Wayfarer style sunglasses were invented in the late 1950’s by Ray-Ban after plastic molding technology offered a new opportunity to create revolutionary plastic sunglasses. After seeing years of success with the Aviator lens-style, Ray-Ban once again introduced the plastic wayfarer. Wayfarers took inspiration from popular automobile and fashion styling of the 1950’s, and created featuring a curvy, funky frame that was inexpensive to manufacture, and easy to wear.
Modern Wayfarer Sunglasses
Different from the Aviators in their thick plastic rims, the Ray Ban Wayfarers had a more casual, carefree feel to them that has been iconic throughout several eras ever since their initial introduction in 1952. Many people will jump to call any plastic-framed sunglasses wayfarers, but true wayfarers have thick rims, rounded-square lenses, and thick, sweeping earpiece. While many designer brands now manufacture wayfarer style sunglasses, Ray-Ban remains the most popular brand for this frame style.
Wayfarers like aviators have been adorned by celebrities and artists alike, although they typically have a more rebellious feel to them than aviators do. Famous stars who’ve worn wayfarers include Tom Cruise, Michael Jackson, Jack Nicholson, Katy Perry, The Blues Brothers, Bob Dylan, and hundreds of others throughout the decades.
Similar to Aviator styling, wayfarers have never truly gone out of fashion, and represent a classic look that is right for all types of occasions. Wayfarers are made for both men and women, and typically are less expensive than most metal-framed sunglasses due to a more affordable manufacturing process. One way many designers have kept wayfarers fresh and modern without entirely re-inventing the retro design is to introduce different color frames, such as neon, gradient, or solid white instead of the traditional solid black most people associate wayfarer style shades with.