Sunglasses make for a great fashion accessory, doubling as effective eye protection from harmful UV rays. In terms of the UK eyewear market, 59% of consumers look for value for money why buying fashion products such as sunglasses. On the other hand, younger demographics like Millennials and Gen Z have shifted towards luxury eyewear brands over the past years, owing to the strong digital presence and engaging retail experiences offered.
However, another key reason for the rise in sunglasses sales over the years could be attributed to our favourite onscreen characters seen sporting them. Of the key players in the market, Oakley and Ray-Ban are two top brands focusing heavily on social media platforms, online distribution, and creative marketing to attract more customers. So it’s no surprise their products are featured heavily in films. Today, we can see these shades worn in movies, sometimes as mere props and, at times, as elegant plot devices. Below, we’ll look at some iconic Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglasses seen throughout movies/
Oakley Romeo Sunglasses – Mission Impossible 2
If you’ve had time to rewatch the Mission Impossible franchise sometime this year to catch up with the latest instalment, you may remember this one. In the movie’s opening scene, Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt wears an X-Metal pair of Oakley Romeo while rock climbing. The sequence ends with Ethan getting his impossible mission — if he chooses to accept — that he tosses towards the viewer as it self-destructs in glorious CGI.
This wasn’t the last time Oakley made an appearance in a Mission Impossible movie. The eyewear brand made a custom pair of goggles that could be seen in Tom Cruise’s motorcycle stunt in the latest instalment. Designed especially for the death-defying stunt, the goggles blended performance and style in an unforgettable scene. You can spot a bit of the motorcycle stunt in the new Mission Impossible trailer if you haven’t had the chance to see the film.
Oakley Holbrook – Transformers: Age of Extinction
Of course, not all on-screen Oakleys are tied to death-defying stunts. Still, they seem to be a motif in action-packed films. In Transformers: Age of Extinction, actor Titus Welliver wears a pair of Oakley sunglasses that have red iridium lenses. The matte black Oakley Holbrook frames come in 28 different lens colours, but the vicious red iridium is an excellent touch to his villain Savoy’s character.
Savoy isn’t the only character in Age of Extinction with a knack for stylish eyewear, however. Stanley Tucci, who plays Joshua Joyce, is seen wearing some eye-catching Mykita Mylon Pantara glasses throughout the film. As a more morally vague character in the film, it makes sense that his eyewear of choice isn’t as menacing in appearance.
Ray-Ban Wayfarer – The Wolf of Wall Street
In Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character can be seen wearing a pair of classic Ray-Ban Wayfarers in some of the scenes.
Wayfarers may not be the first luxury sunglasses you may think of when considering DiCaprio’s obnoxiously rich character, Jordan Belfort. However, the Ray-Ban Wayfarer, highly regarded for its iconic, youthful, and hip silhouette, speaks to Belfort’s character and influence on the people around him. Today, the Wayfarer is one of the brand’s silhouettes chosen for the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, packed with AI and built-in technologies. If The Wolf of Wall Street were made today, Jordan Belfort would likely wear these Wayfarers.
Ray-Ban Aviator – Top Gun
Finally, eyewear brand Ray-Ban saw sales for their Aviator sunglasses surge upon the release of 1986’s Top Gun. Did the brand ever imagine that history would repeat itself with the Top Gun sequel released in 2022?
What makes the Ray-Ban Aviator so iconic — aside from its simple but stylish design — is that it fits Tom Cruise’s character Maverick, who is, well, an aviator in the film. Of course, the Aviator has seen its share of film appearances over the past decades. From The Big Lebowski to Jaws, the classic sunglasses are a staple we’re likely to see in many more films in the future.
What do you make of this news? Are you going to watch any of these movies? Are there any films that we missed on this list?