Celebrity endorsement pays the bills
Ray-Ban has become a world leader in fashion sunglasses not only because of a reputation for style and quality but also because of their promotion by celebrities of all kinds, from Hollywood movie stars to star music rappers.
Celebrity endorsement can be expensive. Still, the rewards can far outweigh the costs and Ray-Ban owners Luxottica has been quick to ensure as many top name stars as possible are seen wearing Ray-Bans even if it meant shelling out thousands of dollars to do so.
Here are just a few of the stars of stage, screen and sports arena that have added their name to the Ray-Ban sunglasses mystique.
The 1950s saw Ray-Bans take Hollywood by storm, or was it the other way around. Either way, it was Audrey Hepburn's appearance in Breakfast at Tiffany's that hit the spot.
She wore a Givenchy dress too, but that was not the real style-setter; it was the Ray-Bans that stole the show.
Ray-Ban Wayfarers were soon perched on the noses of some of Hollywood's hottest stars including Marilyn Monroe, Kim Novak and screen smoothie Cary Grant.
It was the turn of pop musicians next with Roy Orbison leading the field before the rising singer-songwriter Bob Dylan made his big entrance, well many of them actually, and rarely without a pair of Wayfarers.
Ray-Bans make music
Ray-Ban Olympians were launched in 1965 and became the sunglasses of choice for wannabe bikers when Peter Fonda donned a pair for the smash hit Easy Rider in 1969.
A little later, Ray-Ban Balorama sunglasses had only just hit the shops when they got a massive boost with a movie endorsement by Clint Eastwood, who donned a pair for Dirty Harry in 1971.
The 1970s saw the rise of disco when the stars did dress to impress, and the eyewear market took off with a more technological appeal as photochromic and mirrored lenses made a case for both looking good and seeing well.
By the 1980s, Ray-Bans were creating as much light as they were filtering as the must-have eyewear brand began playing star roles in some of the biggest cinema box office hits.
Aviators hit the heights
Who can forget the twin pair of Wayfarers in the Blues Brothers, which opened in 1980 and Risky Business which followed three years later with the young Tom Cruise launching his glittering career?
Ray-Ban Aviators were falling out of fashion when Tom Cruise reprised their early military use in the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun. He took the style to heady new heights, later to be outshone by the one-and-only Michael Jackson who wore them for his epic Bad tour.
In the 1990s it was the turn of Ray-Ban's Clubmaster shades, favoured by Denzel Washington in the movie Malcolm X, while a more edgy appeal was evident by 1997 when Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones toted the now notorious Ray-Ban Predators for Men In Black.
The noughties ushered in the music industry as Ray-Ban released significant new models and updated many of the older ones. Celebrity Photographer Mick Rock promoted new Ray-Ban models with a series of snaps of the leading lights of indie rock music such as Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream.
Ray-Ban masters of multi-media
More fireworks followed with the famous NEVER HIDE campaign when every celebrity under the sun appeared permanently draped in Ray-Bans. Millions were spent on hard sell advertising and glittering star events like the 2008 Ray-Ban launch of its Remasters campaign with multi-media events spread right across the globe.
The theme was flogged mercilessly two years later when Luxottica launched a swathe of updated Aviator models. Almost every year that followed saw music, film and TV stars promoting their Ray-Bans at worldwide media events.
The star list included The Virgins, Iggy Pop, Paolo Nutini, to mention just a few. Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr even helped design his limited edition Ray-Ban Signets.
In its own way, Ray-Ban has helped shape much of modern culture, influencing fashion and design through the power of personality and using art, music and movie celebrities to push the boundaries.
Innovation in style has not always been are the forefront, but since Luxottica took the reigns it has been little else, and the company regularly draws on its modern pop culture heritage, welding it to meticulous craftsmanship to create contemporary eyewear full of lifestyle and quality that never seems to age.
Here is just a small selection of discount Ray-Bans on offer from AlphaSunglasses. See more on our Ray-Ban page.