While Ray-Ban had been successfully making sunglasses since 1937, the Wayfarer was a product that was originally marketed towards men along with other Ray-ban styles. This was seen in the marketing of the product and by one of it’s original spokespeople, James Dean. The Wayfarer would become a symbol of James Dean’s independence and rebelliousness as an actor, model, and Hollywood icon. Wayfarer’s were a new creation for the Ray-Ban Brand that had, before the 1960s, enjoyed much success with it’s metal frames and styles, such as the classic Aviator. This breakthrough frame took advantage of plastic molding technology and the new durable, plastic called acetate that had only just been invented.
Other popular, male celebrities that rocked the Wayfarer are the popular comedic duo The Blues Brothers in the 1980s, played by Dan Aykroyd and James Belushi, who completed their Blues Brothers' uniform with a set of wayfarer sunglasses. A young Tom Cruise who, in 1983, slid across the floor in his socks, underwear, and a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers in the film Risky Business also helped jet the brand to success. That cameo in Risky Business was the beginning of a 1980s Wayfarer phenomenon. Ray-Ban sold over 350,000 pairs of Wayfarers that year. Wayfarer frames continued to make appearances throughout the 1980s, and were featured on television programs like Miami Vice and Moonlighting, and in the cult classic, The Breakfast Club.
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