If you’re looking for someone wearing Ray-Ban sunglasses, you don’t have to go farther than the St. Thomas Upper Quad. If the sun’s out, someone’s wearing Ray-Ban glasses. But, we may not all be aware of the power these tinted lenses give us. Unlike sludging around in UGG boots or bundling up in a North Face jacket with little intention, sporting Ray-Ban sunglasses means being an advocate for social change and personal growth.
When I put my Ray-Ban sunglasses on, I feel empowered and ready for anything that stands in my way. I’m not saying that we need brands to feel strong or determined, but I am supporting the company’s ability to inspire. Is it possible that “covering up” your face with sunglasses can encourage you to embrace who you really are? I think so.
Introduced to the world 76 years ago, these iconic shades are the specs of choice regardless of age and status. Fashion icons, sports figures, teenagers or senior citizens, it doesn’t matter; all demographics and age groups wear them. But, the brand is about more than just eyewear sales. The Ray-Ban logo stands for courage, quality, individuality and freedom of expression. These are the values the label’s followers endorse.
Senior David Houserman said he has always worn Ray-Ban sunglasses and always will.
“They are extension of my personality,” he said. “A little different, but super cool.”
Ray-Ban began as a product of functionality. Founded in 1937 by Bausch & Lomb, the first Ray-Ban aviators were created for the U.S. Army Air Corp to shield pilot’s eyes during flight and, according to Urban Optiques, were the first ever to incorporate an anti-glare lens that filters out UV Rays.
The Wayfarer style hit the streets next and were the go-to shades in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Its oblong-shaped, sleekly designed frame graced the faces of icons like Bob Dylan and Marilyn Monroe. Ray-Ban became a symbol of American culture.
In 2007, the brand redeveloped the original Ray-Ban Wayfarer design with expanded, and a little funky, color options and patterns, as well as a new marketing campaign titled “Never Hide.”
Per Ray-Ban’s message to “never pretend, never be afraid, never give up, never hide,” the brand encourages its consumers to be authentic and have the confidence to express themselves.
Ray-Ban’s press release highlighting the campaign reported, “In its every form, the Ray-Ban campaign portrays regular guys and girls living their day to day lives with authenticity, with the courage to express themselves and their unique individuality, which is the most precious thing we have, because the most fashionable thing to be is yourself.”
The Ray-Ban company stands behind this belief. It embodies courage, free and independent thinking, quality and function, individuality and authenticity. The brand continues to create genuine advertisements supporting social issues, including one last year that showed two men holding hands and really challenges society to never hide.
Ray-Ban sunglasses symbolize originality and a sincerness of character. Even if everyone had the same pair, they would express something completely different as the true identity of the wearer shines through. In a world where everyone is trying to fit in, Ray-Bans encourage you to stand out. What could be better than that? In the words of Ray-Ban himself, “Never Hide.”
Nicole Soyka can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.