Monday, May 27, 2013


By Eva Fydrych

A Short History of Sunglasses

Photos courtesy of Prada, D&G, Dior, Fendi, Getty Images

Sunglasses have become a must-have accessory for all those, who not only want to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays, but also want to show off their glamorous and seductive side. With so many amazing eyewear styles and trends available nowadays, there is a perfect pair of sunglasses for any face shape. But have you ever wondered where did they come from?


The precursors to sunglasses are thought to have been originally worn by Chinese judges in the 1300's so the court they presided over could not see their expressions. Those sunglasses didn't protect against harmful UV rays or help their wearer to see any better (in fact, they made it very difficult to see).

Ray Ban (Photo courtesy of

It was not until the 20th century that sunglasses really took off. In 1929, Sam Foster, founder of the Foster Grant company, sold the first pair of Foster Grant sunglasses on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ. Shortly after, Hollywood stars started using them to protect their eyes from the bright studio lights. They were also worn at the beach.

In the 1930s, the Army Air Corps commissioned the optical firm of Bausch & Lomb to produce a highly effective spectacle that would protect pilots from the dangers of high-altitude glare. Company physicists and opticians perfected a special dark-green tint that absorbed light in the yellow band of the spectrum. 

In 1936, Polaroid filters were invented, allowing glasses to protect against UV rays for the first time, and making them a desirable item for both health and fashion reasons. Ray Ban designed anti-glare aviator style sunglasses, using polarized lens technology newly created by Edwin H. Land, founder of the Polaroid Corporation. 

Photo courtesy of Dolce&Gabbana

Since then, there have been few developments in sunglasses, with the basic science and materials remaining basically the same for the last seventy years.

What helped make sunglasses fashionable was a clever 1960s' style advertising campaign by the eyewear company Foster Grant. Well-known fashion designers, as well as Hollywood stars, escalated the craze in the ‘70s with their brand-name lines. A giant industry developed where only a few decades earlier none existed. And it looks like sunglasses will never be out of fashion again...

Source: eyediology, Idea Finder, Wikipedia

Prada, Spring/Summer 2011 (Photo courtesy of Prada)

Prada Sunglasses

In the world of luxury goods and designer eyewear, Prada sunglasses are the beacon of contemporary yet classic eyewear. With their radiant line of provocative designs, Prada sunglasses will give your look a touch of glamour. The creativity of each model is specially designed to flatter your facial shape and highlight your best features.

Gucci Sunglasses

As one of the most coveted high-end fashion labels worldwide, Gucci sunglasses are made with high quality Italian craftsmanship and top-of-the-line eyewear materials. Gucci gives classic and elegant frames a sleek and edgy twist. The collection of sunglasses exhibits excellent styles for both men and women.    

Ray Ban Sunglasses

With its rich history in eyewear, Ray Ban sunglasses have remained on top as the most popular sunglasses brand in the world year after year. The signature Ray Ban Wayfarer and Ray Ban Aviator has been a part of American pop culture since it is worn by many celebrities such as James Dean, Tom Cruise, and Emma Watson. Bringing a contemporary twist to these retro shades, Ray Ban is the quintessential pair of sunglasses everybody should have in their wardrobe.

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