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Designing for the Classics: Why Ray-Ban Stands the Test of Time

In the fast-paced world of fashion and eyewear, few brands have achieved the iconic status of eyewear giant Ray-Ban. For over 86 years, Ray-Ban has been synonymous with iconic style and innovation, with classic designs that have stood the test of time.

In an interview for the brand’s latest campaign, ‘Genuine Since,’ Vice President of Marketing North America Daniel Alder explains that Ray-Ban has remained a trailblazing staple for consumers by providing “protection, comfort, craftsmanship, innovation and an image of effortless style.” Here, the brand’s values of timelessness, courage, and authenticity have played a key role in its continued success. Below, we take a closer look at how Ray-Ban has evolved while still honoring its classic styles and designs.

Mesh of tradition and technology

In 1936, Ray-Ban introduced the iconic metal-framed Aviator sunglasses, which were initially designed to protect the eyes of U.S. Air Force pilots; this commitment to functionality laid the foundation for Ray-Ban’s legacy of innovation.

Fast forward to the present day, and Ray-Ban continues to push boundaries with its foray into smart eyewear. The introduction of Ray-Ban Stories in 2021 showcases the brand’s ability to meld tradition with technology seamlessly. These smart glasses allow users to capture photos and videos, listen to music, and make calls, all while embodying the classic Ray-Ban designs. It’s a testament to the brand’s adaptability, proving that even with technological advancements, Ray-Ban remains committed to its roots.

Ray-Ban’s innovation hasn’t stopped there. In 2023, the brand released the Meta smart glasses as a successor to Ray-Ban Stories, boasting an advanced conversational assistant, Meta AI, alongside two new 12MP cameras and custom-designed speakers. This balance between innovation and tradition ensures that Ray-Ban eyewear remains relevant and sought after by consumers worldwide.

Timeless style and accessible designs

The brand’s enduring appeal lies in its ability to offer a variety of designs that cater to diverse tastes. Ray-Ban’s range of sunglasses is available around the world, with international retailer OPSM carrying the iconic frames in Australia and New Zealand, as well as other retailers offering Ray-Ban products in different regions. This global reach underscores the brand’s keen understanding of the market’s interest.

Design-wise, Ray-Ban has always pushed the envelope. The browline style of Clubmaster and circular frames of Round defied early conventions of how sunglasses are supposed to look and formed Ray-Ban’s reputation as a trendsetter of timeless fashion statements.

In fact, the best-selling Wayfarer was originally launched in 1952 to improve on the lenses’ anti-glare technology, and this simultaneously established Ray-Ban as one of the earliest companies to start using molded plastic for frames. Today, Ray-Ban’s dedication to craftsmanship enabled the company to update the Wayfarer and Clubmaster frames to keep up with the ‘Mega’ oversized trend in 2023. Its seamless commitment to rethink, recreate, and revitalize its most enduring products highlights the brand’s dedication to unparalleled craftsmanship, distinguishing it prominently from competitors.

Range of collaborations

Ray-Ban’s collaborations with renowned designers and personalities have further solidified its position as a global fashion icon. The brand has ventured into partnerships with automotive giants like Ferrari and Scuderia, resulting in limited-edition collections that fuse innovation, style, and exclusivity. These collaborations extend beyond traditional fashion boundaries, capturing the essence of speed, luxury, and cutting-edge design.

Additionally, Ray-Ban has recognized the power of collaborating with local stars to boost its influence worldwide. A 2021 collaboration with British actress Anya Chalotra for the cover of Hunger Magazine, shot using Ray-Ban Stories, exemplifies the brand’s commitment to collaborating with individual stars. This strategy not only broadens Ray-Ban’s appeal but also allows the brand to connect with a diverse audience through the lens of local and global influencers.

The brand’s ability to seamlessly integrate classic designs with modern technology, offer a diverse range of styles, and collaborate with global and local influencers ensures that Ray-Ban eyewear stays relevant in a changing market. As we look to the future, Ray-Ban’s commitment to evolving while staying true to its roots will undoubtedly continue to shape the landscape of eyewear fashion.



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