- Ray-Ban Aviator
Aviator sunglasses are a style of
sunglassesthat were developed by Ray-Banin 1937. They are characterized by dark, often reflective lenses having an area two or three times the area of the eye socket, and metal frames with wire temples which hook behind the ears. Contemporary models are often polarized.
They were given their name due to their oblique teardrop shape, which matched those of the smoked-lens flying goggles which Ray-Ban was then selling to the Army and Navy. One undesirable result of wearing these goggles was the mismatched tan (dark on the face, white around the eyes) which developed—the oversized aviator sunglasses would hide the white areas, while allowing a limited amount of sunlight through, thus allowing the skin to tan. Though the early goggles were replaced by 1941, the sunglasses had become popular, especially with Naval aviators. Army/Air Force aviators preferred the smaller, more-squarish American Optical straight-temple glasses, which can be put on and removed even while wearing a flying helmet. The design was also popular as the bar across the bridge of the nose allowed Army and Navy members to keep a cigarette on it.
Legend claims that the need arose for aviator-style sunglasses because military pilots found that
sunand glare protection would be helpful to aid them during day missions and dogfights.Fact|date=June 2007 However, pilots of the time did not wear sunglasses while flying.The popularity of the glasses sky-rocketed as many celebrities began wearing the style of sunglasses. The style was popular since the 1960s, but hit a peak largely in the 1980sfollowing pop culture references and use by celebrities in films like Top Gun, where Val Kilmerand Tom Cruisesported them. Other notable wearers include Slash, M. Shadows, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Madonna, Hunter S. Thompson, Irwin Sparkes, Lemmy Kilmister, Johnny Knoxville, Freddie Mercury, Roger Waters, Steven Tyler, Axl Roseand Kanye West.
The large lenses are not straight as in
eyeglassesbut bulge out slightly. The design attempts to cover the entire range of the eyeand prevent as much lightas possible from entering the eye socket from any angle. While still popular with military and civilian aviatorsalike, the sunglasses work quite well (and were seen as fashionable in the 70s and 80s) and have been taken up by the non-flying civilian population. Law enforcement officers have also taken a liking to the glasses for many reasons,Fact|date=June 2007 including their excellent cancellation of glare and prevention of eye contact. The design was originally intended for shooting. [ [http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=D292984.PN.&OS=PN/D292984&RS=PN/D292984 U.S. patent no.D292984] ]
The Aviator became a well-known style of sunglasses when
General Douglas MacArthurlanded on the beach in the Philippinesin World War II. Photographers snapped several pictures of him wearing them for newspapers, and Americans instantly fell in love with them [ [http://dellamoda.it/fashion_dictionary/r/rayban.php Fashion Dictionary Ray-Ban] ] .
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