Ray-Ban is an Italian/American brand of premium sunglasses and eyeglasses created in 1936 by the American eye health product company Bausch + Lomb. The brand is known for its Wayfarer and Aviator lines of sunglasses. In 1999, Bausch & Lomb sold the brand to the Italian eyewear conglomerate, Luxottica Group, for a reported US$640 million.
Wayfarers were designed in 1952 by American optical designer Raymond Stegeman, who worked for Bausch + Lomb, Ray-Ban's parent company back then. The design was inspired by, "a mid-century classic to rival Eames chairs and Cadillac tail fins." According to design critic Stephen Bayley, the "distinctive trapezoidal frame spoke a non-verbal language that hinted at unstable dangerousness, but one nicely tempered by the sturdy arms which, according to the advertising, gave the frames a 'masculine look'." The sunglasses also featured a new acetate-moulding technology. One can even surmise that the Ray-Ban Wayfarers are like the Eames chairs of the glasses realm.
In 1929, US Army Air Corps Colonel John A. Macready worked with Bausch + Lomb, a New York-based medical equipment manufacturer, to create aviator sunglasses that would reduce the distraction and glare for pilots caused by the intense blue and white hues of the sky. Specifically, MacCready was concerned about how pilots' goggles would fog up, greatly reducing visibility at high altitudes. The prototype, created in 1936 and known as the "Anti-Glare", had plastic frames and green lenses that could cancel out the glare without compromising on vision. Impact-resistant lenses were then added and implemented as of 1938. The sunglasses were redesigned with a metal frame the following year and patented as the iconic Ray-Ban Aviator we know and love today. According to the BBC, the glasses used "Kalichrome lenses designed to sharpen details and minimise haze by filtering out blue light, making them ideal for misty and foggy conditions."