The Story Behind the Wayfarer: Ray-Ban’s Most Rebellious Frames

The Ray-Ban Wayfarer is one of the most iconic pieces of eyewear of all time. You may not know the name, but you know the look.

Since 1937, Ray-Ban has been a leading manufacturer of premium American eyewear. One of their earlier designs – The Aviator – put them on the map. Aviators were designed specifically for pilots who had trouble seeing focusing their eyes due to the ultra bright blue and white hues of the sky. The design took off.

Then in 1952, Ray-Ban had its second big hit with the Wayfarers. The inspiration came from two unexpected sources: the Eames lounge chair and tailfins from the classic Cadillac design.

An odd mix, sure, but the result is a stunning piece of American fashion that’s endured for decades.

At a time when most glasses were metal, these were made of plastic, and the temples had a distinctive flared angle. Designs like this may seem standard to our eyes today, but half a century ago, these were revolutionary.

‘Unstable Dangerousness’

As 1970s fashion critic Stephen Bayley puts it, the Wayfarers “spoke a non-verbal language that hinted at unstable dangerousness.”

When movie star bad boy James Dean was seen wearing Wayfarers, it cemented the frames as a symbol of rebellion.

Other stars followed soon suit.Audrey Hepburn could be seen sporting the specs, followed by Cary Grant, Kim Novak, and Marilyn Monroe. It wasn’t just actors: artists and musicians like John Lennon, Andy Warhol, and Bob Dylan all embraced the defiant, radical spirit of the Wayfarers.

Of course, seeing every major icon of the ‘50s and ‘60s sporting these had a tremendous impact on sales. Unfortunately, it didn’t last. It wasn’t until the 1980s when then Wayfarers came thundering back into the public eye.

 

The 80s Resurgence

Ray-Ban made a product placement deal in 1981 that put Wayfarers onscreen over 60 times in movies and TV shows. After Tom Cruise paired Wayfarers with tighty whities in Risky Business, sales skyrocketed. Viewers saw them on Don Johnson in Miami Vice, on Bruce Willis in Moonlighting, and on Tom Cruise again in Top Gun.

Almost every major musician of the ‘80s wore them at concerts: Michael Jackson, Madonna, U2, Billy Joel, Queen… the list goes on!

And they’re still going strong. James Franco, who once played James Dean in a TV movie early in his career, can be seen wearing the specs some 50 years after Dean rebelled without a cause. Celebs like Johnny Depp, Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johanson, Bruno Mars, Joe Jonas and Robert Pattinson avoid the paparazzi in the distinctive Wayfarer frames.

Are You a Wayfarer?

Ray-Ban Wayfarers have unquestionably survived the test of time, remaining a top seller a half decade after their premier.

Wayfarers look stunning on oval-shaped or round faces, and the design is perfect for males and females.

 

This is the perfect time to get your your own pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer eyeglasses and save big at FramesDirect.com. Click here to get some of your own.

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9 Bold & Stylish Glasses Guaranteed to Make an Impression

You’re not looking for “boring.” You don’t want “standard”.

You deserve better than “ordinary.”

You want frames that match your unconventional spirit. Here are 9 daring, inspiring and stylish glasses that you won’t soon forget.

Best of all, all of these frames are currently 40% off at FramesDirect.com, along with eyewear from over 100 premium brands. Prescription lenses are also 50% off! Click here to see the full list of participating designers and brands.

Carrera CA1008/S Sunglasses

With a retrofuturistic design and color scheme, these eye-popping Carerras are sure to stand out from the crowd.

Caviar 5611 Champagne

As the name implies, the breathtaking Champagne frames from Caviar are the definition of elegance, grace, and sophistication. Pure class.

Dolce & Gabbana DG 1287

Dolce & Gabbana delivers a stunning silhouette as always, but what really sets these frames apart is the intricate webbing detail in the temples.

Kate Spade Amara/S Sunglasses

Easily the most understated look on this list, the design is striking nevertheless. The black accent atop the clear frame perfectly mirrors the shape of the temple, creating a timeless, satisfying look.

Marc Jacobs Marc 16/S Sunglasses

That classic circle shape with the cat-ear accent. Those beaded details. The way it adds drama and an upward accent to any woman’s face. Perfection.

Miu Miu MU 54SS Sunglasses

Speaking of drama… Miu Miu took sunglasses and made them a work of art. If Audrey Hepburn made Breakfast at Tiffany’s today, she’d be rocking these. Available with an extra-protective mirror coating.

Prada PR 07TS Sunglasses

The best fashion brings you joy just by looking at it. These playful curlicues and fearless accents bring a smile to anyone who sees you wearing these.

Roberto Cavalli RC1024 (CARDUCCI) Sunglasses

Can you tell that Italian designer Roberto Cavalli started his career as an artist? The whimsical flourishes he brings to these frames are daring and experimental, and the result? Class, sophistication, and artistry.

Tommy Hilfiger TH1481 Eyeglasses

Simple concept, stunning execution. There’s a good chance you know someone who’s style perfectly matches this classic, black and white, Tim Burton meets Daria aesthetic. Maybe it’s you.

Is it time for a fresh new pair of specs? Any of the above frames will add grace, beauty and confidence to your look!

Act now to get any of the above (plus eyewear from over 100 top designers and brands) at a staggering 40% off. Plus, you can add prescription lenses for 50% off!

I have to warn you, this is a temporary offer… the page linked below might be down already.

Click here to see all the participating brands and designers.

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Latest from Carrera, Hilfiger, and McQueen + NEW Brand: Carlos Santana

At FramesDirect.com we’re constantly updating our site with the latest eyewear styles to keep the selection fresh and exciting. And it’s not all about Ray-Ban and Oakley. Check out a few new frames from some slightly more under-the-radar designers. Carrera has a cult following and McQueen is known for goth inspired luxury. And if you’re not curious about the most recent Tommy Hilfiger sunglasses, maybe you would like the newest brand on our site, Carlos Santata. Oye como va!

Carrera sunglasses

These teardrop shaped Carrera shades are aviator-inspired, but with a twist. Known for their super sporty 70s influenced designs, Carrera brings us promptly up to 2017 with this fashion-forward look. Gold detailing keeps things classy and adjustable nose pads will guarantee an no-slip fit. Try them in tortoise for a softer look.

alexander mcQueen glasses

Alexander McQueen eyeglasses are known for being on the cutting edge of trends. With this pair, you get not only a bold and modern look, but well thought-out construction that will ensure the frames sit comfortably. With an eye size of 50 these are perfect for smaller faces and people with strong prescriptions

ommy Hilfiger sunglasses

Round lenses are everywhere these days, and so are throwback double bridges. This pair of Tommy Hilfiger sunglasses brings two trends together with major impact. Reflective lenses will keep your identity under wraps. All anyone will know is how cool that mystery man (or woman) is behind the shades. Check out the lovely rose gold version as well.

Carlos Santana eyeglasses

This pair of creamy, turquoise frames are sure to garner many compliments. From the new brand on the block, Carlos Santana, who brings the same style savvy he’s known for with his shoe line to eyewear. The square shape is modern yet flattering and the silver detailing at the temple will bring some light to your face.

Smith sunglasses

And finally, Smith Optics carries out their tradition of crafting durable, stylish eyewear for active lifestyles with this amazing pair of shield sunglasses – in sparkling gold. Yes these are great for the slopes, but we think you could make these work as a fashion statement on the pavement as well.

golden globes 2017

Golden Globes 2017 Eyewear Edition: Glasses of the Stars

The stars came out in droves for the 2017 Golden Globes awards ceremony last night. All eyes were on the red carpet, checking which celebrities brought their A-game. While La La Land was the clear winner, the film Moonlight and the television show Atlanta were on everyone’s lips as they collected the accolades. The audience was also filled with excitement when Brad Pitt took the stage to present.

But the big moment of the night went to Meryl Streep, the recipient of this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award. Streep is regarded as one of the finest actresses in the film industry. She used her platform of recognition last night to address political concerns and issue a call-to-action for artists and journalists. Always the epitome of class, Streep looked regal in a black gown with bejeweled applique and, of course, a pair of glasses.

Lulu Guinness L750 Eyeglasses

vera-wang-catlin-eyeglasses

lafont-indigo-eyeglasses

If you’re in the market for a coppery, semi-rimless, cat-eye frame like Meryl’s we’ve come up with a few options that fit the bill. The Lulu Guinness L750 eyeglasses are comparable. And this Vera Wang pair (Caitlin) are also similar. But you can take this look to the next level, with Lafont Indigo frames, a true style statement.

Billy Bob Thorton accepted the trophy for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series (Drama) for his performance in the Amazon Original Series Goliath wearing sunglasses that look a lot like the Ray-Ban Clubround.

rayban-rb4246-sunglasses

And Steve Carell, along with Kristen Wiig, introduced the films nominated for best animated feature film. While handing out the award to Zootopia, Carell wore some interesting two-tone acetate frames that gave his look a retro twist. You too can be quirky-cool like Steve in these Shuron Sidewinder eyeglasses. Choose the “Black Fade” option or the popular “Crystal” clear version to take part in this throwback trend.

shuron-sidewinder-black-fade

Prada, Michael Kors, Persol, and Tory Burch Caught on Film

Here at FramesDirect.com we sell the highest quality designer glasses from the most fashionably aspirational brands.  Four of our favorite brands got the Hollywood treatment when we created some imaginative video vignettes. These original narratives speak to the unique brand stories of Tory Burch, Persol, Michael Kors, and Prada eyeglasses and sunglasses.

First up, a ton of Tory Burch sunglasses go on vacation to the Hamptons. We find our Tory Burch fanatic trying to pack her suitcase for the weekend (wearing a gorgeous Tory Burch shift dress), but there’s not quite enough room for every style that she wants to squeeze in. Do you think she will sacrifice her books and bottle of wine for a wardrobe of sunnies? Watch the video to find out!

If you’re not already familiar with the Persol brand of eyewear, this is a beautiful introduction. These hand crafted, Italian frames are perfect for the man who is passionate, creative, and discerning – just like the artist in the video. Watch as he gets inspired to create a colorful mural while wearing 3 different sophisticated spectacles.

Michael Kors is a beloved American sportswear brand whose designer has also become a famous personality due to guest appearances on Project Runway. Much like the contestants on that show, in our video a fashion designer is experiencing a creative block. That is, until some Michael Kors sunglasses become the pièce de résistance of her design.

Finally, we have Prada – the final word in chic eyewear. A brainy yet fashion-forward pair of scientists are working in the lab when the equations on the wipe board create a surprising pattern. Can a love of fashion lead to chemistry? Anything is possible.

We had a great time on set creating these videos. Thanks to the team at Sparksight, here in Austin, TX, who turn fashion dreams into reality.

 

Photochromic lenses

Have you ever wondered how Transitions® lenses work? The magical mash-up of sunglasses and eyeglasses, when you see them change color, you feel like – the future is now. Transitions® are an example of photochromic lenses.

Some other names for photochromic lenses are Light Adaptive, Variable Tint, Photochromatic, but many people call just them by the popular name brand Transitions®; you could say they’re the the “Kleenex” of photochromic lenses.

If we start with the etymology of the word, photochromic comes from two Greek words; photo meaning light and chroma meaning color.

Photochromic lenses change color when exposed to light.

You can get clear photochromic eyeglasses that change all the way to dark sunglasses, or photochromic sunglasses which are just for outdoor wear (and do not get completely clear.)

So how do Transitions® lenses work? When exposed to light, the photochromic molecules in the lenses begin to change structure, like in the illustration below. This new arrangement allows the molecules to absorb more light which causes the lenses to darken. Most photochromic lenses to UV light; that’s why they change when you’re in the sun yet remain clear indoors.

how do photochromic lenses work

Temperature also has effect on the reaction time of the molecules in photochromic lenses. On a cold day, your lenses will react more slowly than on a warm day.

In this video, one of FramesDirect.com’s expert opticians, Travis, explains further:

 

Transitions® lenses continuously adapt to changing light conditions and block 100% percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays. Having your lenses give you the exact amount of protection you need to see clearly, means your eyes are doing less work. And there’s the added benefit of only having one pair of glasses for indoors and out!

Learn more about Transitions lenses

high index lenses

#FDAnswers: I have a strong prescription. What lenses do I need?

Full disclosure, this post is personal. I have terrible vision. I started wearing glasses when I was about 8 years old. By the time I was 11, I was begging my Mom for contact lenses. This was in the 80’s when high school girls and secretaries in movies would take their glasses off and suddenly be transformed from invisible to gorgeous. Glasses were not pretty – that’s the message I received loud and clear. Thus began a lifelong struggle with glasses, I would only wear them at home, if at all, never in public, and half the time I fell asleep with my contact lenses on. Even as the decades passed and glasses became the fashion accessory du jour, I couldn’t enjoy them. Why? Because my vision is so bad my lenses looked like the proverbial coke bottles, and turned my eyes into blinking little beads.

So that brings us to today. My prescription is -8 in my right eye and -11 in my left. I can’t see ANYTHING without glasses or contacts, but I have found a way to wear my glasses without feeling completely self conscious – three words: High Index Lenses. If your prescription is crazy high like mine, you should get the thinnest possible lens, which is the High Index 1.74. Anything +/- 6 you definitively need them. Another trick I’ve learned is to ask for no edge polish. When your lenses are VERY thick, polished edges call even more attention to them.

Here’s one of our expert opticians, Amanda, talking about the benefits of High Index 1.74 lenses.

 

If your prescription is between +/- 2 and 6, you could get the High Index 1.67 lenses. The 1.74 are the thinnest, but they aren’t available with tinting or progressives, so you may need the 1.67 if you’re looking for those add-ons. The other varieties of lenses – plastic and polycarbonate – aren’t great if you have a prescription that’s +/- 3. High Index lenses are a bit more expensive but well worth avoiding the coke bottle look!

All our high index lenses come with scratch resistant and UV coatings for no additional cost. You can learn more about all the lens types we offer at FramesDirect.com here.

Also see How Do Glasses Work?

wood glasses superdry depp

Wood Glasses & Wooden Sunglasses; Tapping into Nature’s Textures

Wooden sunglasses and glasses frames accents can no longer be considered a trend when they stick around this long (get it?) And like a tree that takes a lifetime time to grow to full height, these natural beauties are made to last. Taking advantage of the textures and colors wrought by Mother Nature herself, there is no better way to marry the sleek and fashionable with the earthy and organic.