of Pop with anything but awesome, and many consumers wanted to emulate that awesomeness.
The 80’s were good to Ray-Bans, and you only have to look at Top Gun to figure that out. Tom Cruise wore a pair of Ray-Ban Aviators that skyrocketed the coolness factor of the brand by leaps and bounds. Of course, Maverick’s Aviators were standard issue, military-grade sunglasses designed to limit the glare from the sun. But, it didn’t really matter. The rebel still made the glasses look incredible.
Ray-Bans have been worn by celebrities and consumers for almost a full century. So, there’s been plenty of time for the most popular stars to jump on the bandwagon. Jack Nicholson was known to wear a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers. Pop stars like Bob Dylan and First Ladies like Jackie O also donned their own pairs of Ray-Ban sunglasses.
The popularity of Ray-Bans has really only increased over the years, thanks in some part to the continued presence of the brand on celebrity faces. Stars like Beyoncé, Jay-Z, DMX, David Beckham, Rihanna, and Nicole Richie have all rocked a pair of contemporary Ray-Bans. Perhaps the most famous Ray-Ban wearer in modern times is the Commander-in-Chief himself, Barack Obama.
Clearly, Ray-Ban is a brand that is here to stay. You can’t get much cooler than a pair of Aviators or Wayfarers and there’s a long line of celebrities who can vouch for that assertion. If you want to look cool and protect your eyes at the same time, go for Ray-Bans.
Rachel Stelton is a fashion and lifestyle writer for numerous online magazines and journals. She spends her free time catching up on the latest fashion and crazes to blog about.