Wayfarers

We here at Clothes Worn In The 80’s can’t seem to get enough of all the crazy sunglass styles that people were sporting in the 1980’s. Recently we did a post about the Ray-Ban Aviators, which became popular yet again in the last couple of years. I guess we have no choice now but to also write about the other Ray-Ban model that became a staple of the 80’s pop culture. No I am not talking about the very stylish Ray-Ban Tinted Monocle R220 that reached the peak of its popularity in the 1880’s. I am of course talking about the Ray-Ban Wayfarer.

In 1952, Raymond Stegeman designed a pair of sunglasses that were unlike anything that people have ever seen. Instead of making the frames out of metal, he went all crazy hippie
on them and used plastic. The sunglass community (lets just assume there is one) was outraged. A day would not pass by without an angry optometrist throwing some kind of a fruit at poor Stegeman. Maybe none of this ever happened but it would be much more entertaining if it did.

The Wayfarers were very popular in the 50’s and early 60’s but by the time the 80’s came around, Ray-Ban was considering discontinuing the once popular design. In their last attempt to save the Wayfarers, Ray-Ban signed a movie product placement deal in 1982 and the rest is history. The Wayfarers were featured in Risky Business, Miami Vice and The Breakfast Club. Celebrities like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Debbie Harry, Corey Feldman and Jack Nicholson soon started wearing them around town. The world then decided if it is good enough for Corey Feldman, it is good enough for me.

After a 20 year break, the Wayfarers are once again one of the most popular designs. I hope we all can take away some truly important messages from the story of the Wayfarer. I know I have. Never throw fruit at a designer and even Corey Feldman was a trend setter once upon a time, so there is hope for us all.


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