The re-launch of the infamous Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses last spring caused quite the frenzy in Tinseltown – with everyone who was anyone, donning a pair. And the trend is still going strong for summer.
The style which was first popularized by the incomparably elegant Audrey Hepburn in the 50’s and then again in the 80’s, which saw Ray-Ban’s profit margins sky-rocket thanks to Tom Cruise’s Risky Business.
Fast forward more than 20 odd years and Ray-ban Wayfarers have still got it going on and this time around Hollywood starlets including Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie and Mischa Barton had a lot to do with bringing the trend to a much wider, perhaps younger demographic. We mustn’t forget the London Ladies Ala Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Juliette Lewis and Kiera Knightley who were the subtle pioneers of the revival.
It’s no mystery why the wayfarer keeps coming back on track wit mini-moguls Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen making it look more than covetable with their cross between artsy Parisian and funky L.A style. On a daily basis the twins kept to the Original Large Ray-Ban Wayfarer ORIG.RB 2140frame of Tortoise Shell and Black.
The popularity saw Ray-Ban introduce the classic cut in unique hues ranging from dark blue, pink, red, blue marine, military green, brown and orange. Paris Hilton tried to rock the daring white and red, but that best be left to the Chloe Sevigny & Ashley Olsen’s of the world-minus the trucker cap.
Ashlee Simpson is one celebrity who whole heartily embraced, loved and made love to her Ray-Bans. Here she is in yet another pair of Ray-Bans. Ashlee wears Ray-Ban Wayfarer II RB 2143, with red bridge and black frame which is the updated two-toned frame.
The Oakley brand quickly stepped up its game when it saw Wayfarers rear their iconic eyes, by re-launched their 1st generation Oakley FrogskinWayfarers. The vintage Wayfarers have seen the likes of hottie Elisha Cuthbert and Hayden Paniettiere standout summer long in their mirrored lenses. The style which was first introduced for men has seen women swoon and Ebayers in a frenzy to get their final bids in on these limited edition sunglasses.
With anything good, imitations are bound to follow, thus Ksubi introduced the
Tsubi Milka Wayfarer to their collection. This has been a popular pair in Australian editorials for alternative fashion magazines and made a fan of Lindsay Lohan. But this fantastic pair have not received the recognition they deserve and failed to prove as popular as the hardcore Tsubi Grille design.
Chloe’s small but wonderful sunglasses collection brought out a few wayfarer styles. Including Chloe CL 2144which has been seen on Mandy Moore of late and is top Australian model Catherine McNeil’s favourite pair of sunglasses.
Kate Bosworth and Rihanna have also tapped into the wayfarer look by sporting the Chloe Eyewear. Rihanna wears the unique Chloe CL 2124wayfarer with slit style arms.
Even Chanelhave moved away from their timeless styles to introduce a vintage collection which include fantastically quirky sunglasses including bright eyed green wayfarers as seen on Rachel Bilson.
If you love the newly introduced vintage wayfarer by Chanel as seen on Beyonce, but isn’t in your eyewear-budget price range, the Ray-Ban Wayfarer II RB 2143offers a pair in black with gold top bar and arms which were introduced first and look practically the same at only $150.
Lanvin has come into the mix with the Lanvin Key West sunglasses. After being seen on Ashley Olsen, these sunglasses sold out in an instant online at ShopBop and according to sunglasses guru Flashy Shades, the style has already sold out in Barneys.
According to WhoWhatWearDaily, brightly colored frames are the way to go this summer, and thanks to the likes of Luella, Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel and Ray Ban the wayfarer is the pair to do it in. Always trendy Sienna Miller, has been seen in a beautiful turquoise wayfarer by the brand Super. This colour is perfect to set off a summer tan.
Uffie and Klaxon’s guitarist Simon Taylor are also huge fans of the Italian made Super brand.
A very underrated brand in western countries is Persol. They make some very nice Italian sunglasses with high quality materials which have a legion of European followers including the Milan and Paris Fashion set.
Lauren Conrad also donned a pair on her reality tv show. She wore their large wayfarer model, Persol 2849which comes in two sizes. Christina Ricci has been seen in the smaller pair.
Hollywood have followed suit with Mary-Kate Olsen, Orlando Bloom, Ashley Olsen, Matt Damon, Sharon Stone, Hugh Laurie and Elle McPherson becoming fans.
Ray-Ban’s Clubmaster RB 3016sunglasses, which are a metal take on the classic wayfarer have been so popular that they were used to style all the models at this season’s Ellery Fashion Show in Australia. From the Jonas Brothers to the stylish Jasmine Sewell, these gold detailed wayfarers are set to be the next biggest Ray-Ban seller.
Many are still in love with they Wayfarer style sunglasses and are not willing to let them go anytime soon, thus the new styles, sizes and shapes that have been interpreted by many designers has brought a breathe of fresh air to the style which many can delve straight into.
All in all, imitations, knock-off and inspired styles may come and go, but at the end of the day, nothing beats the original cut. That’s why the Paris and Milan Fashion set, including top models Jessica Stam and Natasha Poly alongside Fashion DirectorEmmanuelle Alt have stuck to the tried and trusted classic blackRay Ban Wayfarer Orig.RB 2140sunglasses and a stylish move at that.