Fourth of July Weekend | Classic American Brands

Our Trans-Atlantic neighbors are celebrating the 4th of July this weekend and to honour their Independence Day we’ve put together a handy guide on the greatest All-American classic frames and US brands around!

America, we salute you!

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Ray Ban

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Ray Ban are possibly the most popular and instantly recognizable eyewear brand on the planet. Hailed as one of the Coolest Brands in 2013 and celebrating over 75 years of success; Ray Ban still stand today as one of the most innovative, stylish and effortlessly fashionable brands around. Established in 1937, their first triumph was the Aviator; designed for Pilots in the United States Army Air Corps. They trademarked the name and mass produced these timeless shades on a huge scale.
Though the Aviators fell in and out of favour over the years, Ray Ban followed up their efforts with the now iconic Wayfarers and Clubmaster designs which took hold in the 1950s and ’60s. Endorsed by almost every celebrity, Ray Ban became synonymous will the idea of ‘cool’ and a cultural signifier of the rebellious fashion-forward that evolved with each generation. Featured in films, worn by pop stars and sported by celebrities today on social media, Ray Ban are a force to be contended with. With an ever increasing range of colours, styles and designs Ray Ban are one of America’s finest exports across the globe.

The Aviator
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The Wayfarer
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The Clubmaster
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The Mirror Lens
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The Caravan frames
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Jackie O Frames

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Ray Ban Kids
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Ralph Lauren

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From an initial range of men’s ties back in 1967, Ralph Lauren has grown in to one of the most recognisable, well-loved and critically acclaimed fashion brands in the world. Today, Ralph Lauren fuses classic, preppy style with a sports casual look that has become almost synonymous with the brand. Reaching impossible heights of popularity in the 1990s and eventually making a comeback in the late 2000s, Ralph Lauren define timeless classic American style with their signature colours of red, white and blue.

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Oakley

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When motocross enthusiast Jim Jannard started making goggles for motocross riders from his garage, little did he know that his tiny operation would spawn one of the most successful eyewear brands in the world. But thanks to Jannard’s patented use of new techniques and materials he achieved this feat in just 35 years.  Defining performance eyewear at its best, Oakley have developed state-of-the-art eyeewear technology including innovative lenses, lightweight frames, ski and snow goggles.

Of course they have also led the pack when it comes to glasses for golfing, cycling, running and surfing; not to mention a fashionable lifestyle range such as the Frogskin frame which became popular in the 1980s, the Shaun White Holbrook design or the super-cool Garage Rock collection. Crafted for those with an extreme, active lifestyle, Oakley lead the way in American sporting innovation that is sought after in every corner of the globe.

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Tommy Hilfiger

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New York born founder Thomas Jacob Hilfiger famously ditched Calvin Klein in favour of building his fashion empire  of Tommy Hilfiger back in 1982. Not just known for Tommy Jeans or their range of scents that took off to inexplicable heights in the Nineties, Tommy Hilfiger came up with a classic and traditional feel for their eyewear collection that honoured the US brands’ idea of ‘fashion’. Featuring the signature colours of red, white and blue; their collection incorporates preppy yet sports-friendly styles and a pared down silhouettes that haven’t aged a day since the ’80s. Tommy Hilfiger power full steam ahead into SS14 with their youthful, vibrant shades ideal for a summer in the Hamptons.

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Michael Kors

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New York born and bred, Michael Kors is one of America’s shining stars within the fashion industry. Launching his first fashion collection thirty years ago, Kors initially specialised in womenswear which featured in many major department stores such as Macys and Bloomingdales. Previously working for French luxury brand Celine, Kors left to pursue his own brand as wanted to reinvent American fashion for the contemporary style lover. Bold shapes, vibrant colours and unique detail certainly define the Michael Kors brand and when it comes to cultivating the most beautiful fashion accessories on the market, Michael Kors are ahead of the game.

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Shwood

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Shwood are a brand which are entirely unique due to their use of raw hardwood to create their sunglasses. Hand-crafted in their hometown of Portland, Oregon Shwood have moved from manipulating rich oaks, ash and maple into on trend but timeless frames to utilizing titanium and recovered materials from shipwrecks and used up baseball bats in order to create their innovative eyewear collection. Shwood truly take things back to nature and evoke images of the great American outdoors.

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Nike

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Now a multinational corporation who sponsors high profile sporting events, teams and atheletes, Nike had humble beginnings at the University of Portland in 1964 under the moniker Blue Ribbon Sports. Track athlete Philip Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman originally operated the company as a distributor of Japanese trainers. The first pair of Nike trainers ever made were worn by Knight  and he went on to win two Gold Medals at the 1960s Olympics. Hard to believe that over five decades later, Nike are the most sought after sneakers in the world – not to mention their consistent range of men and womens sportswear, equipment, athletic training footwear and of course, sunglasses. Nike put dynamic shapes, innovative technology, premium quality materials, on-trend design and vibrant colours at the forefront of their manifesto creating and cultivating a look that is completely unique to Nike. Their eyewear range is no exception.

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Calvin Klein

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Calvin Klein sunglasses blend technological sophistication, fine craftsmanship and comfort with chic contemporary styling. Designed with fun loving, vibrant, fashion conscious individuals in mind they define wholesome American style with a high fashion edge.  In 1968, Bronx born Klein and good friend Barry Schwartz joined forces to set up the fashion label that would become Calvin Klein.  Beginning with a small coat shop in New York City’s York Hotel, ut didn’t take long for Klein to establish himself thanks to a chance encounter with a coat buyer from iconic lifestyle department store Bonwit Teller. Blown away by the selection of trench coats the Calvin Klein shop had on offer, the buyer placed an order for $50,000. The rest, as they say, is history…

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Tom Ford

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Building his career from working at world-famous fashion houses such as Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford made the decision to cultivate his own brand with a unique, extravagant style that takes inspiration from New York’s Studio 54. Ford is king when it comes to accessories and his instantly recognisable frames have been spotted on celebrities far and wide. Constantly reinventing, constantly improve and constantly becoming a chameleon towards current trends and classic styles Tom Ford is the name on every fashion lovers’ lips when it comes to luxury eyewear.

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Happy Fourth of July! | All American Classics

Today our trans-Atlantic friends honour their independence with the 4th of July celebrations!. As a salute to the States we’ve put together a handy guide on all the American classic frames that have changed and defined the sunglasses industry from all the way across the pond.

From Tommy Hilfiger to Ralph Lauren, The Row to Calvin Klein, Shwood and Nike to of course, Ray Ban; God bless American shades! Here’s to the country that made eyewear the ultimate symbol of cool!

Iconic Moments in American Eyewear

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James Dean was America’s Rebel Without A Cause; a silver screen hearthrob, a teenage pin-up and a style icon. His legacy is that timeless image of Dean in a flipped up collar jacket, smoking a cigarette pensively behind a pair of shades.

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Marilyn Monroe was the ultimate star of the Hollywood Golden Age. With her hourglass figure, blonde curls and red lips; Marilyn was an icon long before her timely death at a young age. However, Marilyn lives on in movies, posters and pictures from that wonderful time. The star was once the most photographed woman on the planet and her Ray Ban shades served as a barrier between herself and the rest of the world.

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One thing that always struck people about actress Elizabeth Taylor was her beautiful violet eyes. However, she was no stranger to donning a pair of 1950s cateye sunglasses during her luxurious summer vacations.

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Jackie Onassis defined a generation and her very own frames throughout the 1960s and ’70s with her bold oversize round frames; eventually dubbed ‘the Jackie O’s’

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John F. Kennedy was a man who was to lead America into a second Golden Age before he was tragically assassinated in 1963.  His reputation lives on as does the memory of him donning Ray Ban sunglasses at countless public events where he was adored by thousands of young, hopeful Americans.

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Few musicians are revered as much as Bob Dylan yet this peace loving musical genius became the voice of a generation. Frequently sporting shades to give a mysterious allure, Bob was the definition of defiant cool.

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Author and Journalist Hunter S. Thompson was never far from a pair of 1970s style Aviators. His bucket hat, cigarette holder and shades are still hallmarks of his utterly unique and brilliant character.

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There’s a reason Ray Ban got a reputation as the coolest shades around and it probably started somewhere with Blondie’s Debbie Harry. Debbie merged punk and disco in one sweep back in the 1970s and we like to think her dark shades simply attitude to her rebellious attitude.

 

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Punks, movie-goers, actors and probably taxi drivers will remember the first time they ever saw Robert DiNero as Travis Bickle in cult classic Taxi Driver (1976). Newly shaven Mohican, army jacket and sunglasses in place, standing cross armed on a New York sidewalk; this was the moment the demure and silent cab driver Bickle had fully transformed into an angry thug ready to bring justice to the shady criminals of New York.

 

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You can’t get any more American than Tom Cruise in Top Gun. The charismatic face of Eighties movies created a cult of cool with the young air pilot Maverick and his fellow crew. Served up with a dash of romance, an undertone of Patriotism, brotherly admiration and  Aviator sunglasses; Top Gun reinvented the Aviator for a new generation.

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A few years earlier in 1983, a young Cruise had given the High School generation a new face of rebellion. Sure. we had Ferris Bueller, Gary and Wyatt from Weird Science and the kids from Breakfast Club but none we admired as much as Joel Goodson who with his classic black Ray Ban sunglasses was unarguably the coolest kid in town.

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As the famous line of John Landis’ cult musical 1980 hit goes “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.” HIT IT.

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 Madonna has had a thousand looks, countless hits and millions of fans worldwide. Yet even at 55 we always hark back to the 1980s power-cateyes in her video for Material Girl (1984)

MJ

If the Queen of Pop could do it, why not the king? Michael Jackson made many things infinitely cooler than they should be; dancing, moon-walking, fedora’s, sequin jackets, single gloves and white socks. Yet his sunglasses gave Michael the style of a true star in the making.

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The Holy Grail of fancy dress costumes for any film-lover, the simple black wayfarers with a black suit donned by the gangsters in Reservoir Dogs are as iconic as the ‘ear scene’ in Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 cult hit.

 

michaelkors

Michael Kors has fathered a new generation of stunning frames which as brought the US back in the luxury eyewear game. Whilst Italian, German and French competitors focus on classics and Ray Ban remain unchanged after over 70 years of success, Kors isn’t afraid to play with pattern, colour and silhouette’s for his unique and stunning eyewear collections.

 

 

 

Kate Middleton dons Ray Ban at Wimbledon

Kate Middleton and Prince William took time out from their hectic touring schedules and being new parents to Prince George in order  to attend Wimbledon this week.  The Royal pair  were spotted in the front row of the stalls to catch Andy Murray’s disastrous drop-out from the tennis competition yesterday.

Tensions were high during Murray’s quarter final match against Grigor Dimitrov and Kate had every right to gurn and grieve as Scottish champion and Olympic medalist Murray surrendered his Wimbledon title. Much to the dismay of Princess Kate; who is fashion royalty as well as ACTUAL royalty, she was snapped pulling a range of shocked and worried facial expressions behind a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses as she watched on.

The Duchess of Cambridge, or K-Middy as she’s known to her fans certainly let her passion for tennis show in her very own stylist ‘tennis whites’; an eyelet Zimmerman dress which she contrasted with tousled waves and simple black frames. She seemed to be enjoying herself in the run-up to yesterday’s match having been seen on the previous day with sister Pippa whilst Murray’s long-term girlfriend Kim Sears rivaled the sisters’ fashion prowess on the court in a hot pink frock and ivory accessories.

Shame about Murray but we have to say it’s nice to see Kate going against the tradition of keeping a ‘stiff upper lip’. Not to mention those sunnies….
Well played K-Middy.

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Source: Huffington Post

 

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