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Four Things to Know About Wayfarer Sunglasses
Every time vintage makes a comeback, wayfarers will be an essential accessory. Check out Groupon’s overview of wayfarers’ life in the sun.
1. The designer: a Ray-Ban employee named Ray. In 1952, Raymond Stegeman developed his concept for wayfarers, creating a new standard for eyewear design in the process.
2. They revolutionized sunglass design. Ray-Ban came into prominence in the 1930s after creating aviators, sunglasses with thin, metal frames intended to protect pilots from the sun’s glare. Wayfarers traded function for pure style, combining mid-century aesthetics with a striking silhouette and a bold new material—plastic.
3. They were the 1960s’ standard for cool. Icons such as James Dean, Roy Orbison, and JFK sported the shades.
4. Never mind the 1970s. Wayfarers couldn’t block the glare of disco lights as well as oversized sunglasses, so they fell out of favor until, in 1982, Ray-Ban made a $50,000-a-year contract to have their products placed in films such as Risky Business.