Launched in 1956 by optical manufacturer Bausch & Lomb, the Ray Ban Wayfarer continues to capture the minds and imagination of shoppers.
This popular sunglass revolutionised the eyewear industry by veering away from the usage of metal frames by using synthetic frames made possible with the advancements in plastic moulding engineering.
Thought to be one of the most sustained symbols of the 20th century, numerous artists, Hollywood actors and models have been seen rocking them onstage as well as on the red carpet. The sunglass started to surge in popularity in the Sixties when cultural symbols such as John Lennon, James Dean as well as President John F. Kennedy were seen putting on wayfarers.
In the 80s, films like The Blues Brothers and Tom Cruise’s Risky Business helped introduce the sunglass to a new generation of consumers.
The renowned eyewear suffered a fall in the Nineties but experienced resurgence in the new millennium after a change. Performers and celebrities like Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Nicole Richie as well as Chloe Sevigny have helped lead the way for the success of the sunglass to present day generation. The sunglass is a global trend, gaining foothold in cities like the Fashion capital, The Big Apple, and more.
Presently, the Ray Ban Wayfarer is available in 4 variations: the Original Wayfarer, the Folding Wayfarer, Wayfarer II, and the New Wayfarer.
With a quantity of celebrities seen putting on vintage Wayfarers together with the high price being told by the glasses on online auction sites; Ray Ban reintroduced the Original Wayfarer. This design was very much like the vintage Bausch & Lomb model, save for a few alterations such as the placement of the logo on the temple arms and also on the right lens.
The Folding Wayfarer was produced with people on the go in mind. These glasses can be folded and stored in one’s pockets due to the hinges fixed at the temples and at the nose bridge.
The Wayfarer II harks back to the brow-line design which became popular in the Fifties. Compared to the Original Wayfarer, this design is less rectangular in form.
The New Wayfarer’s frame has been designed to be more compact and more rectangle-shaped, suitable for those with a smaller, angular face.
In addition to the launch of the 4 designs, Ray Ban also expanded the colors and styles for the Wayfarer’s frame. Along with traditional colours, frames in vibrant colours like turquoise and red and designs like camouflage and checks became available. The Wayfarer may also be suited with various types of prescription lenses, like reading lenses and varifocals, to support wearers’ vision demands.
Ray-Ban Aviator Family #6
Image by Viktor Hertz
Brief: Create artworks that somehow depict iconic people and famous characters that have been wearing Ray-Ban Aviators. The portraits were to be displayed in the Sunglass Hut store in Covent Garden, London, from March to April 2014.
Artworks by Viktor Hertz © 2014
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