Fashion and film go hand in hand, so it’s no surprise that sunglasses trends of today are largely due to the appearance of sunglasses in the movies. Many sunglasses were made popular by the stylish actors and actresses that adorned them in blockbusters, and if the film was popular, so were the shades. Here’s a list of some of the shades that have been made famous by the silver screen.
These timeless shades have been popularized in film time and time again throughout the decades. They were first noticed in 1955 on James Dean in his classic film, Rebel Without a Cause. Sean Connery continued their popularity in the 1960s via James Bond in From Russia With Love and Thunderball, as did Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Tom Cruise brought them back in 1983 with his first blockbuster Risky Business.
Though they were invented in the 1930s, Aviators didn’t get a boost from Hollywood until 1983, when Tom Cruise wore them in the 80s machismo flick Top Gun. As styles transformed over the years, so did the Aviators. Johnny Depp adorned orange lens shades in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Carrie-Anne Moss had a black pair in The Matrix. Also making an impact in Police films, Aviators are the standard sunglass eyewear for most cop characters in film. The Aviator style is no longer a Ray-Ban monopoly – many other brands like Oakley, Maui Jim and Serengeti now carry the famous sunglasses in different styles and designs.
While most actors were wearing Ray-Bans, Steve McQueen went against the grain when he wore the folding Persol 714 sunglasses in The Thomas Crown Affair, and The Getaway. These blue-tinted shades became so popular that one of McQueen’s personal pairs was auctioned off for $70,200 in 2006. Daniel Craig of the James Bond flick Casino Royale also wore Persol shades while he was speeding down the streets of Monte Negro.
These round-frame sunglasses were first made famous by John Lennon of the Beatles, but their popularity continued in Hollywood by several actors and actresses, including Woody Harrelson in Natural Born Killers, and Collin Chou in The Matrix Revolutions.
Arnold Schwarzenegger made himself a Gargoyle icon we he wore the classic 80s shades in the first Terminator. Though Arnold moved on to a pair of Persols in the sequel, anyone who sees a pair of Gargoyles’ ANSI Classics is reminded of the flesh covered, futuristic robot.
For a movie in which almost every character wears shades, The Matrix producers decided to go for a relatively unknown sunglasses company called Blinde. Each actor for the movie has a pair of sunglasses personally designed and hand manufactured for their character.