Thought of as cool, sophisticated and dare I say it mysterious; the branded Bausch and Lomb designed Wayfarer sunglasses have been a little slice of the American dream for many individuals worldwide hankering after the jet-set lifestyle since 1952. No 1950’s monochrome news image was complete without a smattering of the great and the good leaving jet aircraft and facing the glare of the flashbulbs without the classic eyesight protection and it’s a tradition that continues to the present.
Although these days we take for granted the Wayfarer, a style that launched a thousand imitations let’s remember that the path to accessory fame had been as precarious for the brand as for the celebrities that confidently wear them.
It’s been a symbiotic relationship of love-hate with a fickle move during the 1960s of the great and the good to favouring the aviator style that for a brief reign as the king left the classic shades playing the role of the court jester.
At one point the style suffered a significant fall in sales that could have been the portent of extinction, but thanks to the growth of interest and exposure in the “older” style via producers and stars of 1980’s American television shows and movies wanting their product to look “different”; sales of the Wayfarer started to creep up once more giving the now thought of classic design its second wind and usurping all other pretenders. So cherished did the brand become in its reincarnation Italian company Luxottica purchased it in 1999 and the rest is history!
Low profile or high here are some alternatives to help keep you incognito and more importantly UV protected;
Spitfire Square Sunglasses
With a passing nod to the Ray-Ban these alternative X-Ray (clear) framed specs are a good alternative in both colour (Brown) and design, having facia flourishes that make them stand out for the budget-conscious.
Topman Black Round Rubberised Sunglasses
Rubberised coated plastic/acrylic frames cheap enough so as not to worry about losing them on holiday or at the mall (If you dare attend such places these days!) The disposable style for the young or young at heart.
Oliver Peoples L.A. Coen Cocobolo
Possibly the Gloria Swanson of shades with their Hollywood crafted credentials and classy cocobolo finish. Ideal for wafting in and out of premiers and then hitting the beach.
Jeepers Peepers Square Sunglasses
Classy wayfarer clone with added pizazz. These shades clear the way for you or a friend to vogue like a true Hasselhoff!