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Future Style: How Oakley is Bringing Sunglasses Into the Future

Since time immemorial, humans have been enraptured by all things futuristic. Constant innovations feed this fascination. Recently, a Valencia-based designer came up with a futuristic vehicle concept called the Honda Baiku, a one-wheeled electric motorcycle that uses gyroscope and accelerometer sensors to balance itself. Designed with sleek lines and touchscreens, it’s the epitome of futurism in design.

The same thirst for novelty is also evident in the fashion world. In an era where the line between fashion and technology is often blurred, Oakley is setting the stage for a groundbreaking renaissance in eyewear. This iconic brand, renowned for its fusion of innovation and style, is once again pushing the boundaries of eyewear design. Let’s take a look at how Oakley has propelled sunglasses into the future, where form meets function in unexpected ways.

Oakley’s humble beginnings

Before Oakley became a billion-dollar company known for its futuristic take on performance eyewear, its founder Jim Jannard used to hawk motorcycle gear from the boot of his car at motocross events around Southern California. But even then, Jannard was already an innovator, and he soon came up with products of his own.

In 1983, he made the first prototype of the now-prolific style of wraparound sunglasses using goggle lenses and coat hangers. After being worn by pro cyclist Greg LeMond at the 1985 Tour de France, the Eyeshade and Oakley were catapulted to fame.

The mind behind Oakley’s most iconic designs

Peter Yee formally joined Oakley as a designer after creating the company’s logo in 1993 and he’s had a hand in crafting more than 100 products for the brand. But perhaps the most representative of Oakley and Yee’s relationship is the birth of the Eye Jacket, a hyper-modern piece of eyewear featuring a bold, oval silhouette and wraparound look that’s made to hug the wearer’s face.

It’s also the first pair of sunglasses that Yee digitally designed using Computer-Aided Design software, underscoring Oakley’s ability to stay ahead of the curve. The Eye Jacket is now in its second iteration, known as the Eye Jacket Redux, proving that the design withstands the test of time.

Cultivating a cult following

In the past, Oakley’s range of sunglasses made life-long fans out of athletes and legendary basketball stars like Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman. Nowadays, Oakley sunglasses are often seen being worn by celebrity trendsetters such as the Kardashian-Jenners, the Hadid sisters, and even the royal family’s own Princess Anne, transcending the sports world and firmly placing itself as a fashion industry staple.

Sleek, sporty eyewear was all the rage in 2022, with luxury fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga drawing obvious inspiration from Oakley’s signature aerodynamic-like curved designs. Not to be outdone, Oakley recently collaborated with streetwear brand Palace for a Summer 2023 capsule collection that introduced two new versions of the Re:SubZero frames. First brought to market in 1992, the new Re:SubZeroes were constructed with athletes in mind, and weigh only 24 grams for optimum everyday comfort.

As Oakley remains committed to blazing a trail and pioneering the next generation of eyewear, one thing is certain: the future looks undeniably bright through its lenses. With an unwavering commitment to both innovation and style, Oakley is poised to lead us into a new era of eyewear, where technology and fashion seamlessly harmonise. Oakley’s vision for the future is a captivating one, promising not just stylish shades, but also a renewed focus on practicality, functionality, and futuristic charm.



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