Ray-Ban is a brand of sunglasses and eyeglasses founded in 1937 by the American company Bausch & Lomb. The brand is best known for their Wayfarer and Aviator lines of sunglasses. In 1999, Bausch & Lomb sold the brand to the Italian eyewear conglomerate Luxottica Group, for a reported US$640 million.
BLAZE TO BRILLIANCE
The lifestyle brand joined the Luxottica Group in 1999 after which Ray-Ban accelerated its growth and redefined its distribution. In 2000, Ray-Ban generated 252 million euros for Luxottica, or 10% of company sales. By 2014, that had raised more than eightfold to 2.065 billion euros, or 27% of Luxottica sales. Ray-Bay now commands 5% of the global eye wear market, and is the largest sunglasses brand, according to Euromonitor International data.
Ray-Ban's most popular sunglasses are the Wayfarer, and Aviator models. During the 1950s, Ray-Ban released the Caravans, which had a squarer frame. In 1965, the Olympian I and II were introduced; they became popular when Peter Fonda wore them in the 1969 film Easy Rider. The company has also produced special edition lines, such as The General in 1987, bearing similarity to the original aviators worn by General Douglas MacArthur during the Second World War.
Timeless style, authenticity and freedom of expression are the core values of Ray-Ban, a leader in sun and prescription eyewear for generations. Since the introduction of the iconic Aviator model created for the aviators of the United States Army, Ray-Ban has been at the forefront of cultural change, becoming a symbol of self-expression, worn by celebrities and public figures all around the world.
In 2013, it launched Re-Mix, allowing customers for the first time to customize their glasses themselves by mixing different frames, materials and styles in 220,000 different possible permutations. Re-Mix now generates 40% of the brand’s online revenues.
During this decade, a change in trend saw the popularity of wrap-around style sunglasses grow, seeing the classic Ray-Ban designs cast aside in favor of sportier, stream-lined styles. However, the trend was short lived and today Ray-Ban is more popular than ever before. They are a name so heavily ingrained in our culture and in the world of fashion that they will always be at the forefront. They are more than just a brand of sunglasses, they are the original and best.
• After the Second World War Ray-Ban created their second most iconic set of sunglasses, ‘The Wayfarer’.
• ‘The Ray-Ban Aviator’, their first style, initially went on sale to the public in 1937.
• The sixties saw major growth with Ray-Ban, expanding from 30 styles to 50 by 1969 for men, women and children.