Aviator Sunglasses are a timeless piece of fashion, the universal appeal is down to a number of features, particularly their wearability, the fact that they suit both men and women and their connection with the rich and famous.
The first Aviator sunglasses were known as “pilot glasses” developed by the company Bausch and Lomb for use by pilots in 1936. Their large lenses were created to keep the sun out of the pilot’s eyes when he was flying and enabled him to move his head in any angle without fear of the sun getting under the sunglasses and dazzling him. The original styles only allowed 20% of light to reach the pilot’s eyes and had hooks on the legs to attach the sunglasses onto his ears to stop them from falling off.
The first iconic Aviator wearer was the charismatic General Douglas MacArthur, who was famously photographed wearing them on a beach in the Philippines while he commanded the US Army during World War II. As the photos continued to be published in the press, the craze for Aviator sunglasses increased. Their appeal continued to grow during the 60s and 70s but it was the dawning of the 80s that saw a real boom in Aviator wearing. The film Top Gun was responsible for getting the Aviators back on the big screen. Both men and women swooned at the images of Tom Cruise and his pilot comrades sporting leather flying jackets and the all-important Ray-Ban Aviators.
Aviators tend to look good on everyone and add glamour appeal that can’t be denied. They have became an essential item for many rock and film stars, having been worn by Sarah Jessica Parker in the Sex and the City films, Julia Roberts in Eat, Love, Pray and Carrie Ann Moss in The Matrix. Musicians such as Jon Bon Jovi and Michael Jackson and actors such as Jonny Depp and Brad Pitt have all famously sported the design.
This timeless design has been recreated in many different forms. We now have oversized aviators, many different colours and on-trend shapes to help you create your own style.