With its unique anti-glare technology, vintage Ray-Ban Aviators quickly gained traction, and by the 40s, it had become a look that was both stylish and practical.
Ray-Ban vintage sunglasses in the 1950s & 60s
Not content to be a one-hit-wonder, the company introduced the Wayfarer style in 1952. A stark departure from the metallic and sleek Aviator, the Wayfarer, with its distinctive trapezoidal frame, set a new benchmark for casual style — one that would remain a favorite for decades.
1965 saw the introduction of the Olympian, designed for “active lifestyles,” and often seen gracing the faces of film characters, most notably in the “Easy Rider” film. (See dozens more styles that were sold this year in the image collections below.)
The Ray-Ban vintage glasses of the 1980s
But it was the vintage Wayfarer sunglasses that reached their peak by the 1980s, propelled by popular movies like “The Blues Brothers” and “Risky Business,” where it was prominently featured. The 1984 song “Boys of Summer” by Don Henley, a member of the Eagles, features the line “You got that hair slicked back and those Wayfarers on, baby.”
This nod to the iconic sunglasses in such a popular tune further cemented the Wayfarer’s cultural relevance during the 80s. The song, with its evocative lyrics and catchy rhythm, became a hit, and the Wayfarer mention is just one example of Ray-Ban’s influence during this era — those styles were not only part of physical wardrobes, but part of the look of dozens of musicians and other stars.
In the late 1980s, as a nod to vintage style, Ray-Ban brought the Clubmaster to light. Resembling the browline glasses popular in the 50s, it appealed to those with a taste for retro fashion.
Fast forward to the 21st century, the brand continues to innovate while staying true to its classic designs. The Erika, introduced in the 2010s, offers a more modern take on eyewear, with its oversized round frames and keyhole bridge.
Retro Ray-Bans: Pop culture spotlights
Ray-Ban’s journey is marked by significant moments, but, in addition to those mentioned above, two more stand out. In 1961, Audrey Hepburn sported Wayfarers in the classic movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Iconic, right? Then in the 1980s (and beyond), Michael Jackson famously wore Aviators, boosting their popularity and cementing their iconic status.
Below, tour our vast collection of vintage Ray-Ban sunglasses, sorted by date, so you can see how this brand has been shading our eyes with style for nearly a century. The history of Ray-Ban is more than just an eyewear chronicle — it’s a peek into the evolving world of fashion.
Vintage Ray-Ban metal sun goggles from 1942
Retro 50s vintage B&L Ray-Ban sunglasses (1951)
From Bausch & Lomb, makers of fine optical goods… NEW IDEA IN SUN GLASSES! New Ray-Ban Sun Glasses with “Gradient Density” provide scientific extra protection where glare is greatest.
ANY SUN GLASSES…even smoked glass…give some glare protection. For those who want the best, one sun glass gives full protection, and combines it with gold filled or zylonite frames, with lens quality as optically Perfect as prescription glasses. Ray-Ban Gradient Density sun glass lenses are metal coated by a new method developed by Bausch & Lomb.
The dark coated areas screen out “eye-wreckers”…the fierce stab of overhead sunshine, the cruel reflected glare from a shiny surface such as water or sand. The center of the lens filters out glare, but admits useful light. You see in the sharpest detail, even to color!
Retro Ray-Bans sunglasses (1952)
Look what Bausch & Lomb has done to sunglasses!
TO STOP HARSH GLARE, Baush & Lomb invented Ray-Ban Sun Glasses with “Gradient Density”, a metallic coating, denser at top of the lens (or top and bottom).
DARK GRADUATED AREA screens out fierce, overhead sunshine, minimized reflected glare from water, sand or highway.
CENTER OF LENS filters out glare but admits useful light. You see natural colors in sharpest detail!
RAY-BANS in sturdy gold filled or smart zylonite frames for men and women cost less than a good hat!
ALL RAY-BAN SUNGLASSES are made of the finest optical glass, ground and polished to highest precision standards.
Vintage Ray-Ban sunglasses (1955)
New Ray-Ban G-15 sunglasses kill highway sun glare admitting only the light necessary for comfortable true-color vision.
Retro 60s Ray-Bans sunglasses (1960)
How to enjoy the sun in style!
It’s no accident that the finest quality sun glasses are also the best looking. Here’s why you should never settle for leas than Ray-Ban Sun Glasses made by Bausch & Lomb:
Ray-Ban lenses give you complete eye comfort in dazzling sunlight. Precision ground-and-polished-to-curve, they are made from the same glass as Ray-Ban prescription lenses. Choose from Neutral Gray G-15, Green or Gradient Density lens types.
Frame Quality. Distinctive 1/10 12K gold-filled metal frames last a lifetime. Plastic frames, made from finest seasoned plastic, have wire core temples to assure proper fit, maintain adjustment.
Fashion Styling. 21 frame styles and 51 attractive colors make Ray-Ban the most exciting sun glasses to be found anywhere. Try on a pair soon. You’ll find a style exactly to your liking.
Driving. Summer or winter, the brutal glare of sunlight on a driver’s eyes is exhausting. We recommend Ray-Ban G-15 Sun Glasses for safe driving. They filter out harsh glare, let you see everything in natural colors.
Outdoor Sports. Wherever you’re exposed to dazzling sunshine — at the beach, fishing, shooting, boating, watching outdoor sports, flying — Ray-Ban Sun Glasses increase your enjoyment, keep your eyes relaxed and cool.
Retro Ray-Bans (1961)
The world’s finest sunglasses are also the best looking!
Why should you pay more for Ray-Ban Sun Glasses? The answer is that your eyes deserve the protection they get only from sun glasses made of genuine optical glass, ground-and-polished-to-curve. Especially when you drive… you’ll appreciate the way Ray-Ban lenses protect your eyes from dazzling sunlight, filter out the harmful rays as no ordinary sun glass can.
Safe drivers, like jet pilots, know the eye-saving, life-saving value of Ray-Ban Sun Glasses. Choose from Neutral Gray G-15, Ray-Ban Green or Gradient Density lenses, all three in your choice of over 70 frame styles and colors — superbly crafted to last a rugged lifetime. For full enjoyment under the sun get Ray-Ban…the most distinguished name in Sun Glasses. Look for the name on the frame.
COLUMN TWO: Smart girls let good looks go to their heads when they wear eye-flattering, eye-saving Ray-Ban Sun Glasses. Behind wheel or under ocean sun, you can’t be in better style. Ray-Ban Sun Glasses come in more than 70 styles and colors to suit your discriminating taste. And every pair you try on has optically-ground lenses made from the same glass as prescription lenses!
Compare them with “just any old sun glass”. You’ll see how Ray-Ban Glasses filter out the harsh glare that makes you squint, that causes fine wrinkles. And you’ll see why they’re the top choice in quality sun glasses for eye comfort and eye style. For every outdoor activity, select genuine Ray-Ban Sun Glasses — look for the name on the frame.
Retro Ray-Bans sunglasses (1962)
Why do so many professional men recommend Ray-Ban Sun Glasses?
Professional eye men, of all people, know that sun glasses should be something more than ordinary glass, set in attractive frames. That’s why so many fine optical offices recommend Ray-Ban Sun Glasses. They’re made from genuine optical glass, ground-and-polished-to-curve. They filter out the harmful rays of the sun, cut down glare without distorting your vision. In short, Ray-Ban Sun Glasses keep your eyes cool, calm and protected.
SUNGLASS STYLES FROM THE 1964-1965 RAY-BAN CATALOG
Dealer price list for Bausch & Lomb Ray Ban Sun Glasses: “There’s more to good sun glasses than meets the eye.”
Gracefully feminine, distinctively sophisticated. The frame wraps around for a truly different effect.
Ray-Ban vintage sunglasses: Signet
Premium quality, classic gold frame for men for the ultimate in style and comfort.
An attractive frame with a modern, impact-resistant, large lens shape for men or women.
Ray-Ban Pilot’s Glass
Metallic coated, untinted, toughened glass lenses provide necessary glare protection for pilot’s. The uncoated portion allows a clear view of the plane’s instrument panel.
Ray-Ban Shooting Glass
Specially designed glass for hunters and all types of shooters.
Ray-Lite Shaped Clip-On for Women
Beautiful, stylish, clip-on frames with a green lens for women.
A triumph in full wrap-around design. These glass lenses filter out heat-producing infra-red rays.
A candidly Hollywood styling, excitingly glamorous. Bold in white, but subtly mysterious in darker shades.
Crisp, clean-lined design with large lens area for maximum eye comfort under the sun.
A variation of the popular “oval” shape, with gentle upsweep at corners.
An exotically accented styling adds a flattering, and very fashionable touch to beauty-under-the-sun.
Petite and feminine interpretation of the wanted narrow, “rectangular” shape. Dainty and sophisticated.
Handsome frame style for the man who demands comfort as well as good looks.
A fashionable frame that can be worn at home, in the car, on the boat, at the beach or at a lawn party.
Ray-Ban Lisbon (K)
High-fashion version of the Lisbon giving an “exotic” look.
Ray-Ban Sun Glass
The famous, classic, all-purpose sun-glass.
A sportsman’s frame with with a plastic brow bar and flexible riding bow temples.
For wear over all types of prescription glasses.
Modern frame style with smart wrap-around temples.
A dramatically sheer creation so in keeping with today’s style trend. The clean top line is a most engaging accent.
Eye-flattering, modern design, perfect for dress or sport.
Ray-Ban Polyanna (K)
Beautiful hand-decorated model adds elegancy and luxury to Polyanna’s tasteful design.
Petite design provides maximum eye coverage.
The bold sweep of this design leaves no doubt of its thoroughly masculine quality.
Ray-Ban Sun Song
Slim, graceful, wrap-around with a quietly sophisticated effect.
Ray-Ban Sun Song (D)
Hand-decorated version of the Sun Song for a more “dressy” look.
Ray-Ban Sun Song (K)
A jeweled motif adds sparkle and distinction to enhance the sophisticated grace of the Sun Song.
Virile look for the modern male.
A frame of constant popularity, year after year.
Ray-Ban Olympian I
A most distinguished design of the full wrap-around style. Metal and plastic combined with creative artistry to achieve a new high of fashion.
Ray-Ban Olympian II
Retains the éclat of the Olympian I with medium-sized, 6 base curved lenses. Appealing to the good taste of men and women equally.
Ray-Ban Olympian III
Another fashion-setting version of the new Olympian design most suitable for smaller features of either men or women.
Vintage Ray-Ban sunglasses styles in 1964-1965
Retro Ray-Bans sunglasses (1965)
Are your eyes worth it? Obviously they are. That’s why Ray-Ban Sun Glasses are made to the most exacting scientific specifications.
Only genuine optical glass, precisely ground and polished the same as prescription lenses. This means you will get lenses that are perfectly matched for color and thickness. Your eyes are protected from imperfections and distortions that can cause fatigue in just a few hours. Ray-Ban Sun Glasses keep your eyes cool, calm and protected all day long out in the sun.
Vintage Ray-Ban sunglasses catalog page from 1965
Vintage Ray-Ban sunglasses (1968)
We also make Ray-Bans for girls who watch back. The see and be-seen glasses. With-it frames, made of sturdy stuff. Optical glass lenses that screen out glare and harmful rays. (Ogle all day, you won’t strain your eyes.)
All kinds of designs — bold, shy, classic, crazy, round, oval, square, oriental. Very female Ray-Bans. Very male Ray-Bans. By those experts in optics, Bausch & Lomb. Expensive yes. But aren’t your eyes worth it?
Retro Ray-Ban sunglasses (1968)
This is the year of see-through fashions. By Ray-Ban.
Ray-Ban sunglasses, the original see-throughs, take the glare out of looking. And lure long glances. Two dozen flattery, costume-conscious styles. Round, square, oval and wraparound, classic or kicky, fine plastic or metal frames. Superb eye-loving lenses.
Retro Ray-Ban sunglasses (1969)
Ray-Ban vintage sunglasses from 1974
Good sun glasses actually help your game. Any game.
Your ever-working eyes consume an amazingly big share of your total body energy. If you abuse them, they use up more than their share. So you’ll tire faster — at work or whatever game you play. One more reason for wearing good sunglasses.
Ray-Ban SunGlasses were developed for our army pilots at the request of our government. They are designed to provide the best possible protection from visible glare, ultraviolet and infrared rays. Ray-Ban lenses are distortion free and allow good color perception. All this saves your eyes from overwork and strain. So spend your sunshine hours in Ray-Bans. Save your energy for the game. Choose from a great collection including newly added Photochromic lenses and luxurious Optyl frames.
Vintage Ray-Ban sunglasses from 1978
Your eyes are exposed to more than one kind of sunlight, so you need more than one kind of sunglass.
Everyday your eyes are exposed to at least 2 of 6 very different kinds of light conditions. That’s why Ray-Ban Sunglasses, and only Ray-Ban Sun Glasses, come in a wide variety of precision ground optical lenses. So no matter what the light, you always get the precise protection from the glare you need, as well as from harmful and infrared rays.
Ray-Ban Sun Glasses are available in over 49 different frame styles: aviators, ovals, rounds, squares, metals, plastics; every shape and size under the sun. Ray-Ban by Bausch & Lomb.
Vintage Ray-Ban All Weather AmberMatics from 1978
New Ray-Ban All Weather AmberMatics. No other sun glass automatically does all this:
In overcast and haze they turn amber to sharpen contrast, details and depth perception.
In warm sun they turn brown to cut glare and absorb sunlight without distortion.
In freezing sun they turn silver grey for superior protection and sharpness in bright sunlight.
Ray-Ban AmberMatic Sun Glasses are a Bausch & Lomb exclusive. So you know they’ll give you real sun glass protection whenever you need it. They are precision ground and formulated to absorb harmful ultraviolet rays and reduce visible light for greater eye comfort.
And, of course, you always get the correct degree of darkness for both eye-protection and comfort…the comfort and eye-protection that only true Ray-Ban optical quality sun glasses can give. In 5 styles for men and women at leading department stores, eye care professionals and sporting goods stores. Very much a part of the growing fashion world at Bausch & Lomb.
Ray-Ban vintage glasses from 1978
Your eyes are exposed to more than one kind of sunlight, so you need more than one kind of sunglass. Every day your eyes are exposed to at least 2 of 6 very different kinds of light conditions. That’s why Ray-Ban Sun Glasses, and only Ray-Ban Sun Glasses, come in a wide variety of precision ground optical lenses. So no matter what the light, you always get the precise protection from glare you need, as well as from harmful ultraviolet and infrared rays.
We show you Ray-Bans black metal frame for men with glare-blocking, double gradient mirror lenses; and for women, from the Ray-Ban Cambrian Collection, Chatelaine model in fiesta amber plastic frame with protective G-15 lenses. Plus 6 more frames and lenses to look good in any kind of light.
They’re just a portion of Ray-Ban’s total collection of 49 different styles and lenses: aviators, ovals, rounds, squares: every shape and size under the sun. Ray-Ban by Bausch & Lomb.
Old Ray-Ban sunglasses from 1979
Ray-Ban Sun Glasses. They could improve your score instantly.
Ray-Ban Sun Glasses by Bausch & Lomb offer you maximum protection against brilliant, glaring sunlight, on and off the court. Unlike ordinary sunglasses, they are precision ground from the finest optical glass, so you always see clearly, without fatiguing distortion, no matter how brilliant the sunlight.
Ray-Ban Sun Glasses come in 10 different lenses, specifically made for different uses. And, you can choose from over 28 different frame styles. With Ray-Ban Sun Glasses you get more correct protection for more kinds of light than any other sunglasses in the world. Select the Ray-Ban Sun Glasses perfect for your needs, at fine department stores, sporting goods stores and professional eyecare centers.
Vintage Sport Ray-Bans sunglasses from 1979
Your ultimate ski trip includes Sport Ray-Ban, the world’s most sought-after ski sunglasses. Engineered with Bausch & Lomb quality for the best performance in sport. Available in fantastic color, style and lens combinations — including the all weather AmberMatic lens and the preeminent ski lens, AmberMatic Mirrors.
Vintage Ray-Ban sunglasses from 1979
“My uncompromising sunglasses.” Introducing Ray-Ban Naturals. All the fashion you want…All the protection you need.
Sunglasses should do as much for your eyes as they for your looks. Which is the whole idea behind new Ray-Ban® naturals by Bausch & Lomb. Ray-Ban Naturals filter out more of the sun’s rays than designer collections. They reduce glare from any surface, from any angle.
This protection lessens squinting. It helps keep your eyes from tiring. And it’s yours with all the fashion could ask for. Our frames are elegant. They fit comfortably and our lens styles are the last word in lenses.
Vintage Ray-Ban sunglasses from 1982
Ray-Ban Bans Rays. The ultraviolet rays of the sun can burn the surface of the eyes. But Ray-Ban Sunglasses ban over 98% of ultraviolet rays! That is because Ray-Ban is precision-crafted by the optical experts at Bausch & Lomb.
So you know the lenses, the frames, and the classic styling are the best you can buy. Since you only have one pair of eyes, why not try the world’s finest sunglasses.
Vintage Ray-Ban sunglasses from 1984
Ray-Ban CATS Sunglasses by Bausch & Lomb. Ray-Ban makes a superiority claim you can see right through. Here’s the hottest new Ray-Ban sunglass style…CATS for ski and surf. At first glance they don’t seem so different from the other West Coast favorites…but look again.
The chart shows, point for point, Ray-Ban CATS’ consistent superiority. That’s why these CATS received the endorsement of the National Ski Patrol and the United States Lifesaving Association. The best thing about Ray-Ban CATS is seeing right through them.
Vintage Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses from 1985
Classic 80’s Wayfarer Ray-Ban sunglasses in red, black and white.
Vintage Ray-Ban sunglasses from 1985
The word on the street is Street Neat. Now the fabulous Wayfarer is restyled just for the fashion of it. Take a pair to the streets.
Vintage Ray-Ban sunglasses (1986)
Shades of the classes. Ray-Ban Leathers by Bausch & Lomb.
Retro Ray-Ban sunglasses (1987)
Color your summer beautiful with Ray-Ban Flying Colors Collection by Bausch & Lomb. If your future’s looking so bright you’ve gotta wear shades, make sure they’re the right shades. From Ray-Ban, of course. Take on the world — you’re sure to pass the test with Flying Colors, the new collection of fashion frames from the Ray-Ban set.
Bausch & Lomb has artfully applied ten tempting colors to classic large metal sunglasses to create the stylish new Flying Colors Collection. Vivid designer colors highlight eyewires and paddle tips for spectacular effects — plus 23K gold finish.
They come in the hottest colors under the sun: green, peach, yellow, red, raspberry, violet, lilac, blue, white and ebony. Get colorful looks with Ray-Ban quality. Ray-Ban lenses pro-vide superior protection by eliminating visible glare and blocking 100% of the sun’s burning ultraviolet rays.
For durability and long wearing comfort — go ahead — put them on. You’ll understand the mystique behind Ray-Ban sunglasses that has made them a favorite for 50 years; and enhances their value far beyond their obvious quality. Venture out in Ray-Ban Flying Colors by Bausch & Lomb. The right shades for fashion-forward women — like you.
Retro 90s Ray-Bans Wayfarer sunglasses (1990)
90s Ray-Ban sunglasses (1991)
See and be seen. The 90s are being heralded as the decade where substance meets style. It’s a far cry from the frivolous fashion of the eighties and the too-serious suits of the seventies. Today, looking good isn’t enough, everything — including fashion has to be grounded in function, offering real benefit and value.
In accessories, eyewear has emerged as the essential extra and Ray-Ban sunglasses as the leader in the category, have a new style destined to become a classic.
The Wayfarer Nomad sunglass is streamlined with a modern frame that flares down from the front and sweeps out at the temples — a great new look. And besides giving the wearers wardrobe added dash, they block out visible glare and provide 100% protection from the harm of ultraviolet rays.
90s Ray-Bans Wayfarer sunglasses (1991)
Sexy black sunglasses for women.
Old Ray-Ban sunglasses (1998)
Scratch resistant. Ray-Ban authentic glass lenses are subjected to rigorous tests that ensure superior scratch resistance. Perfect if you are vulnerable to scratches. Available on multiple styles including Undercurrent W2832 and Highstreet W2841.