The Wayfarer

It is not hard to discern an era by a film, its starring actor and their iconic style preferences; Tom Cruise with his Ray-Bans and combat boots in ‘Top Gun’, Will Smith, his co-star and their black suits in ‘Men in Black’, or Alicia Silverstone’s emblematic yellow plaid suits as Cher Horowitz in a contemporary adaptation of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ in ‘Clueless’. Films have been defining eras and epochs and setting societal standards and stereotypes since the beginning of its time; a notably popular example that took the world by storm would be when James Dean set upon his chiselled face the Ray-Ban Wayfarers as he established his non-conforming ways in ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ or perhaps when Aubrey Hepburn left a crowd in awe the Wayfarers framed her delicate physiognomy in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Ray-Ban Wayfarers rose to popularity due its appearance in big feature films, on the faces of notable actors; with its humble design and suave class, the Wayfarers are arguably the most sought after design appearing in quite a few classic films. Evidently, cinema has been a significant influence on the world and its society, in navigating the waters of popular culture and fashion trends, setting standards and creating stereotypes – and so the prominence of the Wayfarers is preluded and does not cease to influence as classic films continue to be celebrated and the more notable trends tend to linger.

The story of the Ray-Ban Wayfarer begins in such state, garnering much attention after its appearance in Nicholas Ray’s ‘Rebel without a Cause’ complementing the physiognomy of renowned actor James Dean. Founded in 1937, the American company Bausch + Lomb, Ray-Ban first began its journey by designing sunglasses for the US Army, from its Aviators for pilots before it gained fame through its feature on popular film franchise, ‘Top Gun’. The company soon then moved on to designing sunglasses for the general public and stayed true to its authenticity in style and were easily recognizable for its classic design and familiar shape and branding. 

The Wayfarer came about in the early 1950s when designer, Raymond Stegman envisioned mounting the lenses in rounded plastic frames that flare at the top outside edges. The idea gained traction when charismatic James Dean took on the character who rejected cultural conformity in the 1950s and redefined teen angst for the future generation and all those to come. Shortly after ‘Rebel without a Cause’ arrived in theatres, there ensued a rise in fame for the Wayfarers and soon replications and imitations would be seen. Yet, none could surpass the distinct style and design, simplicity and suave characteristics of the Wayfarers. The style they inspired would forever then be personified as one of fame and influence as countless influencers, actors and actresses, prominent figures in the industry donned the iconic Wayfarers. 

Presently one of the most popular sunglass models in the world, the Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses were designed by one of Ray-Ban designer, Raymond Stegman. A timelessly, classic model that is a culmination of style, finesse and function, melding fluently style and functionality. Outlined in a prominent square form in nylon, with a classic black or tortoise frames, with the edge sticking out, the sunglass is a lens to the world of varied and diverse perspectives, observed through an array of tasteful colours from a classic green, violet or brown to a blue/green or blue/grey or brown gradient as well as blue washed, providing the greatest visual clarity and promises protection from the sun and its ultraviolet rays. Its Digital Surface Technology is engineered to enhance the visuals that you see, crystal clear and an extra wide field of vision. Engraved with Ray-Ban’s branded signature, the Wayfarer is a result of more than seventy years of innovation that eliminates glare, increases visual clarity, enhances contrast and reduces eye strain. 

The Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses are best known for their eminent style and iconic design. Tom Cruise would adorn them in ‘Risky Business’, Anthony Michael Hall in ‘The Breakfast Club’, and John Belushi and Dan Akyroyd in the ‘The Blues Brothers’. Don Henley’s hit single ‘Boys of Summer’ included the name Wayfarers and increased even further the notoriety of the sunglasses. Michael Jackson made the Wayfarers part of his signature look for his global tour, ‘Bad’. The Wayfarers surged in fame, its effortlessly cool stature becoming recognized more and more. 

The relationship between film and fashion are almost symbiotic in their ability to influence and impact one another. The concept of the Ray-Ban Wayfarers and its capacity to be exceed in both style and functionality allow it a significant place in society. The noteworthy sunglasses featured in iconic films and recognized in popular culture are innovative for their distinct design, of plastic frame and unique shape, simple yet naturally fashionable and sophisticated. The Ray-Ban Wayfarers were named ‘one of the most instantly recognizable fashion accessories’ in the 1960s and does not cease to exist as so. Donned by iconic figures in the industry from Tom Cruise and James Dean to The Beatles and Bob Dylan, the Wayfarers will continue to thrive in its fashion mission. 

Vision care is the sole agent for Ray-ban in Sri Lanka, for your own pair, visit their flagship store at 505, Union Place, Colombo 2 | www.visioncare.lk | 011 2688 818 


26th May, 2021 Applied Art | Furnishing & Accessories