Ray-Ban store

Store Ray-Ban

A brand best known for its iconic Aviator and Wayfarer styles of sunglasses

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Review of Ray-Ban

Product range. Sunglasses, optics, and lenses for men and women. Ray-Ban makes sunglasses that come in all kinds of frames from monochrome to multicolour; from square to round to elongated; from thin to bold thick. All items respect the time-honoured styles devoid of pradaesque fancies.

A salient feature of the sunglasses by Ray-Ban is that they all have up to 100% UV protection. Ray-Ban shades transmit from 8 to 80% of visible light and protect your eyes from UVA (long-wave) and UVB (shortwave) rays. Some of the styles feature polarized lenses. Ray-Ban shades are available in an impressive range of colours: from brown to black to gradient blue to crimson to yellow.

Originality. The brand has earned the reputation of a pioneer of fashion eyewear that is responsible for Aviators and Wayfares, the two styles of sunglasses that are arguably the most well-known on the planet. Aviators came to prominence in 1944 after the world saw the pictures of Gen. Douglas MacArthur wearing his Ray-Bans during the World War II when the general and his army landed in Philippines. In the late twentieth century, the iconic status of Aviators was confirmed by Hollywood movie stars as well as Paul McCartney, Freddie Mercury and a number of other entertainers of their caliber.

Wayfarers saw their heyday in the 1950s and 1960s. After the catastrophic drop in sales that followed in the next decade, Ray-Ban regained popularity only in the 1980s when the company signed a deal with Unique Product Placement, California. In 1982-1987, the latter was instrumental in getting sunglasses by Ray-Ban into over 60 movies and TV shows, which makes it one of the most successful examples of product placement as an effective marketing strategy. Ray-Ban received a new wave of hype in the 2000s, when their sunglasses became a hipster favourite. Even though the reign of hipsters has long been over, these two styles and their numerous counterfeits remain best-sellers.

How to tell if your Ray-Ban is real or fake. Just like any other iconic fashion item, Ray-Ban sunglasses are copied by all counterfeiters worth their name. However, there're several easy ways to spot the authentic Ray-Bans. The upper part of the right lens features the bright Ray-Ban engraving and 'RB' etched onto the other lens. The inside of the left temple arm easily reads the model number, colour code, the lens and bridge width followed by lens category and 'P' (polarized) or 'N' (non-polarized) markings. Inside of the right temple arm you should see 'Made in Italy' (or, occasionally, ‘Ray-Ban Handmade in Italy’) and 'CE' marking (Conformité Européene, which means the item conforms to European Standards). The original double bridge Ray-Bans have 'Ray-Ban®' and the model size etched on the inside of the bridge.

Pricing. Ray-Ban shades, on average, wear £130 price tags.

Corporate history highlights. The Ray-Ban brand of eyewear was established in 1937 by Bausch+Lomb, an American company that alongside eyeglasses manufactures a range of goods from high-precision lenses to eye-care products to surgical implants. The company gained word-wide reputation for its 'Aviators' sunglasses that were initially designed for the use by pilots. Ray-Ban shades protected military fighters from high altitude glare and provided them with high definition details. The sunglasses were later remodeled to cater to the needs of the general public. The postwar economic boom sparked the vibrant interest in fashion, which was anything but lost on the company. In 1999, when the Bausch+Lomb were in a shambles, the company sold its eyewear business (Ray-Ban included) to the Italian giant Luxottica Group S.p.A. for a mere $640 million.


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