Sunglasses: From Basic Eyewear to Fashion Trend

Sunglasses or (spectacles) are said to have originated as far back as the 12th century or possibly earlier by Chinese court judges. They used flat panes of smoke colored quartz that protected the eyes from glares, but did not have corrective sight abilities like prescription lenses. There is some historical data
that states the crystals were used to hide the facial expression and/or having eye contact during interrogation of witnesses.

Other experiments in the mid-18th century have documented the use of blue or green lenses with spectacles, not necessarily called sunglasses at that time, but it was believed to have corrective abilities for specific vision impairments.

In the late 1920s, inexpensive sunglasses were introduced to America by Sam Foster and his company called Foster Grant on the beaches of the most famous East Coast summer vacation hot spot Atlantic City, NJ at the legendary Woolworth department store on the boardwalk.

Around 1926, the famous Bausch & Lomb eyewear had one of the best developments in the world, the Ray-Ban brand sunglasses. They were made for pilots during the First and Second World War period and are still available to this day. Ray-Bans have timeless form, function and style. 1936 was another year for a major development in technology for sunglasses / sun shade use. Edwin H. Land experimented using his patented Polaroid filter by covering the lenses to further enhance the ability for sunglasses to reduce glares. Later, that development carried over to cameras, camera lenses and various optical accessories.

The 1950s is when sunglasses started to play as more of a fashion statement for movie stars and musicians. Sunglasses became a cultural phenomenon and a fashion accessory in the world no matter the time, place, indoor, outdoors, day, or night. Sunglasses were raised to a whole new level in those days.

Foster Grant came forward with an ad campaign that took their sunglasses to the ultimate chic level with the popular saying “Who’s that behind those Foster Grants?” That made the company a dominant force in the world of must-have fashion eyewear in America and abroad. Today, sunglasses or shades have come a long way since its introduction and this fashion accessory trend keeps on evolving to a must-have as part of any wardrobe, anytime of the year.

Exposure to ultra-violet rays (UV) can cause short and long term ocular problems and proper protection is vital with fashion or work-related eyewear and should be taken into consideration. Beside from looking good, consumers need to be aware of what to look for when buying sunglasses no matter the price range. Remember, price is not necessarily an indicator of quality as one might think.

Now, Sunglasses are available from a multitude of designers and manufacturers. There are designer sunglasses by Prada, Oakley, Hugo Boss, Versace etc. and even some old school originators come in almost any size, color, shape and style. From a simple experiment in the early days to worldwide fashion statement, the sunglasses movement is more than just a spectacle, it’s a fashion icon. Pair your favorite pair of sunglasses with our Kensie fragrance. Look and smell fierce and sexy with Kensie.

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