Wayfarer Vintage Frames from the 70s, 80s and 90s
Wayfarer shaped frames are second only to the aviator as the most popular selling style of eyewear of all time. A classic vintage Wayfarer frame is perfect for wherever your feet will carry you which is handy as that is actually what Wayfarer actually means someone who travels on foot!
The Origin of The Wayfarer frame
Raymond Stegeman a designer employed by Ray-Ban Bausch and Lomb is credited as the mastermind behind the iconic trapezoid frames that define a vintage wayfarer frame. First produced by Ray-Ban B&L in 1952, this thicker acetate style provided a stark contrast to the metal frames of the late 40s and Wayfarer sunglasses quickly became the shades to be seen in and see-through! Celebrities from JFK to Bob Dylan wore their Wayfarer sunglasses with pride and this only increased the popularity of a pair of vintage Wayfarers.
The earliest vintage Wayfarer designs have a pronounced forward angle to them. People unfamiliar with a true vintage Wayfarer may find this odd at first as it actually still allows light to enter from the top for certain face shapes. The modern Wayfarer style produced from the 80s has a far less obvious pantoscopic tilt which reduces the issue of light entering from above but does remove a little of that all-important fashion statement factor in our opinion.
Classic Movies Need Vintage Wayfarers
By late 1970s the Wayfarer frame was falling out of favour and was reportedly only selling 18,000 units a year. However, a savvy business partnership between Burbank product placement and Bausch and Lomb led to their products being heavily featured across a tonne of TV shows and movies across the 1980s.
In 1980 Blues Brothers was released and the Wayfarer sunglasses worn by John Belushi and Dan Akroyd became a cult look overnight. Interestingly they were actually both slightly different models with Elwood wearing the more classic original angular style and Jake wearing the modern more curved shape.
Where Blues Brothers lit a spark the performance of Tom Cruise in Risky Business (1983) started a full-blown raging bush fire! Before the decade was out Wayfarer frames would feature in an average of 60 Hollywood movies a year and sales of the Wayfarer style exploded to over 1 million frames annually!
Superstars Love to Wear the Wayfarer style.
What do Mohammad Ali, Debbie Harry, Harrison Ford and Marilyn Monroe all have in common? They all kept a classic Wayfarer frame in their regular style rotation. Celebrities love the anonymity that an all-black or tortoiseshell wayfarer can provide and the fact it is worn ubiquitously by punk rockers and classical pianists alike demonstrates the versatility that a great pair of vintage Wayfarer glasses or sunglasses.
How to Style a Vintage Wayfarer Frame
Vintage wayfarers will suit most face shapes and work for both men and women so if you choose a pair of vintage wayfarer eyeglasses from Ed and Sarna vintage eyewear you are sure to get a lot of wear out of them. If you want some guidance on matching up your vintage Wayfarer for a particular occasion then follow these simple rules.
If you are going somewhere formal then it is best to stick to a classic black or tortoiseshell shade just let your tailoring do the talking.
Going on a casual date or just spending time with the family? Team up a colourful vintage wayfarer with a classic white tee for a perfect summer vibe.
Not Just Ray-Ban Vintage WayFarers
Whilst Ray-Ban Bausch and Lomb created the Wayfarer design other brands picked up on the trend from the 70s onwards and we have an extensive collection of vintage Wayfarers from brands like Oakley, Anglo American and Versace. So, branch out from your Ray-Ban rut and pick up some deadstock vintage Wayfarers that will rock your world. All of our vintage Wayfarer frames are covered by our 30-day returns policy and all UK deliveries are FREE.