The first pair of sunglasses I bought were aviator style. So was the second. Apparently, it’s a common shopping habit, and the folks at Ray-Ban hear about it all the time. “We researched with our customers to see what is the second pair of sunglasses people buy after an Aviator, and 90% of buyers buy another Aviator”, confirms Lucia Morini, strategic product manager at Ray-Ban . “It’s the shape that customers are most loyal to in our entire collection.”
Now 80 years old, Ray-Ban’s first signature frame is more popular than ever, selling hundreds of thousands of pairs worldwide each year. Despite some tweaks and tucks, the design is, for the most part, the same today as it was in 1937. But you can think of many people who have done it their own way – perhaps Gloria Steinem , walking in a thick, Seventies-tinged incarnation, or Elvis on stage in pure silver rims, or Robert De Niro going wild in cabana-style bobbed in Taxi Driver.
Originally, however, the Aviator was a product for function, not fashion. As new developments in aviation allowed people to fly higher and farther, military pilots were asking for something more modern than fur-lined goggles to help them beat sun headaches without obstructing their vision. . Bausch & Lomb developed sleek, modern glasses that eliminated glare and called them “Ray Ban” when they began selling them to the public a few years later.